Staff and residents at care homes across Watford got into the festive spirit yesterday (Sunday, December 5), as they took part in the ‘Golden Ball Christmas Show’ hosted by Watford FC CSE Trust, Watford Borough Council and Dementia Friendly Watford.
The entertainment was compèred by Vibe 1076 DJ Lee Partridge and included live welcome notes from the Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor, Watford FC’s record-holding goal scorer Luther Blissett and Double Paralympic Champion Emma Wiggs MBE.
Residents were then treated to wonderful musical performances from four different singers, who sang a collection of classic well known festive songs for residents to sing along with.
Over 60 care homes took part in the event, including Greenbanks, Prince Michael of Kent, Tremona, Montrose, St Anthony’s, The Radley, Elton House and Houndswood House.
Music therapy charities Music 24 and Herts Musical Memories also took part in the show and showcased the dramatic positive effect that music can have for those with dementia, or who are isolated and vulnerable.
Research has shown that music therapy can reduce anxiety and depression, help maintain speech and language, enhance quality of life and have a positive impact on carers.
The ‘Golden Ball Christmas Show’ was part of the Watford FC CSE Trust’s ‘Golden Memories’ initiative, a reminiscence programme for people with mild to moderate dementia, which uses memorabilia along with ‘magic moments’ from the club’s history to ‘stimulate the senses, and evoke personal memories’.
Councillor Jennifer Pattinson, Portfolio Holder for Wellbeing said: “Events like these are really important because they ensure people with dementia or those who are isolated have the opportunity to socialise, connect with their community and have fun.
“Making the town better for elderly residents and people living with dementia is important because we want to be a town where everyone can thrive and live fulfilling lives. I’d like to thank everyone who got involved to help make this happen.”
Teela Jayne Hughes, Founder of Music 24 said “I think music brings people together and we remember music at different events, through all our lives. The amazing thing about music and people with dementia is that they can connect to that memory.
“Even though they are struggling a bit, they sing a song and they’re suddenly back there in that moment, when they first heard that song. It’s amazing and I feel like my job is watching miracles every week.”
Margaret Daniels, Engagement Lead at Tremona Care Home said “Residents at Tremona Care Home relished an afternoon of chatting, dancing and singing.
“This event provided an opportunity for them to feel connected with their loved ones and their community as it was broadcasted via Zoom, allowing friends and family to join in on the celebration.
“It was a great way to help residents maintain links with their loved ones and community and combating loneliness through music, football and togetherness.”