The daughter of an elderly resident at a Portadown nursing home was in tears as she heard her mum sing for the first time in years - thanks to high-tech radio headsets.
Florence Lutton revealed how she was reduced to tears after she heard her mum Beth Grafton sing ‘How Great Thou Art’.
Activity leader at Sandringham Care Home Sam Bright revealed that 77-year-old Mrs Grafton had been in Tandragee Presbyterian Choir but had not been able to communicate for many years.
He explained that she could talk a little but mostly mumbled, however, when home manager Tracey Palmer hosted a radio show called A Walk Down Memory Lane, miracles happened.
“Mrs Grafton was listening in to the song How Great Thou Art and something happened that hasn’t happened in a very long time – she began to sing,” said Sam.
“For her family this was nothing short of miraculous as Mrs Grafton hasn’t been able to communicate very well for the last number of years.”
Christina Wallace’s 84-year-old mum Grace has also not spoken in many years but the special headsets have brought her a new lease of life.
Christina said: “It has been amazing. My brother and I have been coming this last eight years since mum has been here and for the last four years or so we have had no communication means with her at all until the music therapy was introduced.
“On one particular Friday of the last round of the therapy I was very lucky to be there. The song ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ was being sung to mummy and when we got to nearly the last verse mum started to try to sing along with the music and it was a priceless experience. It was just so unbelievable,” she said.
Sandringham is the first Care Home in NI to launch their very own in-house radio show for residents after they bought six wireless headphones.
It meant residents throughout the dementia and nursing wing had the chance to listen in the bespoke radio broadcast three times a week. Thanks to an anonymous donation, they now have a total of 15 headsets.
And it’s not just singing. Popular resident Ronald Cooke (known as Cookie) has become a social media sensation showing his fantastic dance moves. He regularly gets other residents, staff and visitors up for a boogie.
But what the home really needs is more headsets so more residents can join in.
Sam says any radio volunteers could call the home on 028 3863 3942.