Music can be the food of love

in an elderly care setting

It is not easy to quantify the value of music in an elderly care setting. What we do know is, here at Jewish Choice, music plays a big role in engaging, enlightening and entertaining our residents.

But it doesn’t stop there. As an integral part of our activities, music, has huge emotional impact.

Every Monday we have a mini concert with a visiting pianist playing our baby grand, generously donated by a resident.

On Wednesday we have our Harrow Music Group singalongs. On Fridays we have visiting entertainers.

And, regularly we have primary schools coming into our home to sing to residents.

And that’s just the planned activities!

Impromptu or planned, the sense of joy from our residents is palpable. The energy in the home increases considerably, with warmth and love abound.

Equally significant engagement with music is our ‘Music for Life’ programme in association with The Wigmore Hall. Our participation generously donated by the KC Shasha Charitable Foundation.

 

We have recently completed our latest musical journey with ‘Music for Life’. Where, over 8 weeks, professional musicians took residents through varying improvised musical moods to connect with their mindsets at that time, to identify and follow patterns in their emotions and behaviour and how they interact with each other, our care staff and the musicians.

Week after week, we built on these, with a variety of instruments in a central area, which residents were encouraged to pick-up at will and join-in with the professional musicians. This is not a singalong, but the means to enable our residents to have a musical conversation through improvised tunes initiated by their movement, mood or comments made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this way, there was continual dialogue initiated by a resident and therefore a two-way (musical) conversation was had, rather than the staccato, more intermittent conversation residents with dementia are likely to have.

The report we’ve had back has been enlightening for those of us who observed or participated. The music and the musicians were truly able to connect with residents, disrupting patterns of either introspective or negative behaviour, with humour, warmth and energy, introducing more positive sentiments and even bringing out the extrovert in some.

With many of our residents having varying levels of dementia, the programme undoubtedly brought to the fore locked-in memories, enabling them to share past joys and vocalise these, which they have taken into the plethora of other activities we have at Jewish Choice.

To find out more about Jewish Choice and how your relative might benefit from our unique brand of residential care or to donate towards funding further music programmes in our inspiring and interactive residential home, contact us today.

Call: 020 8908 4151              Email: info@jewishchoice.org                     www.jewishchoice.org