GCT host Silent Disco
Last year we were proud to be the first care setting in Gloucestershire to host a silent disco. When I first saw the concept, I thought it looked fun and as I am always looking for new ideas, a silent disco seemed to fit the bill. I have to say I had my reservations; after all disco lights and a dark room seems to go against all advice for an enabling dementia friendly environment, but Mark Sweeting, founder of Sweet Silent Disco, assured me that it would all work well and that I might find that I am surprised by the results. This was certainly the case!
Initially some of our club members are reluctant to put on the head phones, and it’s fair to say the disco isn’t for everyone, but we always make sure that, every day, there is a variety of different activities set up and ready to use along with quiet areas for those who just want to observe. After all, we don’t all want the same things, and this remains true throughout our whole lives. With the support of the amazing Kimbrose staff most of our club members don the head phones, Mark talks to the club members through the head sets encouraging singing and movement along with a little pop quiz, with plenty of high fives for the right answers. Our club members have lots of fun and this is clear to see.
Pictured above is Adrian and we were most taken by the impact wearing the head phones had on him. Adrian, once a ruby player, who is over six foot tall, is still very active. Dementia has taken much of his verbal communication, and he finds it difficult to concentrate on anything for any length of time. He likes to walk around, which he is able to do in Kimbrose, as it is such a safe and secure environment. Adrian also enjoys wearing a hat and dressing up, so he was more than happy to put on the head phones, but what happen next took us all by surprise. Adrian sat down with a group playing dominos and, without any assistance or support, played a full game of dominos with the group. This is something we know Adrian wouldn’t have been able to do without a lot of support. Being able to hear just the music and not be distracted by other noises seems to help him focus on the game of dominos. This was a wonderful scene to witness.
For Christmas, Adrian’s wife bought him his own set of head phones. He listens to his favourite music but is able to hold more of a conversation with family and loved ones, as well as sing along to his favourite tunes. Isn’t that amazing? the power of music cannot be underestimated.