Cheltenham nursing home festival returns with a Rock ‘n’ Roll theme

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18th September 2021

WentFest, the music festival for people living with dementia, returned to Wentworth Court Nursing Home on Village Road this week (16 September).

The festival, cancelled last year due to Covid-19, was held once more in the home’s colourful gardens, this time with a Rock ‘n’ Roll theme.

The 60 residents, who live with moderate to advanced dementia, enjoyed an afternoon BBQ and a DJ spinning favourite tracks from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Special guest at the event was General Home Manager, Gez Ossai, appearing as ‘Vegas Elvis’ in a golden trouser suit and sporting the legend’s trademark quiff, while other team members wore flared skirts with petticoats and chiffon scarves as a nod to the 1950s.

Wellbeing Manager, Suzanne Meadows said, “With most of our residents in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, our Rock ‘n’ Roll festival transported them back to their heyday. We see every day how much joy music can bring to people living with dementia, with songs and familiar tunes unlocking happy memories. It’s wonderful to see people on their feet dancing and remembering the words to songs they might not have heard for years.

“We’ve also invested time in creating costumes and finding props to add to the experience and ensure that everyone had a fun and meaningful afternoon.”

WentFest was launched in 2019, with a Summer of Love theme in partnership with Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, culminating in a showcase event at the festival.

The venture with the theatre saw residents affected by dementia connecting with children from Hester’s Way Primary School through a series of creative workshops, including art, dance and singing. Each week, Everyman practitioners delivered an arts activity for a group of 20 residents and 26 children from the school.

The home is working in partnership with the theatre again from next month, to host a community dementia choir, with other care homes and people living with dementia joining in online.

For more information about Wentworth Court, call 01242 263334

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