Elderly Scottish Woman with Dementia Climbs UK Music Charts

OK, well, this made me cry. An 83-year-old Scottish woman who suffers from dementia is climbing the UK music download charts, singing a duet with her caregiver of Frank Sinatra’s 1969 hit, “My Way.”

Margaret Mackie and Jamie Lee Morley first performed the song at her nursing home, during last year’s Christmas karaoke party, and subsequently recorded it at Studio Sound, an Ingleton-based music studio. All proceeds from song downloads go to Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK. (Video below.)

Six years ago, I wrote a post about my mother, who suffered from fronto-temporal dementia (not age-related or Alzheimer’s, but the same sort of dementia Monty Python troupe member and serious Chaucer scholar, Terry Jones, suffered from). I re-treaded it last Spring, here.

At the time I first wrote it, I’d just read a book by Sally Magnusson, whose own mother suffered from dementia, and about whom she wrote a touching memoir: Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything.

A part of the book I didn’t cover in my post speaks about the importance of music in the lives of people suffering with dementia, and the way in which songs and musical memories from their lives often stay with them until the end, when almost other lights have gone out, and how those memories can comfort them. She suggests, if you have an old iPod or player that you might think of donating it to a charity or a care home.

For Margaret Mackie. A true hero. (Jamie Lee Morley is up there in my estimation, too.)

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