Retirees Bring Holiday Songs to Alzheimer's Patients

Thursday, December 25th 2008, 11:03 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Christmas traditions change for families who have relatives with Alzheimer's Disease, but two retired couples are giving their time to make sure the holidays are still special.

There's a segment of the population who may not be at 'home' for Christmas, older Oklahomans who live at Sommerset Assisted Living.

"They're here full time, and we take care of them medically and physically," Esther Oliver, who works at Sommerset Assisted Living said.

Specially skilled nurses are working at the facility's Alzheimer's Center everyday of the work week caring for the residents.

Also caring for the residents is a man named George Harrison and his karaoke singing crew. His group is made up of retired couples using their free time to lift the spirits of patients during the holiday season.

"They invite us back. We don't have to invite ourselves, which is great I think," Harrison said.

Although they're doing something as simply as singing a few songs, it is making a difference.

"It's such a blessing, such a blessing to us. We have a happy time here. We're blessed to be here in this place," Sommerset resident Faye Brock said.

"I think this is wonderful for their spirit. It's wonderful to uplift them, families coming in, just a great reunion to let them know that they're still loved and not forgotten. It's just wonderful," Oliver said.

Wonderful, not only for those with Alzheimer's, but also for their families and the carolers themselves.

"If we can bless somebody with our singing, and in turn, if we know they enjoy it, It blesses us," Harrison said.