One very special care home has welcomed us into their dementia unit. We only spend 15 minutes or so with the smaller group of residents, and have found so many special ways that we can share this moment, right now.
This professional singer, favourite singer is Frank Sinatra, has shared the stage with many famous acts. Even during retirement, she would be invited to sing. Now every week, we try to bring a song that we can share together. Sitting together, as she watches lips and sings along, is such a special time, as she realises that she still has the skills. Here, Lizzy sings her favourite, Fly Me To The Moon.
This dancing duo love music and love to dance! Director Frances Turnbull has found that eye-contact, clear pronunciation, and a good beat are all it takes to get these two on their feet!
We sometimes arrive to a room full of people sitting in the lounge – other times, they may be sat on their own around the room, away from each other, not interested in talking or participating in crafts. It is so moving to see the lively reaction that the music brings out in people, especially those whom the staff have been concerned about.
Some like to have the song words handy, others find them confusing. Some suddenly start harmonising along – others solo! Some dance with their feet – others dance with their eyes. We are all unique. We are all individuals. And music reminds us of this every week.