Resources to explore
Information and Advice for Older People
Care Home For Entertainment Industry | Denville Hall | Greater London
How live music can save our care homes (telegraph.co.uk)
Exercise can cut Covid death risk by more than a third, study suggests - LBC
Music therapy and dementia (dementiauk.org)
Supporting CQC Assessment
SingAlongWithAlice supports evidence gathering by Care Quality Commission assessments by providing genuine demonstrations of the benefits of engagement and interactive activities.
Alice humorously recounts her experiences in the following excerpt from her published book "Funny and Inspiring Tales", available on Amazon and from Waterstones.
A Good Turn
I had been asked to come in at short notice to one of the care homes where I entertain, as they were having a spot check from the Care Quality Commission.
I went in and said “Hello” to all the residents one by one, and then put my music on, and began handing out fluffy pom poms for them all to wave around in time to the music.
There was a buzz in the air, we all knew there was going to be a special visit to the care home that afternoon.
We were in full swing. Many residents were up dancing and singing, and all was going well.
The smartly dressed CQC guy came into the doorway and stood watching the fun. He started joining in the clapping, and one lady took his hands and started dancing with him. I went over to talk to him. I explained that music was great for people with dementia. The songs reminded them of when they were young. Many of them remembered all the words, and I told him how the dancing was also lifting their spirits. He was really nice, and extremely interested in all I had to say. I was pleased, having just done my bit to help out at my favourite care home.
On my way out, I popped into the manager’s office to tell her how the show had gone. In her office was another man speaking with her. I put my head in the door and said, “Sorry to disturb you, I’m off now, and I think you will find the CQC guy was pleased with what I did”, and I winked knowingly at her. She then, introduced me to the actual Care Quality Commission representative. Hmmm… now this was not the person I had been chatting to at some length, who I later found out to be, in fact, the guy who had come to mend the fridges in the kitchen!
This was not the first time one of the care homes had asked me to come in on a day the CQC were coming in. A different home, a couple of months previously, had got me in for the same reason, to show the entertainment, and how much fun the residents were having engaging with music, singing and dancing etc. They’d called me into the office quickly when I got there and asked me to be extra loud that day.
Anyway, we were all singing ‘loudly’ to The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music and yodelling “Yodelay hee ho!” with Julie Andrews...when suddenly, half the staff and the regional manager come rushing in, and just stopped dead and looked at me, the manager said, “Oh thank god, it was only you singing…we thought the fire alarm had gone off!”.
The local Mayor had been to see one of our many summer concerts at that particular care home, and then, later on, that same year, he came to see one of my ‘Exercise with Alice’ classes, to present me with a couple of awards for my classes, and charity swims. When he walked in, he said, “Oh yes, I remember you well, from the care home summer concert, because of your funny costume!” I hasten to add that I had NOT been wearing a funny costume! I was dressed as me!
(excerpt from “Funny and Uplifting Tales” by Alice Benson, available on Amazon and from Waterstones)