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Singing Soothes The Soul

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Elderly and vulnerable residents are enjoying a new lease of life, thanks to a new choir that is hitting all the right notes.

Socialising and singing with the choir has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Tegfan Care Home in Aberdare – and those who visit its neighbouring day centre.

As well as enjoying time together doing something they love, the elderly residents, some of whom have dementia, are also getting the chance to share the stage with some of the country’s most acclaimed classical performers. These include Sian Cameron and Ros Evans.

The choir is being delivered thanks to a partnership between the Council and David Jones Associates, ensuring the innovative use of the performing arts to inspire creativity, enthusiasm and independent living.

Around 40 men and women from the home and the day centre enjoy the choir, meeting regularly to sing their hearts out. This includes residents who are frail and many who are living with dementia.

It has long been established that singing, and the supportive environment of socialising with peers regularly, is beneficial to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents.

The social element is a regular activity for them to look forward to and singing is known to ease tensions and generate relaxation and calm, which is particularly important for people with dementia, who can become confused and agitated.

For many, again, especially those with dementia, the singing of songs that have a nostalgic value or are linked to happy, times – from a school performance or first dance at a wedding – can bring comfort and relaxation.

as being a huge success in Aberdare, choirs and singing are also being used at other homes in the county borough that provide dedicated care for those with dementia, namely Clydach Court in Trealaw and Danymnydd in Porth.

Both homes have secured the highest-possible rating in the unique Butterfly Project, which the Council has adopted in the homes, bringing a lively, colourful and stimulating environment that allows residents to thrive personally.

Elements of the Butterfly Project, such as the use of the creative arts, is now being used in care for the elderly and the vulnerable across the county borough.

What a pleasure to join the choir for the afternoon and, as well as having a great time, the residents are genuinely talented and I know their family love to come along and see the performances.

“The choir is such a success because it has been done so well, in partnership with professionals who can offer the residents access to the best-possible facilities and some exceptional talent to inspire them.

“We are committed to providing the best-possible care for vulnerable residents, this includes facilities, staff and care but also innovative measures that allow them to have fun, flourish and thrive.”

http://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/en/news/imagegalleries/2014/tegfanchoir.aspx

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