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Social worker surprises Scottsdale 87-year-old with the gift of music


Dec. 8, 2021
by Brittni Thomason

Inside 87-year-old Shirley Myers' house, many things point to her love of music. She has a wall full of performance pictures, wears a necklace of medals, and lives with a husband who can't help but rave about her voice.

"I was delighted to watch her sing, anytime, anywhere," said Shirley's husband, Ron.

Myers sang with the famous Sweet Adelines Chorus for 20 years, winning numerous awards.

"Oh, it was fun," said Shirley.

Today, she has Alzheimer's disease, but she continues to sing with her Hospice of the Valley social worker, Gerrie Jakobs.

"It's a way that is helpful, especially in patients who have dementia or Alzheimer's disease," said Jakobs. "Music is a great tool to use with them."

This holiday, Shirley got the gift of music, all thanks to her social worker.

Jakobs came up with an idea to surprise Shirley with a visit from the local Sweet Adelines chapter. The ladies came to her Scottsdale home Tuesday for a private holiday concert, and the 87-year-old did not miss a beat, joining in their songs.

"It was really sweet to see her brighten up and to join in the songs," said Jakobs.

"I couldn't be quiet," said Shirley. "I had to sing."

For a woman who spent years bringing the gift of song to others, it was finally her turn to accept that gift of music.

"You can see how much joy it brought her, and The Sweet Adelines that were here were so honored to sing for her," said Jakobs.

"It was wonderful singing with you girls," said Shirley.

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