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Music and my mum – Kelly’s story

Music has always put a light on Kelly’s mum, and now five years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it’s still helping her shine 

Kelly’s mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s aged 64. While Kelly, who lives in Worcestershire, cared for her mum at home, a fall that caused a broken wrist and heightened symptoms eventually meant that it was best she was moved into full-time care. 

At first, Kelly was able to take her mum away from the care home and go out for lunch, but as the Alzheimer’s progressed, this was no longer possible. Thinking about how she could still make visits enjoyable, meaningful and memorable, Kelly began to play music that her mum loved throughout her life.

“Music’s always been really important to mum. I was raised on 60s rock. She always had music on and would sing at the top of her lungs. The staff at the care home said that when they have musicians in, she’s always up dancing. I put some music on while tidying up her room and she was singing word for word and dancing. It improves her mood and lights her up.”

@alz_daughter

One of Mums favourite songs and to be honest she is SIMPLY THE BEST!! Love her so much 💖 Again can't believe how many of the words she remembers now her speech is so badly affected by Alzheimer's #alzheimer #alzheimers #alzheimersawareness #dementia #dementiaawareness #love #tinaturner #simplythebest #motherdaughter #carehome #rock #musictherapy

♬ original sound - Kelly

Songs for speech and memories

Since playing songs for her mum, including The Rolling Stones who they saw in concert together in 2018, Kelly has noticed a difference in her mum’s speech, which had eventually become muddled due to her dementia. 

“She knew what she wanted to say but the words weren’t coming out. The only time she made sense was when she’d tell me she loved me. Since I’ve been playing the music for her, her speech is better. She’s able to say more sentences, even though they’re short, the words are in the correct order.”

Wanting to cherish the time she had with her mum, she started taking videos and was persuaded by her stepdaughter to join TikTok. Rather reluctantly, she created account and shared videos of her mum singing and dancing away to the music. One video in particular racked up 10k views! 

“I started taking videos for my memories as I know I’m on borrowed time with Mum. I wasn’t interested in joining TikTok but Abbie, my stepdaughter, persuaded me.

“I was like oh Mum you’re going to be a star. It’s quite a good tool to catch my mum in her moments.”

Thank you to Kelly for sharing her story with us. We are so grateful to our community who share their stories and help others facing dementia. 

If you care for a family member living with dementia and would like to build a playlist, please check out our free resources or get in touch