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By Debbie le Quesne

Watch the video and laugh out loud and get the message

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A few days ago I was blogging about MPs backing a competition to find the UK’s Care Home Idol.

The talent competition, which is being run by carehome.co.uk, the leading online guide to care homes, is looking for the care home resident with the most talent.

The aim of the competition is to challenge ageist stereotypes and show that many people in care homes live happy and fulfilling lives.

Entries for the online competition already include a group of care home residents doing the infamous Harlem Shake plus the Oldest Choir in the World. To view the ‘Harlem Shake’ video, go to http://www.carehome.co.uk/idol/idol.cfm/id/44 <http://www.carehome.co.uk/idol/idol.cfm/id/44>

MP Tracey Crouch, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, said: “I hope this initiative highlights some of the many examples of good practice across the care home sector and that others follow their lead.”

“Music can be very beneficial to the wellbeing of older people particularly those with dementia. Active engagement and enjoyment is key to helping older people stay happy and healthy.”

The competition has been launched to challenge people’s preconceptions of care homes and show that many people in care homes live happy and fulfilling lives.

Davina Ludlow, director of carehome.co.uk, said: “Care Home Idol is an annual competition that will open a window on the active and talented communities that thrive inside care homes.

“When you look at the performances that have already been uploaded to carehome.co.uk you see people sharing songs, jokes and memories. You see smiles, you see people having fun. It is also another way residents and their families can stay in touch.

“Care Home Idol aims to help break down the barriers that can exist between a care home and the wider communities they serve. It also shows the warm relationships that can exist between the staff and the residents.”

Karen Allen, manager of Waterfield House care home, which has entered the Harlem Shake video said: “The negativity of care homes really gets us down when there is no good publicity to show there are some really caring and loving places out there.

“The residents absolutely loved it [the Harlem Shake] and still talk about it now – the video brings a smile to all who watch it.”

The initiative also has the backing of Des Kelly, executive director of the National Care Forum. He said: “I think Care Home Idol is a great idea. I welcome this initiative as a means of challenging the negative perceptions that seem to dominate the care home sector unfairly.

“The videos are excellent and are the ways in which we need to be getting across the idea to the public that care homes are not always how they are perceived in the national media.”

The competition is open to people who live, work and perform in Britain’s 20,000 care homes, and the winners will be announced in April 2014. There are two categories – residents and entertainers and anyone can vote.

Feeling inspired? Let’s see if we can get a good representation from our West Midlands Care Association members.

Please take a few moments to view the latest promotional video and a cameo of some of the acts. Priceless! http://www.carehome.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1561088/carehome-co-uk-launches-care-home-idol

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