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 trialling 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.”

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.”