At Musical Moments we believe it’s really important to get the most out of your session – an hour goes by very quickly (especially when you’re having so much fun!) and usually we’ve found if we’ve done it right, the mood of your care home and residents will have increased dramatically – energies and happiness will have been boosted and it’s hopefully something that’ll have a knock-on effect for the rest of the day. Yes, if you’re working with people living with dementia they may have forgotten that they were singing earlier that day, but they’ve been in a fantastic mood all afternoon and are still humming some of the tunes hours later, which is what really matters.
You may have heard that we’ll be celebrating our eighth birthday in September – something that we’re hugely proud of and can’t believe has come around so quickly. Over the years we’ve developed tried and tested activities and done lots of research with the people that we’ve worked with. I could go on an on about the positive effects of music, but something I find really important, and not always something that you would think would be effective…but actually has a huge impact on the success of your session.
We’ve found a huge increase in engagement and interaction when there are more staff and relatives in the session with us. Yes, it’s sometimes difficult to find people to help out with entertainers when it’s a hectic afternoon and you’re short staffed, but if you’re able at all to perhaps have one or two, it honestly makes a world of difference. Read on to discover why…
1. Residents are more inclined to participate if they see a friendly face – especially if it’s our first session at your care home. Some older people may be confused by a new face, or maybe even scared. Having staff members around to reassure them that they are enjoying a fun activity is really helpful and will put that person at ease. Hopefully they’ll get to know us too!
2. The more, the merrier – the sessions are more successful when we’ve got a good number of people in the group (we usually recommend a group of between 12-15 people – but more or less still works!) and having more people creates a ‘buzz’ which always rubs off on everyone in the room.
3. Tricky situations can be avoided – you know your residents better than we do, so you can always help if we’re perhaps struggling to engage with a member of the group, we’ll always appreciate your expert advice when it comes to knowing the best way to engage with a certain person, as everyone is different.
4. Sessions are family friendly and suitable for all ages! – our sessions aren’t ‘just for older people’ – they’re fun, engaging and we’ll guarantee you’ll be laughing (probably at us) at least once. Our activities are suitable for any age and joining in with your relatives also encourages participation; someone who might not want to join in may be more inclined to do so if they see you are, which can also be another lovely way to bond together if your relative sometimes struggles with communication.
5. You’ll all enjoy yourselves – the main aim of our sessions is to involve everyone in the room, residents, staff, friends and family and we do that through music. If we manage to make everyone smile at least once in the hour, we feel we’ve done our job. Musical therapy is also a great form of escapism, if you’re having a bit of a stressful day in work, come and join us for that hour and just lose yourself in the music and the enjoyment of making music with others, we can definitely guarantee it will take your mind off things, even if it’s just for a little while!
If you don’t yet have Musical Moments in your care home – why not? You can get in touch through our website, and we’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Have a look at what we do and get involved! We’d love to hear from you.