A maritime care home based in Surrey, has welcomed residents’ friends and families to participate in a Christmas carol concert to help residents with dementia to recover happy memories.
The annual carol concert, held on Friday, December 20, offers relatives and friends the opportunity to join their loved ones for activities at the home and to meet the Royal Alfred team. This year, an abundance of residents’ family members descended upon the care home to get involved in the festivities, joining staff and other residents to celebrate the holidays.
There are 800,000 people living with dementia across the UK. Symptoms of the disease include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Activities such as music therapy and reflexology are offered to residents with dementia and can help offset the feelings of isolation sufferers sometimes experience. Music, especially singing, stimulates long-forgotten memories and can have powerful effects on a person’s state of mind, helping to improve confidence and self-image*.
Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt OBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, who although in his own words is “vocally challenged” led the “staff choir” at the concert , said, “Music therapy is just one of the many tailored activities run at the home for our dementia residents. The response from the carol concert has been overwhelming, not only from patients who have enjoyed the day tremendously, but from their family members, who are able to see their relatives in a safe and happy environment.
“As a society, we invest in training for staff and employ activity coordinators to ensure we deliver the best possible care and quality of life for all residents.”
The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, which has existed for nearly 150 years, opened its dedicated dementia annex two years ago after establishing that 40 per cent of its residents were living with some form of the disease.
Last month, since joining the Dementia Friends Community, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Maritime care home has created its own community within the home for those suffering from the condition.