Residents at Stansty House, the Minster-run care home in Wrexham, Wales, have been ringing the changes with a new form of musical therapy: bell ringing. Residents were invited to take part in a class led by the Pulford Ladies Handbell Ringers as a fun way of keeping active and encouraging a sense of community at the home.
The session involved members of the Pulford Ladies Handbell Ringers giving each participant a hand bell and showing them how to ring the bells in harmony to make well-known tunes.
Melodies that were played included ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘Daisy Daisy’, and the residents were given the words to the songs so that they could sing along. The session had an uplifting effect on the residents, who are clamouring for the chance to do it again.
Veronica Roberts (65), a resident of Stansty House, said: “I absolutely loved learning how to play the the songs. Contributing to making music in a group was a great feeling.”
Musical therapies like this have been shown to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of older people, particularly those with dementia. Research shows that group-based music activities can have a positive effect on mood, memory and cognitive abilities as well as encouraging social interaction.
Andrea Smith, one of the activities coordinators at Stansty House, said: “The bell ringing class was a big hit with the residents. Activities like this help them to keep enjoying the things they like doing, express themselves and keep them mentally and physically active. I’d like to thank the ladies from the bell ringing club for volunteering to come along.”