Mental Health Monday: There is a Bridge

Gladys WilsonMy plan for today’s post has changed. If you read Friday’s post, you know that’s I’ve recently re-discovered Thomas Moore’s book, Care of the Soul. I was preparing to blog about his “fundamentally different way of regarding daily life and the quest for happiness” today. And I will probably write about that another day. But today I’m going to share a link to a video that moved me to tears yesterday. Whether or not you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, if you take a few minutes to watch this video, I think it may change the way you see and communicate with people who are in any kind of diminished state.

Meet Gladys Wilson and Naomi Feil.  Naomi grew up in a nursing home (yes!) where her father was the administrator and her mother was director of social services. It’s been her life’s work to communicate with people in various stages of Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases.

photo-gladysPay attention to the way Naomi touches Gladys on her cheek, “like a mother does with her child… because the skin remembers.”

And the way she uses music to find a bridge to Gladys’ past.

Instead of being put off by Gladys’ repetitive movements, Naomi matches the intensity of her voice with Gladys’ movements, connecting with her in a kind of soul dance. It’s beautiful.

 

Visiting with Mom on April 2. She was so much more alert than two weeks earlier. Look at that smile!

Visiting with Mom on April 2. She was so much more alert than two weeks earlier. Look at that smile!

Although my mother’s Alzheimer’s isn’t as advanced as Gladys’, I hope that I can build a bridge to her as she slips farther away, using some of Naomi’s beautiful wisdom. Just open your heart and click on the following link to watch the video.

“There is a Bridge.”

 

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