Singing is a 'cheap happy pill', recounts one Anna Chaplain
I was once told by a wise counsellor when I first became a chaplain to older people (writes Debbie Thrower) that there would be 'pearls' among the encounters I would have - moments to treasure, that one never forgets. How right she was, and here is one 'pearl' described by Anna Chaplain Gaye Hailstone in Norfolk:
'I just wanted to share this magical moment when Maggie came alive. Maggie is on the dementia pathway and has been in residential care for some years. She loves singing and when we take worship into the home she remembers all the old hymns, but her expression shows no change of mood etc. as we move from hymn to hymn.
Today when I went into the home, we again talked about the fact that we are both from the North-East and she remembered she was from Blaydon, so we sang Blaydon Races together, followed by Cushy Butterfield, and she laughed and loved it.
So did all the other residents, as we were (miraculously) loudly applauded at the end of our mini concert.
It was a truly special moment which the Holy Spirit played no small part in bringing about. Maggie also loudly joined in with the Lords Prayer at the end of our truly blessed time together.
'I think that it was the first time we really reached Maggie and touched on happy memories, full of smiles. Singing is truly for most people, a wonderful and cheap happy pill.'
In the future, I shall try to build in one or two Northern songs to our worship time together. How wonderful it is to have the opportunity to be able to link into, and bring back to life, special happy memories of those we minister to.
There are many routes we can take to tap into the spirituality of our wonderful old folk.'
A very humble but very happy Gaye