One of the best shows on television lately in my opinion is Jools Holland. He’s the British chap who hosts a weekly show featuring a list of stellar musicians from the past and the present. This wonderful host has been doing it for the past 20 years and he could be considered the current Ed Sullivan, the TV legend who showcased the likes of Elvis and The Beatles.
Watching the show makes me feel like I am at a music festival --there is such a wide variety of musicians, from African drummers, hip hop, souls and blues, to more mainstream musicians like Elton John, Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello.
When Jools introduces the acts, he is usually smiling, quite charming, and cheerful. It often seems like he is talking to the viewer directly.
My mom likes Jools and when he turns on the charm, she smiles back and says “Hello, “ too. She claps for the musicians, too, and for Tony Bennett when he sang one evening. But mostly, she likes Jools.
She tells me that if I had any sense and acted nice, Jools, too, could be smiling at me, too.
My Mom has memory problems --the doctors think it is dementia, but I don’t like to uses these words. I want to think of my mom with issues that can be fixed.
It wasn’t too long ago when my Mom would lay in bed for hours and be grumpy and quite irritable. After doing some research, our family put her on coconut oil and have lately been giving her lots of vitamins and other supplements, like fish oil, which has made my mom more sociable.
TV does not interest her much. She walks away when there is news and lot of movies don’t have enough interest for her. Modern movies have too much violence, she says. And she didn’t quite understand the movie about a man in love with his computer’s operating system.
But she seems to perk up when Jools comes on. He smiles and talks in his affable, British accent which keeps my mom riveted in her chair. The musicians come on and sing and play various instruments.
Jools seems to look in my Mom’s direction and it does look to me like he is talking and smiling to her.
I like to think that Jools is a secret weapon for people living with dementia. Music, but more importantly, smiles and kindness go a long, long way.