Vicky McClure’s ‘Our Dementia Choir’ has touched the hearts of many people, including many here in Nottingham.
To celebrate a member of our Open Voices group featuring in the documentary, Bernard, for this week’s #MfEMondays we thought it would be lovely to share some quotes from some of our volunteers and some inspiring case studies – but first, a behind-the-scenes clip of the Dementia Choir rehearsing!
Member Case Study – Zoe
Zoe has started attending every week with her carer. Initially, Zoe needed two carers to accompany her when she was visiting anywhere because her behavior is unpredictable. Previously, Zoe has found it very difficult to be with others as she hits and kicks out. This unpredictable behavior causes her to be socially isolated.
Zoe’s carer has recently noticed a huge improvement in her behavior. She now only needs one person to accompany her. She is able to sit at a table during our drinks break and she interacts with others in a positive way. Zoe has formed strong bonds with two of our volunteers, Tom and Val. She remembers their names from week to week and actively seeks them out to join in conversations with them. Zoe’s carer said this was a huge step forward. Zoe enjoys the music and sits in the room with everyone else. Zoe’s carer said: “For Zoe to come in each week, and sit at the table, is a fantastic achievement”. Zoe’s carer is continuing to see huge improvements in her social skills as well as her behavior and this is enabling Zoe to become less isolated socially.
Member Case Study – Ruth
Ruth told one of our music leaders herself that she would not have had the same confidence or social skills before coming to Open Voices. Ruth’s carer told us that Ruth particularly enjoys the social aspects of Open Voices. She looks forward to seeing her friends each week and she is one of the first to get up and welcome newcomers. Ruth feels confident to do this. She also feels confident to come to the front to perform to the rest of the group. She particularly enjoys songs from Jungle Book and will act out the role of the snake and the monkey. Ruth’s carer went on to explain that although it takes a little time for a group dynamic to build up, Ruth now knows everyone, and this gives her the confidence to perform. She feels she is performing to friends. Both Ruth and her carer said they would be devastated if the sessions did not continue as they form an important part of Ruth’s social life. Without them, she would be much more socially isolated. She loves coming and interacting with her friends.
You can catch up on ‘Our Dementia Choir’ on the BBC iPlayer website or app (Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure, BBC One 02/05/2019 – you can spot Bernard at 00:51:05 when Vicky calls him on stage!)
Here at Music for Everyone we feel passionately about including a dementia choir element into our adult programme of music-making, so watch this space.
Have a good week!
Your friends at MfE.
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