When I Hear the Chickadees…I Have Memories of Mother

Does some sight or sound trigger memories of your family member?  When I see or hear the black-capped chickadees, I think of my mom, who had Alzheimer’s.  She enjoyed watching the birds and taught us about those around our farm when my siblings and I were children.

However, I especially remember the winter she lived with my husband and me, when she could no longer stay alone after my dad died.  Jim built a bird feeder which he attached to the railing of our deck.  Mother would sit in our living/dining room and watch the birds congregating around it.

She began to sing a song about the chickadees and mentioned that her grandmother sang it in those days long ago when Mother was a child.   So the chickadees bring back memories of that winter with Mother and the pleasure these little feathered friends brought her.

More on Bird Watching & Alzheimer’s

In response to a question from a reader, regarding bird watching and Alzheimer’s, I began looking into the topic a bit more.

According to this article, Pet Therapy for Alzheimer’s Patients,  bird watching and looking at aquariums appear to have positive results.  Also, Purdue University apparently has done some research into this.

This article on Therapeutic Activities mentions bird watching along with gardening or being involved in gardens as being soothing and calming.

When my mom was in the nursing home, they had a bird feeder outside the activity room window for a time.  At another nursing home, where I was giving a talk, they had bird cages, where the residents could watch, as well as listen to the birds.