Edinburgh care home gives TRSMT and Glastonbury a run for their money by throwing festival for residents

An Edinburgh care home gave TRNSMT a run for its money, by throwing a week-long festival for residents.

The staff at Renaissance Care’s Letham and Milford Care Home’s pulled out all the stops to give residents a summer to remember.

Throughout the week, residents played games, enjoyed festival style food, and got to dance along to silent discos, live performances and an ABBA tribute act.

Residents also enjoyed ice-cream vans, and dressed the part with glitter, bucket hats, and transfer tattoos.

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The care group, which runs 16 homes across Scotland, is known for its fun and inventive campaigns that engage residents, encourage fun and physical activity and improve their health and wellbeing.

Each home was specially decorated with a festival theme, and had its own bespoke musical line up throughout the week.

Norma Liston, a 90-year-old resident at Renaissance Letham Care Home, said: “I’ve been hearing a lot about the summer festivals from Glastonbury to TRNSMT, then of course The Fringe coming up too, so it was great that we could have our own celebration and enjoy a song and a dance together this summer.

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Norma Liston, 90, who enjoyed having a sing and a dance during Music Festival Week at her Edinburgh care home.

“Renaissance Care never does anything by halves, the staff did a fantastic job at making this as much like a real festival as it could be without actually going to one – and thankfully there’s no camping involved!”

Yvonne Mackenzie, Operations Director at Renaissance Care, said: “Music has universal appeal, and we know from experience how much our residents enjoy a bit of a boogie and a song. This concept has been another brilliant way to get everyone involved, up and active in whichever way they feel comfortable.

“We have recently introduced a new danceSing platform across the homes for staff and residents to use to stay fit and healthy, so this has been the perfect complement to its launch which is part of a wider effort to further improve the culture within the business.

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“Bucket hats and glow-sticks were in full swing and it was great to see everyone up and having a good time this July.”

Margaret Young, 89, who dressed up for the occasion.

Music has proven to be an effective tool in boosting mood and memory, especially for those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The number of people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s has increased substantially over the past two decades, so staff launched the initiative to offer a fun way for residents of all abilities to enjoy some time together.

Renaissance Care recently introduced a range of new benefits for both staff, including danceSing. Earlier this year, they also scrapped 12-hour shifts for staff and offered them flexible hours and a four-day working week.

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Managing Director Louise Barnett told the Herald: “The pandemic has changed society as a whole. We went to our staff and asked 'what would make you happy?'

"What came back overwhelmingly was that people wanted more flexibility, whether that was a better work/life balance and just wanting to spend more time with their families.

"We just wanted to devise a plan not just to thank our staff but to keep our staff with us.

"We can't say that we value our residents and relatives if we don't have that same concern and respect for our staff."