Concerts in care homes

Communities of Interest is a two-year Alive project funded by Bristol Ageing Better.

The project connects care homes to groups in their local community so that older people can take part in fun, meaningful and dynamic activities. Of the four Bristol care homes taking part, a common theme has been that residents are keen to hear more live music in the home. Residents at one of these homes, in particular, asked for live folk music. 

Meant to be 

Through an amazing stroke of synchronicity, at the same time we were approached by charity Live Music Now about hosting live folk concerts in care homes! All four homes welcomed musicians who played a mixture of American and Irish folk songs, both traditional covers and their own. The reaction of the residents was incredible, joyful singing and dancing with many playing drums and maracas to join in.

Residents at Katherine House and Stokeleigh care home have become friends through the project and now take it in turns to visit each other along with the care staff. At the Katherine House concert, four residents from Stokeleigh came along and they all danced arm in arm!

A calming effect 

A lady called Audrey’s mood transformed during one of the concerts. Before the music started she was very distracted and distant, but as the music played she visibly relaxed. By the end of the session she was completely calm and also clapped along to the beat of the music. After the music finished she told us "I really did enjoy that. I'm so glad that happened to me”.  

Another lady clapped and cheered a lot at the end. When asked what she thought of the concert said, “It was lovely, I really liked it”. One member of staff said, “We'd like it every week”. 

There are many more exciting activities coming up for the residents involved in the project, with a trip to Clevedon Pier and a cooking workshop at Windmill Hill City Farm next on the agenda. Watch this space for updates.