“Persons living with dementia are usually capable of more than we can imagine.” -Bob DeMarco
There is this beautiful saying that the mind can forget, but the heart will always remember, and this is true with 92-year old Elaine Lebar and her amazing story.
Do you know anyone who’s battling dementia? How do you deal with this challenge? From doing a simple task of remembering your family members, dementia will change someone’s life.
For the caregivers, slowly seeing your loved one lose their memory is painful. As much as you want to hold on to those memories, they slowly fade away.
Elaine Lebar, 92, has been battling Dementia for over 11 years now, but when she is in front of her favorite musical instrument; her musical talent still shines despite the darkness caused by Dementia.
Randi Lebar, 63, daughter of Elaine, started recording her mother’s piano sessions. It all started around three years ago when Randi decided to move Elaine to Buzzards Bay memory facility. Elaine Lebar loved music since she was a little girl. In fact, she started playing the piano at age three!
Now, that’s what we call talent and passion!
She got her BA from Brooklyn College where Elaine majored in Music. After that, she wanted to do more, so she decided to take her studies to the University of Missouri and got her MA in music education.
She used to love composing and playing her piano.
About ten years ago, Elaine started showing some signs of Dementia, and sadly, it was confirmed. That’s why in late 2017, Elaine was moved to a care home.
Buzzards Bay memory care facility in Sagamore, Massachusetts became Elaine’s new home.
Today, Elaine can’t remember short-term memories. She can’t even remember the names of the staff of the care center, and sometimes, she even forgets that her loving daughter, Randi, visited her.
However, her heart still remembers one thing – her passion for music.
The Love for Music
Randi shared her mother’s story with Metro, where she explained that her mother can still dress and feed herself. However, it’s her short-term memory that is quickly fading away.
According to Elaine’s daughter, just around five minutes after playing the piano, she immediately forgets it! Good thing that the 92-year old lady is still able to recognize her loving daughter, Randi.
‘Although music has always been important in her life, now it’s really the only thing that makes sense,’ said Randi.
She knew how much her mother loved music, and she didn’t want her to forget, That is why she makes sure that her mother would be able to perform on Sundays for the residents who are living in the independent section of the said care facility.
‘I began recording these impromptu concerts, wanting to preserve these memories for the inevitable time when she is no longer around. ‘I shared these videos on my FB page and was always amazed when they had been seen by more than 100 people,’ Randi said to Metro.
When the Heart Remembers
One of Randi’s posts on TikTok (@orifbone) went viral, gaining 1.9M views and more than 20K comments.
The video shows Randi’s mother, the 92-year-old woman who’s suffering from Dementia playing “Moonlight Sonata,” and her performance was breathtaking!
In the video, we hear Elaine say “I don’t know it,” before she proceeds to play Moonlight Sonata perfectly! The first time you hear her performance, you’ll be in awe.
According to Randi, due to the pandemic, she was unable to visit her mother for a couple of months.
Then, when she was able to do so, she decided to upload her mother’s piano sessions. She wanted to share this with everyone, and she wanted to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s dementia.
‘I also wanted to raise awareness of dementia, the effect of music, and the lack of understanding about the magic of the brain,’ Randi shared with Metro.
We agree, her videos showing Elaine playing is more than just mesmerizing, it was magical! You’ll want to learn more about how a person who has Dementia can still play like this. We need to raise awareness about Dementia, and how music can play a part in holding everything together.
Randi’s dedication and love for her mother is truly admirable!
Of course, thanks to her, we can enjoy Elaine’s beautiful piano sessions as well as be able to understand more about Dementia.
We hope that Elaine gets a new piano in her care home and if you want to listen to her piano sessions, please do follow her on TikTok.
Watch her beautiful performance by clicking the video below.
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