Singing workshops in Alzheimer’s day-care centres

To sing and move against forgetfulness

Twice a month, day centers ALA (Luxembourg Alzheimer Association) organizes singing workshops in cooperation with the EME foundation, now fully intergrated into their program. With a new team and a new artistic and therapeutic orientation, the workshops begin their sixth year, to the delight of the patients. Singing and moving give their day-to-day life rather sad, marked by illness and monotony, a very different note.

Claudine Menghi, Edmée Hoffmann and Pascale Holzem, qualified dance instructors, welcome patients with a range of original instruments : bells and colored pipes to beat in time while scarves and tennis balls support the different movements. “It is very important that our patients always have something in their hands to facilitate their movements”, explains Pascale Menghi. “For example, it is easier to keep arms in the air when we hold a scarf and the rib cage opens better.”

The new concept combines songs and movements. Small choreographies for the hands and feet are studied in a sitting position. Participants begin to move to the rythm of popular songs. They welcome the sun with Wenn bei Capri die rote Sonne im Meer versinkt, boisterously sing Bella Bella Bella Marie, and try tap-dance in a sitting position when they recognize La Montanara. Forward and backward, always in time with the music, the choreography works wonderfully. “It is like an hour of gymnastics to music” explains Claudine Menghi. “All movements and choreographies are targeted to a group of very specific muscles and developed with a physiotherapist. Thanks to the music, participants do not even notice they are doing gymnastics.” The focus of the workshop is clear : that patients are having fun. Laughs come from everywhere, the staff sting and move with them.

With the generous support of CA Indosuez Wealth.