A New Christian Resource for Aging People
MemoryLink is a small, hand-held, battery-operated player programmed with hymns, choruses, Bible texts and prayers from the childhood memories of Australian seniors.
Easy to use, MemoryLink® features 30 hymns, 30 children’s songs and over 40 Bible passages and prayers taken from a nation-wide survey in which Australian seniors listed the Christian songs, readings and prayers they could still remember from their childhood days. MemoryLink includes hymns like “What a friend we have in Jesus” and “All things bright and beautiful”; choruses like “Yes Jesus loves me” and “Build on the rock”; and Bible passages like “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16), “The Lord is my shepherd” (Ps 23) and “Behold I stand at the door and knock” (Rev 3:20.
MemoryLink is already being used with ageing people (including those with dementia), enabling them to relive these precious memories, bringing hope, joy and peace to their later years. People who have not communicated for a long time still enjoy singing along with the hymns and choruses and mouthing the words of their favourite Scriptures. MemoryLink is already a cherished resource for aged care pastoral workers and people caring for ageing relatives and friends.
MemoryLink plays for over 8 hours and includes 40 meditations, each about 7 minutes in length. The package includes a charger, an instruction leaflet, and a booklet with the words of the songs and the components of the meditations.
MemoryLink is a project of Pennant Hills Uniting Church. The hymns are sung by a community choir assembled for the purpose and the choruses by a local children’s singing group. They are meant to sound like the congregational and Sunday School singing remembered by ageing people.
“Mum’s response to her gift of the MemoryLink was very special. We ‘bookmarked’ Blessed Assurance because we knew it was a favourite and when we switched it on, her eyes lit up, her finger and hand starting tapping on her knee and she started to quietly sing along. At the conclusion she told us how she used to sing that all the time in church. Similar responses followed as we showed her how it all worked, with ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and other favourites.”
“I love my old hymns. I think MemoryLink’s terrific. I’ve been playing it to relax in bed. It will be wonderful for shut-ins and people who are blind or have impaired vision.”
MemoryLink has already proved valuable in palliative care, calming agitation and bringing the peace of God to people in the last days and hours of their life.
“Before the player was turned on, Henry* was extremely restless and agitated, and had not accepted any nourishment for some days. The hymn ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing” began to play and he noticeably calmed down, and while the other hymns were playing, he began to accept the food and drink offered to him.”
“Jennifer* was offering no verbal, visible or facial responses. But when the hymns were turned on, she closed her eyes and relaxed her brow. During the second verse, a tear grew and pooled about her eye, even though her eyes were extremely dry. While the music played her eyes were moist. Later she again became agitated, but when the music was turned on, she settled down again.” She died soon after with the hymns still playing.