Thursday, March 05, 2015

Singing for stroke survivors

Back years ago, I felt it one Sunday morning.

Photo by lungstruck via Flickr
I'm a longtime, hymnal-using United Methodist. So one Sunday morning several months after my stroke, during a worship service, I sang along with everyone else, standing and holding a hymnal.

And suddenly, I felt like my language skills had gained a notch. This wasn't the first time I felt that way, but it was the first time while singing.

Now, here's a more recent story from across the pond on how how stroke survivors can sing:
One Voice was was set up in 2008 by Lorna Bickley and Katy Bennett as a community choir for people who had suffered strokes. Singing helps recovery of movement, memory, breathing, speaking - and confidence.
The phenomenon was first documented in Sweden in the early 18th Century when a young man who couldn't speak due to brain damage amazed the congregation at his local church by loudly singing along to hymns.
The American Stroke Association reported "the acquired language disorder now called aphasia became a subject of clinical study and a target for rehabilitation beginning in the mid-1880s".
"Since that time, every clinician working with aphasia has seen individuals who can produce words only when singing."


Linda said...

I have recently started doing a hymn sing at the nursing home when I work every second Sunday. There is an astounding response from so many individuals. People who I have never heard talk sing along or at least try and mouth the words. There is a wonderful sense of connection for the whole group.

Jeff Porter said...

Linda, that is a great program you've started for connections so many need.