My wife Sandy and I met in 1975. It did not take us long to realize that despite growing up in two very different parts of New York – Sandy in May Brook and I in Brooklyn – we shared a very similar taste in music. Both growing up and entering adulthood listening to The Platters, Peter Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel and Carole King among many others.
Alzheimer’s entered our life in 2012. It took us a while to appreciate that the music of our youth could play a significant role in easing the trauma of this disease. We moved from our favorite CD’s to building our own Sandy specific music list. With advent of Pandora and Spotify, we now could listen not only to our favorite artists but to our favorite individual songs. This was nirvana. We built three sets of music. The first and still most frequently listened to was our morning music, which is a list of forty songs beginning with Scarlet Ribbons by the Kingston Trio and in a bow to more contemporary artist ending with Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up. With the morning music, we not only sing along but occasionally break into a dance.. This initial list was soon followed by a second and third. The second, a compilation from The Unforgettables chorus, in which Sandy participates. This provides our afternoon respite and ending in the evening with some of our favorite love songs. Our objective with all of this music is to sing along creating a special moment that allows us to move Alzheimer’s out of our life even if it be for just minutes.
Please visit the Sweet Readers CONNECT Resources section to learn more about Alzheimer’s, including other program suggestions from Ira & Sandy’s web site: The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center of NYC.