THE power of song is helping to improve the wellbeing of dementia patients at a South Tyneside care home.
Staff at Oakdale Lodge in Stanley Street, South Shields, are working with Creativity Matters, an equal opportunities arts programme, to provide music and dance sessions to all elderly residents.
Up to 20 residents take part in the choir sessions, and have recently sang Christmas classics such as Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful and Red Red Robin,
Care home manager Jackie Murray said: “The programme has massively improved the wellbeing of those living in both our nursing and dementia care.
“It is quite emotional to see the residents happy and singing along together.
“It’s astonishing how they can remember songs from as far back as the 1930s word for word.
“The scheme has made such an impact that it is now embedded in us. Staff come in on their days off to take part in the sing-alongs.”
The scheme will run for a total of 12 weeks, during which staff and volunteers are taught how to run their own sessions independently.
Douglas Hunter, director at Creativity Matters, said: “Music and rhythm is something that stays with you the longest.
“We tap into that and help take residents back to happy times and to relive memories. We also believe that it aids and encourages spontaneity and independence.
“We chose Oakdale because they seemed incredibly enthusiastic to introduce this scheme into their care home, and the staff there have been nothing but supportive and willing to learn so they can carry it on after the programme is complete.”