Sisters use music to help Alzheimer's patients

Posted at 8:16 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 20:16:52-05

Robin Grandin has music in her heart. She loves music so much she plays at the Park Creek Senior Living Community in Amherst.

“The minute you start playing music. It's a universal, magical language,” said Grandin.

The former Nashville performer, knows her crowd well at Park Creek. But, they don't know her, too well. They're in the memory care unit; dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Every Thursday Grandin comes to play her guitar. As soon as she starts strumming, everyone starts singing and dancing.

“We believe that music is probably one of the last languages of the heart,” said Geri Robinson, the administrator of Park Creek. She loves Thursdays. 

“People who have trouble functioning in other areas of their life, suddenly they remember their words. They remember how to dance. I mean, you just see the light in their eyes come shining through,” said Robinson.

When Grandin saw just how much music could do, she wanted to do more. So, she teamed up with her sister, Paula. She's a producer with WKBW. There's a reason why they want to do more for people with Alzheimer’s.

“Our mother has Alzheimer’s,” said Grandin.

They miss talking to their mom. They cherish every moment when she remembers.

“It's a breath,” said Paula D’Amico. “You go, ‘there's mom. There she is again.’ You miss her.”

Together, they call themselves Sisters on a Mission. Their mission: show just how powerful music can be for people battling this disease.

One way they're spreading their message is with a song. The song written by Robin is called “Memories of the Heart.” The lyrics are about the struggles of taking care of a parent with Alzheimer’s.

The sisters are taking their act on the road. Robin will be playing at different senior living homes.
Paula will be spreading the word about music and life dealing with Alzheimer’s.

“To let people know that they are not alone and that they have an enormous support group as long as they reach out,” said D’Amico.
Music can touch the soul, even when you can't remember the words.

“It shows you how powerful music can be,” said Grandin.

Sisters on a Mission will have host a CD release party at Hard Rock Café in Niagara Falls on April 11th at 7pm.