Should I sing to my father? He seems to like it. Danny in Colorado, 51

Absolutely! It’s very important to do things that make him happy. Song and rhythm are usually a real comfort to the elderly. They both bring back long term memories. It’s a physiological fact that a person becomes happier when singing. Singing also allows people to feel in communion with others. It’s why some join a chorus. Migrant farmers, laborers, and prisoners sing songs to lift their spirit and release positive energy. Singing removes the feeling of isolation that can happen in old age.

On a personal note, when my sister was dying, we decided before hand to sing a song that she loved. In her last moments, I sang it, and even though she could not sing back to me, I knew she realized that I was there for her.

Encourage your father to sing in the shower at the top of his lungs. It releases good energy. Singing is very comforting. If you don’t know the words, humming a lullaby can be powerful, too. Sing an old army song or a song from the old country or college or a big band hit. If others know the song and chime in the sense of isolation dissipates and joy surfaces. Whatever gives your father a sense of belonging to a community, even if it no longer exists, will bring him good memories and give him old feelings of satisfaction. This should be strived for at all times.

Over the last 35 years, Marion Somers, Ph.D., (Doctor Marion) has worked with thousands of seniors and their caregivers as a geriatric care manager. It is now her goal to help caregivers everywhere through her book, “Elder Care Made Easier,” web site, public service announcements, national bus tours, and media appearances. For more information, visit DoctorMarion.com.

Dr Marion Somers

Last Modified May 25, 2009 @ 8:02 am
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