by Dementia Alliance of NC

Herlene is a remarkable woman from Harnett County who recently celebrated her 91st birthday. Herlene lives with dementia and her devoted daughter, Fatine, cares for her at home.

Herlene is a devout fan of gospel music and court show TV. Recently, her cherished CD player broke leaving her without the comforting tunes she adored.

In search of a solution, Fatine reached out to Dementia Alliance NC and discovered the Music and Memory at Home program.

Phoebe Brush, our incredible Music and Memory at Home Coordinator, and Benji Hester, a dedicated volunteer, organized a virtual music party for Herlene. They played gospel music, tracks from her youth, and observed her reactions to create a personalized playlist.

Afterward, they sent Fatine a Music and Memory at Home Kit, including a digital music player filled with Herlene’s beloved music, headphones, a Bluetooth speaker, and how-to guides.

When Fatine presented the kit to her mother, a transformation unfolded. Within minutes, Herlene was singing and tapping her feet in sheer delight.

Fatine expressed her gratitude, sharing, “She received it today, and as soon as I set it up, she couldn’t stop singing and dancing in her recliner. It’s incredible. She doesn’t want me to turn off her music, even during her usual court show time. Thank you again.”

For more examples of how Music & Memory at Home can bring joy to those living with dementia, check out this short video.