Newton Mearns care home launches dementia-friendly music session

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Newton House care home, on North Greenlaw Way has launched a new weekly Musical Minds session.

The class has been devised by Alzheimer’s Scotland, as research suggests that music is an excellent tool for reminiscence, helping people access their old memories and create new ones.

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton visited the care home to take part in the musical memory class and chat with residents.

Masterton joined residents and visitors at the class, where people are encouraged to sing, dance and play instruments while professional singers perform a diverse selection of classic songs.

Paul Masterton said that he found the session inspiring and moving, and was impressed by the quality of care provided by the Newton House team.

He said: “It was wonderful to be back again at Newton House Care home to meet some of the new residents and catch up with Helen and the team to discuss all the community outreach work they are doing.

“Working together with other groups and clubs in the area is a great idea, and the cafe space is an ideal location that allows those living at Newton House to join in whenever they feel like it.

“Alzheimer’s Scotland do fantastic work across the country and it was great to be able to get involved with Musical Minds, although I’m not too sure about my singing voice! I encourage the community to pop down on Tuesdays and get involved!”

Newton House is now running the Musical Minds session every third Tuesday of the month at 10.30am and is open to everybody.

Care Home Manager Helen Hendrie said that even those who don’t live with dementia could feel the benefit of musical therapy.

Helen said: “It’s a joyful experience and anybody can get involved. We know that the impact it has on residents who live with dementia is overwhelmingly positive, and they get a lot out of the sessions. But equally, it’s a great place to come and enjoy a sing-a-long, no matter what your circumstances are.

“It’s important to us that people in the local community, particularly those who feel isolated or lonely, know that we are running Musical Minds so they can join in too. Everyone leaves with a smile on their face.”

Newton House resident Jean Taylor said that she thoroughly enjoyed the class.

She said: “The band, Neilston Strings, were outstanding how I got to meet people from the community as well as getting to listen to the music. I enjoyed joining in with the signing (even playing the maracas) and a lovely cup of tea too!”

Nicola Kennedy, Dementia Advisor from Alzheimer Scotland, added: “Music is a great reminiscence tool that helps to stimulate the memory to bring back memories and also create new memories, which can have huge benefits to those who attend.

“Our Musical Minds group is a really positive example of our high-quality specialised dementia-specific supports and activities created to help make sure nobody faces dementia alone in East Renfrewshire.”

Newton House is part of Hamberley Care Homes, a group of luxury homes opening across the UK.

With an emphasis on a holistic, personalised service, Hamberley Care Homes are defined by their warm, welcoming ambience, and innovative approach to care.

For more information on Newton House, please email enquiries@hamberleycarehomes.co.uk or call 01582 320750

If you have any questions about dementia, or the support available in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or visit our website at www.alzscot.org.