The Joyful Singers for people living with dementia
It is my pleasure to invite clients of Daughterly Care, particularly those living with a diagnosis of dementia or Parkinson’s condition, their family carer or their Daughterly Care Caregiver or Live in Carer to join our new ‘The Joyful Singers’ held at our new Joyful Living Group Home in Mona Vale. We currently have around 15 in our Joyful Singing Group and we invite another 10 clients and their carers to join us.
Q: Why sing in a group?
A: Did you know researchers tested the happiness hormones of a group of people after they sang in a group versus after having lunch with their friends? The blood results showed that people’s happiness hormones were higher after singing in a group, than after sharing a meal with their friends. The special human connection of singing in a group is especially uplifting and joyful.
Music is well-known for being an enjoyable activity for people living with a dementia or Parkinson’s diagnosis because music is rewarding in its own right, but more importantly, music can access memories by bypassing damaged parts of the brain and tap into memories that are not usually accessible to the person. I heard music described as “the side door to the brain”. Also music can make movement easier. This can make the person feel “more themselves” and happier.
Even when communication is reduced, elders can still connect with and through music. Listening to music and singing together creates opportunities for connection between clients, their family and carers.
Music becomes even more powerful when it is sung or shared in a group. There has been extensive research into the benefits of singing in a group.
Here are some of the songs we sing
A Bicycle Built for Two
All I Have to Do is Dream
Blowin In the Wind
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Bye Bye Blackbird
Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis
Cheek to Cheek
I am Australian – The Seekers
I Still Call Australia Home
I’m a Believer – The Monkees
Island In the Sun
It’s a Long Way to Tipperary
Let it Be
Love Me Tender
Music Music Music
My Favourite things
Oh What a Beautiful Morning
Over the Rainbow
Pack Up Your Troubles
Que Sera Sera – Doris Day
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Tennessee Waltz
The Way You Look Tonight
The White Cliffs of Dover
We’ll Meet Again
What a Wonderful World
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
With a Little Help from my Friends
Wouldn’t It Be Lovely
Zip–A–Dee-Do–Da – Disney
Various Christmas carols
Q: Who is the Joyful Singers for?
A: Any Daughterly Care client who enjoys music and singing, will enjoy singing with us for 1 hour each week. After singing for an hour, stay for a cup of tea, coffee, cake, fruit or and biscuits. Morning tea presents a valuable opportunity to connect with peers and make new friendships.
Q: What day and time is it held?
A: Every Wednesday at 10.30-11.30am. Please arrive from 10.15am.
Q: Where is it held?
A: In the Joyful Living Home, our dementia specific boutique nursing home for just 10 people at Mona Vale. We will have staff waiting at the front of the house so that you can drop your family member at the front of the house and then you can park your car in the closest side street called Minmai Road. If both people have poor mobility then please park in our drive way.
Q: Do I need to attend each week?
A: Yes, it is preferable to attend each week because that will maximise the benefit to your family member / your client. Of course, if you are not well or too tired, we understand and in that case, please call the office on 9970-7333.
Q: Do I need to be able to read music to join?
A: Absolutely not. You just need to have a desire to join others in singing. We have a folder for you with the lyrics.
Q: Do I need to be a good singer?
A: No. You just have to enjoy singing – that is all that is required to come along! The best singing voices are the ‘singing in the shower voices’!!!
Q: What will we sing?
A: We will sing songs that are appropriate for seniors living with a dementia, so we will be singing songs that will be familiar to our group. Songs that our elders would have listened to when they were younger. The music will come from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and a few rock’n’roll songs from the 60’s as well. Leading up to Christmas we sing Christmas carols too.
Joyful Singers had an audience to sing to this week (26/10/2018)
which made us even more joyful.
Q: Can I drop my spouse and go?
A: No, it is best that the family carer or Daughterly Care carer attend and stay to join in the singing group. This will create the very best environment for the Joyful Singers to thrive.
Q: Is there a cost?
A: Yes $10 per week (That covers our client. Their family carer or Daughterly Care carer is free). The cost is a small contribution towards the venue, insurance, the cost of the piano or guitar player, and morning tea after the singing. This is a great opportunity for private care clients and their carer to come together on a weekly basis, to meet and socialise. Who knows what friendships will form! The $10 can be deducted from our client’s Home Care Package or you can sign a Direct Debit form for this activity. Our live in care clients don’t pay any fee.
Q: Is there disabled access and a disabled toilet?
A: Absolutely there is. We have a ramp for easy access and we have disabled toilets.
Want more information about dementia care at home and music?
1. “The Amazing Power of Music” and how Daughterly Care carer use music when caring for our clients.
2. Quick 3-minute video: ‘Singing with dementia’ with music therapist Dr. Jeanette Tamplin.
Co-Founder & CEO