A GROUP of residents have started spinning the decks and taking over the airwaves of their Glasgow care home.
Arcadia Gardens, Bridgeton, has set up its own radio station, complete with a team of resident DJs and producers.
The station, called Arcadia Sound, launched in style when more than 100 residents and relatives celebrated with an American themed afternoon of activities to mark Independence Day.
The station will now broadcast daily from 2-4pm, playing a wide variety of music, with local news and features.
Resident Alan Moore, came up with the idea and, with activities coordinator Brooke Cameron, organised for the loudspeaker system to be rigged up to accommodate playing records and CDs.
Now, the sounds of stars such as Patsy Cline, Wet Wet Wet and Robbie Williams can be heard in the home's communal lounge areas and corridors.
Arcadia Gardens, a private care home run by HC-One, provides dementia, nursing and end-of-life care and has 55 residents.
Alan is a wheelchair user and suffers with Myotonic Dystrophy, an inherited neuromuscular condition, which affects around one in 8000 adults. It causes muscle weakness, speech difficulties, heart, breathing and eye problems.
The 58-year-old was a physiotherapist and reflexologist before becoming ill 15 years ago.
He has lived at Arcadia Gardens for the past three years, but has not let his disability get him down, playing an active part in the care home community as a member of the residents' committee, helping with planning activities and fundraising.
He has appointed himself as station producer, planning out programming and content. He said: "The music gets everyone up singing and dancing, it's fun.
"It also helps to bring the outside world into the home and will help us to keep in touch with the community."
Another resident, Brenda Forrester, 57, is a DJ for the station. She said: "I like putting on the special requests and I love pop music."
Irene O'Brien, deputy manager of Arcadia Gardens, said: "People think that when someone goes into a care home, they just sit in a chair for the rest of their days, but that is not the case here.
"The station will encourage residents to get involved and socialise, while the listeners have been up dancing and singing along.
"It is a real trip down memory lane because some of the songs help jog the memories of our dementia patients."
There are 670,000 dementia sufferers in the UK today, with a further 400,000 thought to be suffering but undiagnosed.
There is a growing recognition that exposure to the arts and music can help sufferers reconnect with themselves and even slow their rate of decline.
Recent studies in Germany showed that two hours active mental stimulation six days a week slowed the cognitive decline of patients.
The English Touring Opera began a scheme in April called Turtle Song, a songwriting project for those with dementia and their companions.
It worked with professional musicians from the company, based at the Wardens Centre in Suffolk, and were guided through the process of creating and performing an entire song cycle.
The charity Arts4Dementia has also been set up to liaise with arts organisations, education departments, mental health and care teams and other charities to help facilitate the arts for people living with dementia.
Bobby Lyon, 79, and Betty Deacon, 77, who are brother and sister, are residents at Arcadia Gardens and have been enjoying dancing along to the tunes.
Bobby said: "The music brings back memories for me and I have had tears in my eyes."
Betty added: "It's a brilliant idea and cheers everyone up."
The care home team now plan to build up their record collection and involve local people.
Manager Charles Allen said: "This and other activities here promotes interaction.
"Before coming here, some of our residents perhaps stayed in the house and didn't see other people that often.
"Our residents have a voice here."