Vera Lynn and Abba helping to lift spirits in Huntingdon care home

Residents are enjoying Just One Hour music sessions at Huntingdon care home.

The Just One Hour music session is helping to lift spirits at the Ferrars Hall care home in Huntingdon. - Credit: FERRARS HALL

A Huntingdon care home has signed up to the Just One Hour initiative which supports residents living with dementia

Just One Hour is inspired by research which suggests that those living in a care home can benefit from increased social interaction, particularly using music.

“Just One Hour is a revolutionary campaign and we want to start a movement of people making the world a better place for those living with dementia by improving their overall quality of life through music. Taking one small step, one person at a time, for just one hour,” said Rosie Mead, CEO of Musica and Wellbeing, who came up with the idea of the project.

The team at Ferrars Hall, in Ferrars Road, Huntingdon, has committed to providing at least one hour of meaningful music for people living with dementia every week.

Residents already enjoy their daily chair-based exercises to musical accompaniment and are planning to do some reminiscing activities with music too. Feedback from the campaign suggests that people who have signed up have seen a positive impact on communication, wellbeing, social interaction and quality of life.

“So many of our residents love to listen to music, it gives a real boost to people’s mood, you can see feet starting to tap and people singing along as soon as we put music on,” said the home's wellbeing coordinator Gordana Reed

“In addition to the Musica initiative we’ve been using a service from a charity called Purple Angels who supply MP3 players ready loaded with 15 music tracks of the residents’ choice. The MP3 players have been especially useful for residents who are in bed or prefer to spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. People have asked for everything from Vera Lynn and Frank Sinatra to Abba and Kate Bush.”

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The team at Ferrars Hall have got family members involved to find out what resident’s favourite music is and build up a playlist. By getting everyone interested in choosing music and ensuring that they include it in activity sessions, has made sessions much more fun and engaging.

Since including more music in their weekly sessions, the wellbeing team has noticed that resident's mood has improved, and they are more enthusiastic about participating in group activities.