Alzheimer’s patients in the Valley remember the times through music

Local News

Remembering the times with music, that's the motto of Memory Lane Radio

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — As we celebrate the holidays, its a good time to think of the people who may not be with their families, both physically or mentally.

Nearly 6 million people across the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

But right here in the Valley, a Warren couple is spreading love to these patients through music. They’re showing you’re never too old or too sick to remember through a song.

“Music can…One song can bring back a thousand memories,” said Donnie Harmonize from Memory Lane Radio.

Remembering the times with music, that’s the motto of Memory Lane Radio.

A husband and wife pair from Warren who travel to nursing homes, performing old songs for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“They might not be able to remember a conversation or recall my name but when that Ella Fitzgerald comes on or that song, they can repeat every lyric,” said Harmonize.

DJ Big John has seen every aspect of a nursing home first-hand, from a worker, to a nursing assistant and even a patient after a back surgery.

He wanted to take his love for music and radio and make it count for the people who need it the most.

“Music is what I love and just to see the faces of these people when I play the music that they love to hear it lights them up,” said DJ Big John.

His wife, Donnie Harmonize, is the other half of this duo.

She uses her beautiful voice to spark memories and joy in the patients.

“When we see them come to life with the music and shut their eyes and you can tell that they’re just reminiscing, thinking back to when things were good for them,” said Harmonize.

Their show features music from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, and present day.

Memory Lane Radio also tries to get the residents moving as much as possible.

“People who haven’t moved. If I play a certain song you can just see them like just rise up,” said DJ Big John.

Its a job they both say makes them emotional. They love being able to share music with people who may not remember anything else.

“It’s not really about my husband and I, but it’s about how they make us feel and they bless our lives,” said Harmonize.

“Music takes you places in your mind so remember the good times and everything will be fine,” the special message DJ Big John always ends the show with.

Memory Lane Radio performs all over Ohio and beyond.

To find out more information, visit the Memory Lane Radio Facebook Page, or call at (234) 228-3891.

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