Radio Horton launches Care Home Radio Service

North Oxfordshire’s Hospital, Health and Well Being broadcasting service has launched a brand-new broadcasting service, expanding its listenership into Glebefields Care Home in Drayton.

Radio Horton has been trialing its exclusive weekly radio programme to Glebefields since July and after a successful official launch last week as the Glebefields team celebrated receiving its rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Radio Horton gifted the internet radio to Glebefields Care Home which has been situated in the community room. The residents have been enjoying a weekly request programme.

Radio Horton Chairman, Anthony Brown said: “We have been working on launching our Care Home service over the last few years with a view to providing a radio service to those receiving long term care, whilst consulting on the necessary equipment and with local care homes in terms of establishing a suitable programme and schedule that fits around the care home’s own activities.”

“We are aware of the importance of music in assisting with social interaction, reducing isolation and bringing back memories. Similar initiatives are taking place in other parts of the country with Life Care Radio in Paignton, Devon broadcasting solely to care homes and closer to home, our sister station Radio Cherwell at the Oxford Hospitals have been providing a care home service for some years”, Brown continues.

According to research undertaken by national charity, Age UK, music can be extremely beneficial for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by connecting and stimulating memories from somebody’s life which can often result in a personal response. Playing music from a significant period or event in a person’s life such as a song from their wedding, birthday or anniversary can help recall special memories and emotions.

The charitable objective of Radio Horton is to relieve sickness, infirmity and disabilities attendant on old age amongst persons living in Banbury and the surrounding area, by providing a local broadcasting service for hospitals, hospices, residential homes and similar institutions and wherever possible, providing a similar service within the local community to assist patients receiving “Care in the Community”.

Radio Horton’s Care Home service at Glebefields has so far proven popular with both staff and residents alike.

Fiona Adamson, Business Development Manager of brighterkind, which runs Glebefields as well as 70 care homes across the country said: “At Glebefields Care Home we believe that real care cannot be delivered until we completely understand the person being cared for. We work together to create a lifestyle that suits the individual; that aims to make each person happy and healthy. This means that we work hard to deliver stimulating and interesting activities in our care homes but we also love to engage with community groups external to our homes. Many of our residents will have lived and worked in the local area for many years before coming to live with us so it’s important for them to continue these links.”

“So when we were approached by Radio Horton, to take part in a project which involved residents in care homes, we jumped at the chance. Our residents eagerly await the arrival of the ‘request gatherers’ because this gives them the opportunity to recall some of their favourite songs and tell each other why the song is particularly special to them. They absolutely love the show and all waiting eagerly to hear their requests played. The songs are chosen for their significance to our resident’s lives, evoking memories and encouraging wonderful conversations after the show.”, adds Adamson.

Radio Horton Volunteer, Jon Cox fronts the weekly Care Home Request Programme which is broadcast on a Thursday afternoon. Whilst the programme is for care home residents, it is presented from Radio Horton’s studios in the Horton General Hospital and hospital patients, friends, family and the wider community are welcome to participate.

Jon Cox comments: “When Radio Horton decided to offer a service to Care Homes, I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to volunteer to help the committee deliver this fantastic initiative. Talking with both the staff and some of the residents, I realised this weekly show meant a lot to the residents and that I was very privileged to look inside the lives of the residents and the staff. With the technical help of Radio Horton we are very close to hosting the show live from the home, which is very exciting.”

Jon also gathers the requests from Glebefields and similarly to the existing request programmes on Radio Horton, the diversity of musical choice never ceases to amaze the presenter: “A recent request astounded me the song ‘Daddy wouldn’t buy me a Bow Wow’ was a musical hit and first written in 1892, sadly the recording of the original singer, Victoria Vesta was from 1900 was not available so I managed to find a recording from the 1920’s by Jessie Matthews. The musical diversity of the requests shows so much about the resident’s, their unique characters and experiences and I feel drawn to learn more about them all and if by playing their music I’m bringing back memories and stimulating them, I want to do more for them.”, Cox summarises.

Alvar, a resident of Glebefields Care Home is a regular contributor to the show and has shown that his music taste covers a wide range of genres from classical to country and western to more modern songs. He is now one of the first to be in the lounge waiting for the show to start so he can listen to, and talk about, his favourite music. Alvar said: “The Radio Horton show is my absolute favourite part of the week! I love to send Jon my obscure requests and to hear his reaction live on air. It brings us all together and it is truly wonderful.”

Another resident of Glebefields, who benefits from the weekly Care Home Request programme, Kathy says: “I always listen to our radio show. I love hearing Jon do my shout out and I put in a different song from my favourite singer every week. I think everyone enjoys it and we gather around the radio.”

Fiona Adamson describes how invaluable the service has been to the Glebefields residents so far: “The benefits of this project to our residents is proving to be huge! Conversation, memories, discussion and even good-natured rivalry about whose song is the best is stirred each week. The joy on the faces of the residents when they hear their song played live is priceless. Those who are able get up to dance and those less able are seen jiggling in their chairs.”

Fiona concludes: “We are hugely grateful for the benefits this is bringing to our residents in their home. Music and dance are a wonderful medium for sharing and bringing people together!”

Over the last fifty-five years, Banbury’s hospital radio station has evolved significantly since its inception in 1964 with co-founders, the late Ted Hanson MBE and Graham Wilton broadcasting one programme per week to patients in the Horton General Hospital to streaming online from 2009 and aims to continue its growth by delivering a sustainable service to care, nursing and hospice facilities in the community.

Radio Horton will supply care homes with an internet radio at no cost and will broadcast a weekly service for residents. Any local care homes wishing to adopt the service are invited to register an expression of interest with Radio Horton by emailing: committee@radiohorton.co.uk.

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