Watching the documentary really grabbed me. It reminded me of my great grandmother a lot. She was the strongest women I've ever met-- the one to go to for the best advice, and of course, a very helpful person. It destroyed not only me, but my whole family when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her cancer brought dementia full force upon her. She was oblivious to everyone around her. It was heart wrenching.
The video strongly attracts me to want to help others with the same disease. The men doing the research are great guys, and I respect them!
I only got to see my great grandmother one time before she passed because I was young, and my parents didn't think it was a good idea. When I first said hello to her she started laughing; it was almost like she was a young child.
My great grandpa had Alzheimer's for a while before he passed away in 2007. I was only nine, and I remember going to my grandparents house and seeing them. He did not get very severe until a couple months before he died. When I would go visit, I would have to talk to him for a bit before he 110% knew who I was. He would get happy when he realized it was me. When he got pretty bad, he would call my grandma (his daughter) who lived down the road, and would tell her to come check his house out because he just knew there were people outside watching him. She would go out there for a bit and come back in and tell him everything was okay.
Alzheimer's-- it’s a sad disease. It’s really sad to see someone you love lose themselves, to lose a sense of being, and to lose memories of their loved ones. There are about 3 million cases of Alzheimer’s in the U.S every year. A year and a half ago, I lost my great grandmother to this terrible disease. I’ll tell you, when being around someone with Alzheimer’s, you need to be really patient. I found this documentary about a year after my great grandmother had passed, and I really wish I would’ve found it sooner. Although we weren’t the closest, as I feel most great grandparents aren’t with their great grandchildren, she made a big enough impact on my life to where it hurt me deeply. She was lucky enough to not have to be placed into a nursing home, thank God, but the forgetfulness of family and frequent asking the same questions was hard. My family took pretty good care of her and visited her often. My great grandpa would get a little impatient with her sometimes, but he still loved her deeply. Although she never really forgot who I was, I felt bad for my baby sisters and my younger brother, whom she would from time to time forget mistaking them for other relatives when they were younger or just wouldn’t remember them at all. I remember this one time when I was younger, I was messing around, doing some arts and crafts, and she’d keep asking me what I was doing every five minutes because it just looked like I was making a mess; now that I look back, I can totally understand where she would think I was.
She was a teenager in the forties; she probably would have been listening to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. She also listened to a lot of gospel music. That probably would have been what she would've been listening to if she would’ve had been able to have access to music therapy. If I could turn back time with the knowledge of music therapy I have, I would. Seeing my great grandmother’s face light up and see the awakening inside her that was captured in the documentary would be one of the greatest gifts my family could ever receive. I love my great grandmother, and if there were any songs that would’ve been able to bring us both back to when I was a little girl--moments like putting puzzles together, catching lightning bugs, and all the other great times we had together, that would be fantastic.
Unfortunately, my family lost the most amazing great grandmother, mother, and family member that anyone could ever have. I wish that I would’ve found out about music therapy earlier, and maybe we could’ve had a few more smiles with her. “Alive Inside” has touched me, and it continues to touch me; I’m so glad I got to show it to the class and watch it touch them. I hope to be able to get the documentary out there and let more people be educated in music therapy, that way they can have more great times and make more memories with their loved ones that have any form of dementia.