Public Policy Exchange Webinar on Tackling the Crisis in Care Homes: ‘No care without community’ Case study: Benefits of Running a Multicultural Singing Project Among Older Adults in a Naturalistic Residential Environment.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Loneliness is a significant problem in older people’s care homes. Previous studies have suggested that the sector is seriously affected by low funding, low staffing, and low morale. Tackling the Crisis in Care Homes could be challenging. Several studies have suggested that group singing can help to address this. This webinar is a case study presenting the benefits of running a multicultural singing project among older adults in four care homes in Bolton, Northwest England.
A multicultural choir formed of young people and adults from a local church completed a two-year ‘visit and sing’ intervention with older adults. Songs were suggested by the residents, and singing sessions were run in communal areas. The singing group provided an opportunity for genuine connection and enjoyment of each other’s company. Residents were happy to engage and choose songs and shared their personal experiences of the song and the activity. This case study suggested that interpersonal relationships are key because they provide ‘Therapeutic reciprocity’ and a ‘sense of reward’. This case study also suggested that ''No care could be done without community''; thus, voluntary organisations and local people should be encouraged to work together with care settings to support older adults and improve social connections. The feedback on the project suggested that Residents were happy:
• Care home 1: “Our resident really enjoys; the choir makes them interact with singing and clapping; very enjoyable”. “Makes the patients enjoy and get involved”.
• Care home 2: “Happy smiling faces good mood. Very good keep up the good singing”.
• Care home 3: “I really enjoy your visit. Thank you for singing Happy Birthday; it really made my day”.
• Care home 4: “All service users enjoyed this. Greatly improved their moods and got them up dancing. This is a good idea for the elderly”. “Amazing, brightens up the lives of people waiting for treatment”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTackling the Crisis in Care Homes
Subtitle of host publicationRebuilding Social Care Capacity After the Pandemic, Meeting Funding and Staffing Shortfalls and Protecting the Most Vulnerable
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2022


  • group singing, multicultural choir, care homes crises, older adults, loneliness, wellbeing, public policy.

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