Buckingham Lodge has a varied programme of guests coming into the home to entertain the residents. This ranges from animal experiences, art and craft sessions to theatre productions and singers. When the coronavirus restrictions began, these visits had to stop.
The residents miss this.
In the absence of these activities, two of the night staff team have set up a choir.
Most of the residents are involved as well as some of the staff. Annie, who started the choir, told us that she saw how music benefits the residents as therapy and for memory.
Singing is such an important part of lifting people’s moods, particularly for those living with dementia. We aim to use songs from the resident’s era. Also, songs that have actions and would spark an important memory. It’s a heart-warming feeling when you see a resident’s inner shell open. They dance, clap, become motivated and join in. It is so heart-warming for us as carers.
It’s led to a cheerful and fun time. Personally speaking, it is informal and nice to see residents, that would never consider participating in Activities, taking part. We are grateful that we are making such a difference during these unprecedented times
It’s uplifting and we enjoy using songs with an expression that the residents can join in and feel at ease with. An example, ‘Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfeffer, Katzenellen, Bogen by the Sea’, for those who remember Max Bygraves, is our favourite song to do.
The care home has a team approach to activities and engagement. Annie recognises the positive impact singing has on the residents and the staff.
To help reduce the risk of infection, residents are encouraged to remain on their own floor. However, so they all can get involved, Annie and Kirsten rotate their weekly sing-along by floor. The manager has also purchased tambourines and jingle bells for full immersion.