When 31-year-old carer Jamie Lee Morley first heard aged care resident Margaret Mackie sing, he automatically assumed that the beautiful voice he heard was coming from a nearby radio.
While it is certainly not uncommon for aged care staff and residents to develop strong bonds, nobody at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Glasgow, Scotland, could have imagined what would happen next.
The pair were recently thrust into the public spotlight as heartwarming footage of the young carer and the 83-year-old resident performing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ at the nursing home Christmas party became a viral internet sensation.
And if that wasn’t enough, this dynamic duo have now recorded the song professionally and it is soaring up the charts in the UK.
Like many seniors living with dementia, Margaret experiences significant issues with short-term memory loss, but her ability to recall classic songs and the positive effects of this process highlight why musical therapy is an area of growing interest.
According to an interview with Margaret’s daughter, new-found fame has given the 83-year-old a “new lease on life”, noting that living with dementia was beginning to take a toll on her mother’s emotional wellbeing.
Margaret and Jamie’s rendition of ‘My Way’ currently sits at number 31 on the iTunes Top 40 UK Pop Songs live chart, ahead of international megastars like Ed Sheeran, Justin Beiber and The Black Eyed Peas.
But the single actually reached number seven on the charts just last week.
The single is currently available to download on iTunes, with all profits from song sales to be split between the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK.
While Margaret’s vocal abilities may have come as a shock, her carer Jamie is a part-time singer who regularly performs other classic renditions of Elvis songs with Margaret at the nursing home.
Jamie grew up watching his grandfather live with Alzheimer’s disease, and topping the charts is allowing the young man to raise money for charity and bring joy to his favourite resident’s life.
It appears that Jamie has found his calling working with seniors, as the former barista’s musical talents provide a walk down memory lane for those living with dementia.
Picture courtesy of Jamie Lee Morley YouTube Channel.