Transforming Communities

Working with older people in residential homes: LMN musicians inspire creativity, social interaction and a sense of self-identity

"I have always been aware that music brightens people's lives and can reach them in their darkest hours. At one LMN event an older woman told me that the concert was the most enjoyable time she had experienced in fifteen years at her care home." – LMN musician

Working with older people has been a primary focus of LMN for many years, enabling us to bring joy to older people through our unique music sessions. More than 80% percent of LMN's work in the area of wellbeing is with older people. A current focus is in residential homes for older people, a high proportion of whom are living with dementia.

LMN's high quality interactive music performances have positive effects on emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual wellbeing. Sessions inspire social interaction, creativity, feeling engaged with life and connecting with self and emotions.

Rhythm of Life – Musicians in residence project

In the 'Rhythm of Life' project, three LMN musicians (Lara Dodds-Evans, Rosie Ventris and Mae Heydom) visited a residential home in Essex on nine occasions over the course of twenty weeks. The aim was to provide a regular high quality interactive musical experience responsive to the needs and preferences of individual residents. An independent report found the project demonstrated the importance of acknowledging and valuing residents as individuals, helping them to remember and share important details of lives and interests, re-enforcing self identity. Over the course of the residency, musicians were able to build trust and establish relationships with the residents and their relatives in attendance.

I have never seen all the people in the home looking so animated – sometimes you come in and they are all just sitting, not talking to each other, nothing is happening. The number of residents who joined in increased with each session at the beginning. All who can now come to participate. As a family member I too enjoyed the music and it was great to do something together (Rose, daughter of resident David)

The girls are so good; they understand the needs of people in places like this. (Ethel, resident)

I had never heard the viola before. She plays it so powerfully. I would never have booked to go and see it before, but I would now. (Brian, resident)

After 'hand dancing' to the Stauss waltz with gusto and great rhythm I suggested to Pam that she must have been a dancer when she was younger (Mae Heydorn, LMN soprano)

I used to like dancing, not now of course (laughing), but it does remind me. (Pam, resident)

They talk about the music all the time. They even talked about it to the CQC Inspectors …We're going to perform as the Ayletts Percussion Orchestra' at our summer garden party (Care Home Manager)

A second residency has just begun, with continued support from M&G Investments.

For more information on LMN's work in care homes, please visit our website or click here for a leaflet.