A stream of music and memories at care home
THE coronavirus lockdown has not stopped a popular music and memories session for people living with dementia from continuing.
Organised by Utass (Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services) and presented by musician Mike Bettison, the sessions used to be held monthly in Middleton-in-Teesdale but were temporarily halted when restrictions came into force.
Now, thanks to modern technology, the 40-minute sing-a-longs can now be broadcast live into care homes with the first taking place at a home in Barnard Castle last week.
Julia Stephenson, of Utass, said: “Their residents thoroughly enjoyed it, as did two other regular attendees to the Music and Memories sessions. Their comments were just to say how nice it was, the singing, the joining in and everything and Mike was brilliant as well. They said thank you for sorting all this out and taking them through all the getting online bit and joining the meeting room.
"They still could not get over how they got there and said it was lovely.”
Along with the live broadcast, six more people were able to dial into the performance and using a song sheet where able to singalong while Mr Bettison played the ukulele. Mrs Stephenson said the event was made possible by Utass volunteers who designed the song sheet and set up the computer software needed to host it.
She added: “Our thanks also go especially to Mike who, as host, let everyone join the meeting and then his wonderful singalong performance followed. Utass staff were on hand to ring around to check if everyone had managed to access the performance, which began with Oh, What a Beautiful Morning and ended with We’ll Meet Again.
“To be able to contact those who are isolating in this way has been unbelievable, with lots of smiles, chatting and hellos going on. “We would like to thank Teesdale Area Action Partnership who funds the monthly Music & Memories sessions at Utass, which normally allow time for participants to have a chat and a cuppa after the performance and also provides transport for the care home residents.”
Another session is being held this week and Utass hopes to be able to run them fortnightly, with enquiries already made to find out whether any other care homes would like to join in. For further enquiries contact Julia@utass.org or phone 01833 641010