Case Study: Jack the Jazz Man
Daughterly Care had the privilege of caring for Jack, a life-long jazz buff who played Jazz music at his local community radio for years. Since his diagnosis of mid-stage dementia, Jack had indicated to family members he was “over music” so when asked if he would like to listen to music he always replied “no”.
Daughterly Care chose Kim as Jack’s in-home care Caregiver. Kim has a great love of music, plays in a band and enjoys singing and playing musical instruments. Kim, like all Daughterly Care Caregivers, has seen many of her clients transformed by the connective power of music.
Click here to view Kim’s profile
“The first time I took Jack for a walk I had to hold on to his arm to stop him from falling over on the footpath as he was leaning significantly to the right. He had lost his sense of balance and I was wondering how I was going to get him home without him falling over. It wasn’t the first time I had encountered this in a client, so I knew just what to do.
When we got home I put on a CD of the Nat King Cole Jazz Quartet, one of Jack’s old favourites. Almost immediately, he followed my lead and began to tap his hand on the kitchen bench and sway his upper body in time with the song. It wasn’t long before he was on his feet, shimmying to the left and right and drumming his hands loudly and very happily on the bench.
Jack’s balance was perfect and he had completely let go of the bench as he danced away, his whole being deeply rapt in the movement of the music. Across the kitchen his wife stood, beaming with joy. It had been a long time since she had seen her husband dance. A very long time.
Jack’s wife and other clients’ spouses often observe how we relate to private care clients and pick up tips. Kim explained to Jack’s wife that music was a tool for her to use to activate Jack and get him going and that he still felt a lot of joy listening to music. Importantly she realised that it was pointless asking Jack if he wanted to listen to music, instead she was better off just putting the music on and encouraging Jack to beat to the rhythm, dance and do exercises.
Watch Kim talk about Jack and how she uses music.