Priory Adult Care's (formerly Amore Care) Bohill care home in Coleraine, Northern Ireland is embracing the power of music and creativity to stimulate and engage residents with dementia.
The home has introduced a number of key projects based on the ethos outlined in the company’s innovative Dementia Strategy including:-
- Trialling the use of an iPod to engage residents in music
- Music therapy workshops
- Musical wellbeing
- Arts and crafts sessions
The iPod trial involved downloading and playing different genres of music e.g. religious songs, comedy songs, traditional Irish tunes and popular songs from the 1940s through to the 1970s to different groups of residents.
The trial was very positive and residents, particularly those with dementia became more responsive. One gentleman, who prefers his own company and did not converse with staff or residents began to talk about music and which songs he liked and didn’t like. His family have commented on a significant positive change in his behaviour.
The music therapy workshop, run in conjunction with the Northern Trust, enables a number of residents, who have lost social or vocal skills due to dementia or stroke, to engage in group and individual sessions. Over a period of time staff noticed improvement in their awareness and one resident particularly is now vocalising and responding to everyday life. Arts and crafts also play a large part in both the Dementia and Nursing Units at Bohill. A variety of crafts including knitting, felt making, card making and sewing projects are enjoyed by residents. The finished items decorate residents’ rooms and are given as gifts to friends and family.
Bohill also operates a Dementia Café where residents and their families enjoy socialising.
The Dementia Strategy has a number of core objectives designed to ensure that every resident has a positive living experience.
An integral part of the Strategy is the ‘Creative Minds’ programme, this key initiative is designed to motivate residents and care home teams to encourage creative ideas to improve the quality of life for people with dementia. These holistic approaches could include laughter, colour therapy, music, dance and self-expression.
Iris Millican, activities co-ordinator at Bohill care home, said: “Having a varied range of activities helps to provide stimulation and a feeling of worth for residents with dementia, which in turn helps relieve boredom and reduces agitation.
“The Dementia Strategy is having a positive effect on residents and assisting our staff to introduce exciting and beneficial initiatives into the home.”
For more information on the specialist services Priory Adult Care can offer, please call the enquiries and referrals team on 0808 208 2147 or click here to make an enquiry.