Moo Music brings old and young together to combat loneliness

Bringing children and elderly people together through music is having a powerful effect across generations.

And one Renfrewshire group is experiencing this revolutionary method of care first hand.

Moo Music, which was launched by Houston mums Leisa Callaghan and Laura McGarry last year, works to bring older people together with tots through musical activities.

Every week, babies, toddlers and their parents head to Cochrane Care Home and Ranfurly Care Home, in Johnstone, for Intergenerational Moo groups, which bring joy everyone who takes part.

Tackling loneliness and isolation is the aim behind encouraging care home residents to join in, while also helping young children shape their social skills.

According to mum-of-two Leisa, the difference in both the children and pensioners within the care homes is striking.

“It has been fantastic for us to see and it’s one of our favourite things to do,” said Leisa, who decided to launch Moo Music after the birth of her son Corey, who is now two.

“Staff in the care home say that some of the residents who take part don’t even know what day it is, but they always know when the kids have been in to see them.

“There is a noticeable difference in them once they have spent time with the kids.

“When we started, a lot of them were very reserved and some just wouldn’t take part.

Old and young alike have fun

“Some of these people were teachers and it helps take them back to a time when they were younger.

“It’s so nice to see them having a good time and enjoying spending time with the children.

“The kids really love it too and build relationships with the residents.”

Leisa and Laura were inspired to launch the care home programme following hit Channel 4 show Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, which documented the impact of introducing a pre-school class to a group of older people.

From there, Lisa conducted her own research and decided to take the plunge and set up the groups.

According to Age UK, scientific studies across the globe have proved intergenerational care decreases loneliness, delays mental decline, lowers blood pressure and even reduces the risk of disease and death in elderly people.

Due to the success of Intergenerational Moo classes, Leisa and Laura are now hoping to expand to other homes in Renfrewshire and beyond.

Their business is already successful, with more than 100 families taking part in their fun music activities every week.

Generations are bridged at Moo Music

Generations are bridged at Moo Music

Leisa, who also works full time in a pharmacy, added: “We would love to expand this and do this in even more homes.

“Just now we run the groups in two homes and we have nine other classes throughout the week just for kids.

“It’s something we would love to do more of and eventually do it full time.”

Both the care homes involved in the project have also heaped praise on the work done by Leisa and Laura.

Margaret Rooney, manager at Ranfurly Care Home, hailed the music classes.

She said: “It’s just marvellous.

“Everyone enjoys it so much.

Moo Music brings together children and care home residents

Moo Music brings together children and care home residents

“It is so fantastic to see how the elderly residents and the children interact together.

“We have seen a big difference in some of our residents since the classes started.

“We have one women in particular who isn’t interested in taking part in anything other than when the children come in every week.

“She is always asking when they are coming in.

“It’s been a fantastic thing for residents.”

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