The Alzheimer's Choir

A film about love, music and dementia broadcast on BBC2 9.50pm Thursday 10 December 2009.

This moving documentary is an honest portrayal of the strain dementia can put on a relationship, but also the enduring nature of love and the powerful role music can play in that. The programme features the local Bristol Alzheimers Society who run Singing for the Brain groups in Bristol, and charts the personal journeys of couples in Bristol who attend it.

From the BBC site

Ted’s wife Hilda doesn’t know who he is any more – she no longer has the ability to recognise even those closest to her. Ted, a devoted husband of 50 years, calls her his ‘lovely little stranger’. There’s one thing she has not forgotten – the tune to Que Sera, Sera.

Ted and Hilda are members of Singing for the Brain, a group of singers in Bristol made up of Alzheimer’s sufferers and their spouses. As the group bursts into song, an extraordinary thing happens. People who may not even recognise their own partner find the words of a song learnt half a century earlier, and suddenly – just for length of time it takes to sing a few verses – it is impossible to tell who is the Alzheimer’s patient and who is the carer.