Music can be pretty powerful. How many of us have used an upbeat playlist to kick up a workout or to boost our mood after a tough day?
John "Sean" O'Malley is a 78-year-old man with dementia, who is often angry and agitated. Rapid mood swings are common in dementia patients, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
But when he listens to Elvis, O'Malley lights up. He's happier and more energetic. And he dances around the halls of the hospital he lives in.
"When Sean first came in to see us, he was very agitated. He would try to leave the hospital every day because he had an idea in his mind that his daughter was in trouble. And so we would have to call her numerous times, daily," clinical nurse consultant Katie Conciatore told The Huffington Post Australia.
His mood has done a 180, his daughter said in the video, and the family isn't as worried about how he's doing at the hospital since Elvis entered his life.
O'Malley is part of Blacktown Hospital's Music & Memory program, which aims to comfort patients with dementia. As part of the program, staff created individual playlists for patients like O'Malley. They're hopeful that music therapy, which started in the U.S., will help people with dementia recall memories.
“It’s been such a success in the US – we’ve seen videos of patients with dementia who were totally withdrawn, become energised, getting up and dancing and singing, the results are fantastic,” Conciatore said in a statement.
So far, it seems to be working. And we're just happy to see such a beautiful smile (not to mention, a perfect Elvis pelvis.)