A little girl's kind gesture brought a smile to her dementia-stricken great-grandmother's face. Five-year-old Sophie Flynn from Ireland was taken by her parents to meet her great-grandma Brenda Brock, 82, for the first time recently and took everyone by surprise when, instead of being frightened by her granny's condition, she warmed up to her instantly.
Sophie's parents say Grandma Brenda is in the advanced stages of dementia and she can be startled by unfamiliar people, they told The Mirror.
But those fears were laid to rest when Sophie began singing to her great-grandmother upon meeting her. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine," Sophie sang, stroking Brenda's face and making her smile. Sophie ended the song by giving her great-grandmother a cuddle and several kisses, and both were clearly delighted.
"Sophie brought her back to life," Sophie's mother, Sarah Miller, told The Mirror. "It was amazing, we just couldn't believe it. When they were together it was like they were the only two people in the room."
The entire song was captured on video by Sophie's grandpa, Sandy Miller, who uploaded the video to YouTube where it has since gotten over 4,000 views.
Singing and music have been shown to have therapeutic effects on dementia patients, helping to improve moods, reduce agitation and boost cognitive function. There are even non-profit organizations, such as Music & Memory, set up primarily to bring music and iPods to dementia patients.