With Music In Mind aims to reduce loneliness and social isolation, and to improve physical and mental wellbeing in older people. The gentle exercise group in Barry runs every Friday afternoon from 2:30pm until 4pm, and alternates between physiotherapy-based exercises, tai chi, and movement to music based on “Move It Or Lose it”. The format is the same as our
singing and social groups, that is, 45 minutes of exercise, followed by refreshments and a social activity. The social activity that our members choose in the exercise groups is a weekly quiz – one member saying “we’ve exercised the body, now we’ll exercise the mind!” The whole group participates in the quiz, and the same one is conducted in the Cowbridge group so the two groups compete against each other.

Our evaluations have shown that our group members feel an improvement in their physical health, and their mental wellbeing too. Many have described their increased confidence and improvements in mobility from learning the exercises, not to mention the improvements in strength and balance. Specifically, feedback forms included the following question (figures are the percentages who ticked that benefit):

• What benefits, if any, do you get from attending With Music In Mind exercise group? (Please tick all that apply)

Reduced feelings of loneliness – 80%
Increased friendships – 90%
Reduced anxiety – 20%
Increased confidence – 70%
Improved physical health / wellbeing – 90%
Improved mental health / wellbeing – 50%

We also asked:

• Do you have any other feedback or comments:

“I find the exercises difficult at times, but I know it’s doing me good. I really should practice more at home! But it’s not just making me fitter, it’s getting me out and about and socialising with other people.” – GM, female member

“The tai chi is so relaxing. It’s good for the body and soul.” – MS, female member

“Great leadership and friendship at the Barry group – thank you” – anon