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The Lived Experience: John and his music

John provides an insight into his life living with a diagnosis of semantic dementia and his relationship with music.
(SINGING) Look all around, there’s nothing but blue skies.
I’m good at music [with] dementia. But I’ve got this funny diagnosis of semantic dementia which is a very strong, very strong diagnosis. I look fairly fit. Physically I’m good. Mentally, what can I tell you about it? After a while, because I couldn’t join in group things, I couldn’t qualify any more as an osteopath. I was only an osteopath for 25 years. And you had to qualify every year. And I couldn’t do it because of this. (SINGING) Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s going to bright, bright, sunshiny day. Very, very quickly after that, I got really depressed. It came very, very quickly. It’s very strange. And now, say, but again, I will still have quite a bit of– I would have still have cheerfulness on a frequent basis. Whereas now I haven’t got any cheerfulness at all. You can’t tell from the way I talk and smile. See, all my life I talked and laughed and I cracked jokes to peoples. I always laughed and talked in a funny way to people, all my life. So I still do that, talking to people. (SINGING) It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day. It’s gonna be bright, bright, sunshiny day.
I don’t think about anything at all when I’m singing. I just get on with the singing. I’m not thinking about anything apart from the words and the song. I’m not thinking that I’m depressed or happy or alive. I just get on with the singing. When I’m not singing, you know what I’m thinking about. I’m miserable. Unless I’m talking to friends, then otherwise. I’m not going to tell you what I think about a lot. I shouldn’t tell you that.
(SINGING) Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream.

John provides an insight into his life living with a diagnosis of semantic dementia and his relationship with music.

If you’re affected by dementia yourself or care for someone living with dementia, what experiences have you had with music?

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Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives

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