Well, Sing Your Message If You Can’t Talk

Whilst living at the Bendigo Home & Hospital for the Aged when I was 20, I naturally put up with a lot of stuff that still does my head in now and then.

Anyway I had an amazing flashback the other day whilst listing to a Choir known as

Stroke-a- Chord

The members are all stroke survivors who have what’s known as Aphasis

(loss of speech after a stroke)

Remembering a stroke is a bleed or blockage in the brain that causes damage, usually happens on the left or right side.

The left side of the brain contains specific areas which control speech and language.

Therefore these stroke survivors all have difficulty finding and producing words to express themselves.

But, they can sing, that’s right I heard them, and they are great.

Many can sing words that they cannot say.

They have successfully learnt new lyrics and music in new songs.

Back to my “flashback”

The guy across corridor from my room sang the song “get me off this bloody toilet” on average three times a week.

The only way I could make light of this situation was to add some backing music using the buzzer.

It worked, the nurse always came running.

If you get a chance check out this great choir, they are genuine people who are having a great time.

Congratulations also to Stoke-a Chord team for participating in research which will soon be published in an international medical journal.

The finding from this research captures the therapeutic benefits of singing and music for stroke survivors and their families.

Posted in Inclusive Community, Individuals, Reviewing Support Services
One comment on “Well, Sing Your Message If You Can’t Talk
  1. Fran Ludgate says:

    Hi John

    Towards the end of her life, my mum had Altzheimer’s and she spent the last 10 months living in a special home for individuals with dementias, where she was very well looked after.

    The reason for my comment is that I experienced something similar there: each week, they did a mini-karaoke session, where they put on music and had a microphone for the people to sing into. There were quite a few people who had lost most of their speech abilities, and one lady in particular was not able to do much in the way of verbal communication, but retained the words to many hundreds of songs, which she could sing perfectly and very beautifully.

    This is slightly different from the situation you are talking about, but similar – the part of the brain holding memory to words and tunes must be a different area than for that which creates verbal communication. It really is amazing how the brain works and I’m sure we have a long long way to go to really understand it.

    Very interesting stuff.

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