Rights Made Real is a project that focuses on improving quality of life in care homes and supporting staff to embed human rights into their everyday practice.
“You see people, who might at other times be agitated or concerned, becoming joyful. If a staff member can sit next to somebody and have a great sing song with them, it levels the playing field a bit and we begin to see each other just as people again.”
Music in Hospitals & Care recently got involved with the project to share live music with Bankhall Court specialist dementia care home in Glasgow for the first time. Jane Bentley is an experienced practitioner in music for wellbeing and one of our newer musicians.
“Particularly with live music, it’s that sense of togetherness, of participation, of that person being seen, recognised and responded to, and a sense of doing something together that comes out of that,” says Jane.
“It’s just about understanding the residents better, so in this project the staff are looking at what music really interests them,” says Kristine Douglas, manager at Bankhall Court.
“We have 50 year olds and we also have 90 year olds here, so that’s a wide range of genres and they all like something different.”
Jane: “I think what live music does, that recorded music can’t do, is adapt to the person that’s there in the moment. If I’m singing a song that most people know and I see somebody’s lips moving, that they’re just catching the words, I find if I slow down then they’ll probably have all the words and be able to sing along.”
Kristine: “Even if they’re non-verbal, residents will tap their toes, clap along, have a smile on their face. When it comes to people living with dementia, they appreciate the more person-led, personal touch that live music gives.”
Jane: “You see people, who might at other times be agitated or concerned, becoming joyful. If a staff member can sit next to somebody and have a great sing song with them, it levels the playing field a bit and we begin to see each other just as people again.”
Rights Made Real is delivered in partnership between the Life Changes Trust, Scottish Care and the University of the West of Scotland.