THE second a 74-year-old Orford dad with Alzheimer’s hears music, he ‘springs back to life’.

Eddie O’Brien, described as a ‘happy soul’, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia around three years ago.

His family first became concerned when Eddie was robbed on a night out in town – unknown to them, Eddie had kept his pin numbers written down in his wallet to remind him and the two men stole £500 out of his accounts.

Another time, Eddie didn’t return home on the last bus.

Warrington Guardian: Eddie is devoted to the family dog BetsyEddie is devoted to the family dog Betsy

As his daughter, Rebecca O’Brien, got into her car to go and look for him, a taxi driver had brought her dad home as he had got on the wrong bus.

So Eddie’s family decided to take him to the GP for a memory test. He was then referred to Hollins Park where it was confirmed he had Alzheimer’s.

After this, Rebecca, who is a senior reablement support worker, contacted Warrington Borough Council who issued her dad with a ‘buddi tracker’ – meaning he can still keep his independence but his family can monitor him if they have any concerns.

Warrington Guardian: Eddie with his daughter RebeccaEddie with his daughter Rebecca

Eddie, who is a retired painter and decorator, has been prescribed medication which keeps the dementia stable and slows down the progress of the disease.

Rebecca, 30, said: “Dad presents very well with his dementia some days but other days he really struggles to find the words for what he wants to say and may tend to forget where things are kept around the house.

“With family support he is currently managing just fine.”

Since being diagnosed with dementia, music has helped Eddie.

Although some days the disease affects his ability to verbally communicate, as soon as Eddie hears music his feet start tapping and he is up dancing.

“The amazing thing to see when a song comes on is he can sing it word for word with no struggle – even on his bad days,” added Rebecca.

“It is so nice to see how happy he is when he is dancing.

“Dementia is a horrible disease, I see it daily within my job role and at times it can be really heart-breaking.

“Watching my dad live his best life and always happy puts my mind at ease.”

Eddie has always loved music. And as a child, Rebecca remembers him listening to country and western music – especially Elvis Presley.

Rebecca recently took her dad to The Salvation Army ‘Music and Memory’ event and he ‘had a ball’.

Warrington Guardian: Eddie and his familyEddie and his family

Eddie was the only one up dancing but he ‘didn’t have a care in the word’.

Not long ago, Eddie and his family went to Warrington Market where there was a music stall.

Eddie knew the song that was playing so started singing and dancing and swinging round a bag of pillows that he just bought making everyone laugh.

He also enjoys going Bridges on a Monday where they have a music afternoon from 2pm-7pm.

Rebecca said: “When I pick him up he tells me over and over how much of a good day he has had and that he got up dancing.

“I will continue to cherish every moment with dad and embrace his random dancing no matter where we are.”
Rebecca and Eddie will be going to see the new Elvis film soon – where they may have to sit at the back as no doubt Eddie will be up dancing!

Warrington Guardian: