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Care home collaboration creates new connections through music

Anderson's care home in Elgin

A care home in the North East of Scotland has partnered with The Glasgow School of Art (the GSA) as part of a wider initiative to ‘make rights real’ in care homes.

Anderson’s in Elgin is one of seven care homes which were awarded funding through the Life Changes Trust ‘Rights Made Real’ programme.

In collaboration with researchers based at the GSA’s Innovation School in Altyre the project at Anderson’s aims to support more community connections by exploring the role of music in care homes.

Using expertise in design innovation, the researchers have been collecting stories of care home life and have co-designed a programme of music activity in partnership with residents, staff, and volunteers.

The programme, which runs from August 19-21, will see participation from children, local musicians and an international performer all the way from America.

Dr Tara French, GSA programme director and project lead, said: “The design approach of the project has placed the rights of residents at the heart of the process and meant that we can understand the role that music plays in their everyday life.

“It has also helped us to understand the ways that they would like to see more connections being made with the community.

“Music is such a powerful tool that can enable us to connect with others and experience many benefits for our health and wellbeing."

Kathy McGrath-Gunn, Anderson's manager, said: “We have an exciting week ahead with our action packed musical events at Anderson’s.

"We hope as many people as possible will come along and join us in our events to make this a fun and successful opportunity for everyone in the community to support us to grow even stronger connections.

“It’s been a great venture for Anderson’s to be involved and work along with the GSA in the ‘making rights real’ project.

"Their expertise in design innovation has brought a new perspective exploring how music and song within a care home setting can create further openings for care homes to become community musical centres”.

Dr French said: “A wider ambition of the project is to support a shift in public perceptions around care homes. We also hope that the project will help to communicate the inner life of care homes and move beyond existing perceptions that people might have about care home life.”

 

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