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Care Home Idol

Do you know someone harbouring a secret singing talent? If so, you can enter’s unique talent competition, care home idol, by recording a performance and posting it online. Members of the public then get to vote to pick their favourite for the favourite performer! Performers can either be residents of a home or a carer associated with one.

in 2013 Gladys Stephens was named as the winner at the tender age of 96, along with Bev Temple, a Link care worker. Tens of thousands of votes were cast and Gladys’ winning entry was seen by more than 25,000 people. Other entries in 2013 included a Harlem Shake by residents from Waterfield House, Anchor Community Band and a group named the Oldest Choir in the World. The competition is open to professional entertainers, care home staff and residents and their families.

Dementia care

Showcasing active communities director Davina Ludlow said the annual competition is the perfect showcase for the talented and active communities thriving inside British care homes. The Care Home Idol contest aims to remove barriers between care homes and the wider communities, allow families and friends to work together and stay in touch and to show off the positive relationships that build up between care home residents and staff.

Entries are already flooding in for this year’s competition and the talent is as varied as the entrants. There are musical entries, comedy performance and the sharing of memories. One thing that all of the entrants have in common is that they are all having fun. The competition also provides an arena for care homes to show off the wide range of meaningful activities that they arrange and host. These activities are not essential in terms of an official care requirement and are not Care Quality Commission-assessed. They are, however, widely viewed as an important element in maintaining the quality life of older people and can be useful in everything from improving memory function to building self-confidence. Musical activities, for example, can also relieve depression and anxiety and offer a much-needed arena for self-expression.

The National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA) is running a campaign aimed at highlighting the important of activities for older people in care homes and in the wider community. Sylvie Silver, a NAPA spokesman, said that contests such as Care Home Idol encourage care establishments to hold events which go on to benefit a wide range of people, even those who only view the end results.

Activities as important as food

Sally Murphy is a spokesman for Kiddleydivey, a music therapy company that has already uploaded a Care Home Idol entry. She said that music allows people to reconnect with the past and helps with memory function. It allows older people and those with dementia to connect with relatives and share experiences. She said that activities are as vital for older people as drink and food, adding that she wanted to reach a stage where every British care home offered high-quality therapeutic activities. These can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve balance, strengthen muscles, promote communication and stimulate the mind.

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