Elvis Fan With Alzheimer's Comes 'Back To Life' When He Hears Favourite Songs
| Last updated
An Elvis Presley fan with Alzheimer's disease comes 'back to life' when listening to his music. See for yourself here:
Eddie O'Brien, from Warrington, Cheshire, was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, after his family noticed he was forgetting names and getting lost; now the illness makes it difficult for the 74-year-old to verbally communicate.
However, it is clear to see that the former decorator expresses nothing but pure joy when listening to his favourite musician, Elvis.
His daughter Rebecca bought him some headphones and she said watching him whip out his 'crazy moves' is a priceless comfort.
"It's just a breath of fresh air to be honest, because it can be so heart-breaking," the 30-year-old explained.
"A lot of the time, it makes people become angrier and more agitated and frustrated because they don't know what's going on.
"But with my Dad, he just doesn't seem to care, and I think that's the best way to be - he's absolutely loving life now.
"And he just has these crazy moves - you can just tell he's just so happy, and it just really brings him back to life."
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that leads to severe memory impairment and a decline in social skills, and alarm bells began ringing for Eddie's family after he was robbed on a night out.
Support worker Rebecca recalled: "The two men had stolen £500 out of his bank accounts because he'd kept his pin number in his wallet.
"And another time, he said he had got on the wrong bus home, but he couldn't remember where it had taken him to - and that's when we started having quite a lot of concerns really."
Eddie was subsequently put on medication, which he has responded well to, but it's music which has an effect like nothing else.
"He absolutely loves Elvis – but any kind of music, any kind of beat, he literally just loves it," Rebecca said.
"One of his favourite Elvis songs is 'Suspicious Minds' but he also loves 'Bad to Me' by Billy J Kramer and 'Peggy Sue' by Buddy Holly.
"He still goes to one of the pubs every Monday between 2pm and 7pm. The DJ there messaged me to say he doesn't have to do his job because my dad gets everyone dancing."
Grace Meadows, campaign director at Music for Dementia, which calls for people with the illness to have music as an integral part of their care, encouraged people to try and incorporate music into the lives of loved ones with Alzheimer's.
She said: "It's wonderful to see how Eddie is moved and brought back to life by music.
"Music has the power to create beautiful moments of togetherness, to enliven, stimulate and enable people to express themselves.
"It can help people with Alzheimer's in so many other ways too, providing a channel through which to manage symptoms of the conditions and emotions.
"It can bring joy when they're feeling down or create a sense of calm if they're agitated or anxious, as well as create wonderful, shared experiences with loved ones.
"We hope many other families will be inspired by Rebecca and Eddie's story and put a personal playlist together to see how music can work for them too."