14 March 2022


Balhousie Care Group residents are singing and dancing their way to good health and mental wellbeing – all in the name of research into how to improve healthy ageing.

 The award-winning provider has teamed up with the University of Stirling and online music and movement provider danceSing Care for a study into the impact of music and exercise on care home residents.

The 6-month study, which kicked off this month across 10 Balhousie Care homes, surveys the health, social and mental wellbeing of residents before and after a 12-week programme of online music and movement sessions. Residents and staff will also feedback through in-person and phone interviews and focus groups.

Sheilah Harvey, Head of Operations at Balhousie Care Group, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in this study with danceSing Care and the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport. We all know we feel better after a song, a dance and some physical movement, and the positive effect on our residents is clear to us in their mood, interactions and physicality. This study will give us some tangible us some valuable, tangible results.”

Professor Anna Whittaker, the study lead from the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport said: “Our research group (SPARKLE) investigates the impact of physical activity on healthy ageing. This project is a great opportunity to team up with a digital exercise company and a care home organisation to see how regular engagement with music and movement can influence health and wellbeing. At this initial feasibility stage, it is also important for us to examine the barriers and facilitators to integrating this type of activity into the care of older people living in care homes.”

Natalie Garry from danceSing Care said: “The danceSing Care experience has been developed not just tor people in care themselves, but for the caregivers too. It can create solid change and help create a happy vibrant community with a core of wellbeing and improving fitness.  We know anecdotally that our music and movement classes are great for wellbeing, but we are really excited to team up with academics from the University of Stirling and Balhousie as care home provider to scientifically test this.  Even with the restrictions of Covid, we’ve been able to launch this project and are looking forward to seeing what the results say.”

Hannah Clark, an Activities Coordinator at Balhousie Clement Park care home in Dundee, said: “It’s exciting to be part of something that could have an impact on how care home residents use music and movement in the future. Plus, taking part in this is just lots of fun for both residents and staff.”

This marks the latest in a series of new partnerships for Balhousie Care Group, which runs 26 care facilities across six regions of Scotland. It recently announced an exclusive collaboration with Pitlochry Festival Theatre in which theatre staff are supporting activities coordinators in the homes. A trial of touchscreen tables, providing interactive activities for residents, is running in seven Balhousie homes.

For more information on Balhousie Care Group visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

For more information on the University of Stirling SPARKLE research group visit  https://www.stir.ac.uk/about/faculties/health-sciences-sport/research/research-groups/-stirling-physical-activity-research-knowledge-and-learning-exchange/

or follow us on Twitter @SparkleStir


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For media enquiries please contact Gillian Drummond on gillian.drummond@balhousiecare.co.uk or melanie.brockway@balhousiecare.co.uk or call 01738 254254/07365 284994.

For danceSing media enquiries please contact Natalie Garry on natalie@dance-sing.uk or 07712 862 823.

For University of Stirling media enquiries contact Greg Christison on greg.christison@stir.ac.uk or 07778 442 151.

 Photo and video link here: https://io100276128-my.sharepoint.com/:u:/g/personal/gillian_drummond_balhousiecare_co_uk/EXA3sQ8mmHVDu1syGNgqj-8BET_ZdhXlUs9ugQuy9ZQ7nQ?e=qU3mh2

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/E86OavZgh28

Photo and video captions: Residents and a staff member at Balhousie Clement Park care home in Dundee join in one of danceSing Care’s exercise sessions; A group of Home Managers and Activities Coordinators from Balhousie Care Group take part in the danceSing Care exercises at Balhousie Rumbling Bridge.


Notes to Editors

About Balhousie Care Group

Balhousie Care Group was formed 30 years ago to fill a gap in quality residential care in North East Scotland. Today, with 26 homes in the area, it is one of the leading providers of care for the elderly in Scotland, providing care to over 900 residents.

Balhousie Care prides itself on its person-centred approach to care. Putting people right at the forefront of everything they do; it’s inclusive of everyone. They capture this philosophy through the roll out of ‘Together We’re Great’, an initiative which recognises the skills, talents, attributes and support areas for each and every person involved in the organisation. Together We’re Great aims to value individuality and promote excellence across the organisation.

A Participation Charter – a first-of-its-kind in the care home sector – commits to residents getting a bigger say than ever in the care they receive, from writing care home policies to recruiting staff.

Balhousie Care Group is the recipient of numerous awards. These include three Scottish Care Awards, a 2021 Great British Care Award, 2019 Growth Business and 2018 Service Business of the Year at The Courier Business Awards, 2019 Growth Business of the Year Perthshire Chamber of Commerce STAR Award, and SME Scotland Business Man of the Year 2019 for Chairman Tony Banks.


About University of Stirling

Ranked among the UK’s 40 best universities in the Complete University Guide, the University of Stirling is committed to providing education with a purpose and carrying out research which has a positive impact on communities across the globe – addressing real issues, providing solutions and helping to shape society. Stirling is ranked fifth in Scotland and 40th in the UK for research intensity (Research Excellence Framework). Interdisciplinary in its approach, Stirling’s research informs its teaching curriculum and facilitates opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration between staff, students, industry partners and the wider community.

The University of Stirling is ranked among the top 20 UK universities for student satisfaction (National Student Survey) and top 10 in the UK for postgraduate student experience (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey), and has an overall five-star rating in the QS Stars University Ratings.

More than 17,000 students study with the University of Stirling globally, with over 120 nationalities represented on its scenic central Scotland campus alone. The campus – also home to 1,700 staff – has its own loch and castle, and a recent multi-million-pound redevelopment has delivered modern, flexible, and digitally connected study and social spaces at the heart of campus, including enhanced student support and retail and catering outlets.

The University has twice been recognised with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize – the first for its Institute for Social Marketing and Health (2014) and the second for its Institute of Aquaculture (2019). Stirling is Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, and its recently redeveloped world-class facilities provide the perfect training environment for the University’s sports scholars – many of whom compete at the highest level, including at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games – and for students, staff, and the wider community.

As a signatory to the £214 million Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, the University is driving productivity and inclusive growth across the Forth Valley, and beyond. Through pioneering collaborative solutions to global challenges, researchers are putting innovation, skills, and partnership at the heart of a sustainable economic recovery.

www.stir.ac.uk @stiruni

About danceSing

danceSing is home to the Choir that Keeps you Fit, a vibrant singing and dance fitness community.  Fusing the arts and fitness, danceSing offers a range of services Online, On Demand and In-Person including singing, dance fitness, yoga, barre, ballet and Pilates sessions, whilst promoting mental, physical, and social wellbeing.

danceSing Care is the company’s newest offering and has been created exclusively for the care community in consultation with leading NHS Health Care professionals. It is a unique wellbeing programme, which brings the magic of music and movement into care homes and other care settings across the UK.

danceSing Care aims to maximise emotional, physical, creative, intellectual, and spiritual stimulation through the medium of music and singing, as well as movement and fitness, underpinned by strong community support and engagement, and importantly fun.

Dr Joanna Marshall, Clinical Psychologist at Durham, and Darlington Care Home Liaison TEWV NHS Foundation Trust said: “The danceSing Care resources are a lovely way of supporting care home staff to meet their residents’ need for meaningful engagement, social interaction, physical exercise and fun, improving wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.”

Below: Home Managers and Activities Coordinators from Balhousie Care Group are put through the danceSing Care exercises by Natalie Garry. Main image: Residents and staff from Balhousie Clement Park taking part.