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ME, MY MOTHER AND THE STORY BEHIND MUSICSHELTER

On 2 October 1963 I was born in Rotterdam. On the right you can make a musical journey through my hometown.

For more than 10 years I have cared with my father for my mother with alzheimer’s. A mother who has given me a wonderful carefree youth.

My mom had a warm and social heart and was very creative.  She always gives me full support from keeping stick insects, starting with tennis, hockey, korfball till painting my room red & blue

MS-Rotterdam-Large
Rotterdam is the City Lee Towers
MS-Only-Boys-Aloud-copy
Calon Lân by Only Boys Aloud

ON SATURDAY EVENINGS MY MOM OPENED THE POCKET MONEY STORE

A store where my brother and I could buy books, toys, Lego and Mecca no from our pocket money, at reduced prices. In a safe and pleasant way my mother learned us how to handle money.

One summer, eight years old Ignar, has a good idea, opening a restaurant in the garden. “No problem” we went shopping for plastic cups, plates & cutlery.

My mother made coffee & tea and little Ignar backed, as a real chef, the pancakes.

Another summer, my mother wrote a Dutch text on the song Glory Glory Alleluia. With this The Rip Brothers won the first price at the school song festival.

Singing is a powerful tool to help young people, like this choir from Wales does.

THRILLING ADVENTURES

When I wanted to help my school with collecting old newspapers my mom typed small notes. Telling on which day I would come by to collect old papers. the small notes were a huge success.

For this I got a school award, thanks mam. Every evening my mom read to me and my brother.

She took us to worlds with dragons, wizards and great kings. My mom brought those stories to life, what a joy and a tension.

Maybe that is why I love reading so much. For me books are ports to magical worlds, knowledge & life itself.

A CHRISTMAS PRESENT

After my mom’s death we heard that she had given Christmas presents to a family in our street, who had to face their first Christmas without their father who suddenly has died at 39.

The daughter still has those presents and they are special for her. Just like the letter which my mother has written to a woman who has lost her husband. More than 40 years later after her dead, her son has send us that saved letter back.

My mom has given me a solid foundation, she put the right beacons on the proper Time & Place. So I could search and find out myself and discover my own path in life.

More and more I discover that the base of all the things my mom has done is Love & Compassion, this is also the bases for real person-centered care.

Vera Lynn When I Grow too Old to Dream

GRATITUDE

I am very grateful that my mom could die in her own bed, in her own house. We held the funeral service for my mom in the oldest church of The Netherlands.

Which is also the church were soldiers during the battle of Arnhem has taken shelter.

The song of Very Lynn “When I grow too old to dream” played at the service paid double tribute. To my mother, and to the soldiers who died in that battle.

WHEN I GROW TOO OLD TO DREAM AND PERSON-CENTERED CARE

The song “When I grow too old to dream I’ll have you to remember” is for me a symbol of real person-centered dementia care.

Because when a person is lost in the dementia fog, it is our job to help to remember.

Yes we can help, with the right music we can bring back memories that are still living in the hearth.

EVERYTHING IN ONE PICTURE

This is a very special photo for me. It is taken during my first interview in the church where the funeral service for my mother was held.

At the top you see my mom, the music notes are of my mother’s favourite song, When I grow too old to dream sung by Vera Lynn.

The whole story Ignar’s dementia Guide in one picture: The music, me & my mom.

ALL GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES

Early in the alzheimer’s process I started filling an iPod with my mom’s favourite music. Gradually I made play lists matching the care actions and the time of the day.

Very soon we had three speackerdocks with 3 similar filled iPods. One beside my mother’s bed, one in the living room and one at my house.

The music travels along with my mother, in the car visiting family and friends, on holidays, in the hotels, in the hospital and on sunny days into the garden.

A MUSIC BRAIN WALKER

When I could not make use of an iPod, and I needed the music, I sung myself. I’m not a great singer, but singing with my mom gave me contact, joy and care support.

Singing during care, is giving a person with dementia a musical walker. Because one musical stimuli activates 17 trillion brain cells who are opening up opportunities to bypass dementia’s roadblocks in the brain.

So make it easier for yourself and for the person you care for, sing while helping! For example, from a chair to the toilet, in or out a car, by a transfer. Give a person with dementia a song and you give that person a Music Brain Walker.

SMILE’S & THUMBS UP

Your singing is also a distraction whereby the person with dementia, without thinking, might fall back to deep known patterns.

I can imagine that you feel uneasy, thinking the whole world is watching you singing. Believe me, that is not what will happen. Let me tell you mine experiences.

I have sung for my mother in theatres, hotel hallways and on the street. Of course I didn’t sing like Pavarotti I just sung a little bit louder than talk volume.

When I sang I got smile’s and thumbs up, but most of the time people didn’t noticed me. So I hope you will start singing and maybe in future, dementia-singing will be as normal as giving a walker to a person.

Sing your song

MY WAKE-UP CALL

For me was an interview for a book about alzheimer’s mine wake-up call and in a way the start of Ignar’s dementia Guide.

Because till then, I had never thought that our “musical-care” was something special.

During the interview I started to realize, that not all carers use music as care support and often not know which music breaks through the haze of alzheimer’s. These thoughts wouldn’t disappear from my mind.

MY DREAM BECOME MY PASSION

As I wanted that all carers has the benefit of the music. I wanted everybody with alzheimer’s find shelter and peace by listening to his favorite music.

I started reading everythingh I could find about dementia, music & the brain. Together with my experiences led this to the development and writing of Ignar’s dementia Guide.

IGNAR’S DEMENTIA GUIDE

When you read Tool 2 of Ignar’s Dementia Guide you know how to find the right music, how to make The Care Oriented Playlists and how to integrated these into your care-day.

The helping tools are: The Music Discovery-list, The 15-25 rule and example inspiration playlists.

With these everyone can give shelter & happiness to a person with alzheimer´s and making caring for a person with dementia easier.

DEMENTIA CARE YOU CAN’T DO IT NOT ALLONE

Only by working together and helping each other we can realize an alzheimer-care where everybody is happy with.

In nursing homes the recipe is a cooperating managing board, a family and a nursing who are motivated and all being actively involved.

At home it is necessary that children, grandchildren, neighbours, friends, or other relatives support & help the caregiver.

Jazz and Swing of the 30s & 40s
Patch Adams at The Mayo Clinic
Music Of Cathedrals
Top 100 of the ’70

NOW I REALIZE I INTUITIVELY APPLIED IMPORTANT CARE-RULES IN THE CARE FOR MY MOTHER

I always moved along with my mom instead of improving and correcting her.

Holding hands in theatres & restaurants, sitting close to each in the car.

Trying to involve my mom in everyday life by doing things together.

I try many things out to see what my mom likes or not likes as

Trial & Error is the only way to find out what works

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