I would also like to use this opportunity to say how much we appreciate Vanessa’s singing session. She is inspirational with a mixed group of older people and particularly well informed about how to get those with memory impairments involved. She is knows all the research and appropriate activities to run. There is so much research saying that appropriate music stimulates, engages and gives pleasure to those with dementia. She is familiar with this research and uses it to inform her sessions. However, her sessions are also geared to those without memory problems. It is evident how successful she is in the positive response she gets from the wide range of residents. She selects a wide range of music and styles which appeal to all residents of all generations/backgrounds and intellectual capacities. It is lovely to have the printed sheets for those who can still read to follow. She has a lovely manner and engages with even the most withdrawn and tricky residents. She has a beautiful voice which they like listening to. She makes an effort to present herself well, dressing nicely which cheers them up and makes them feel valued. All in all, it is our favourite session of the week and the one that gives my father the most pleasure.
(daughter of resident at West Hall care home, West Byfleet)