Search is on for ‘Care Home Idol’

Posted on October 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times head, CT Extra. No Comments

Caring Times, November 2013

MPs are backing a competition to find the UK’s Care Home Idol, which has just been launched.

The talent competition, which is being run by, 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 <>

Penny Mordaunt MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People, is calling for people to get behind the initiative and vote for their favourite care home resident. She said: “This initiative is great fun and a good excuse for a knees-up in homes around the country.

“There is rightly much focus on the care system when things go wrong, but we should remember that there are also some wonderful homes out there where residents are supported to pursue their hobbies and talents, while being engaged and entertained.

“Good luck to all contenders! My current favourite is Waterfield House doing the Harlem Shake!”

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, 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 <> , 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 Harlem Shake idea was put forward by the grandson of Betty Howell (the lady in the wheelchair in the video) who wanted to show that care homes are fun places to be, especially Runwood Homes where most of our homes have a full time dedicated activates co-ordinator to keep our residents fully entertained at all times. 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 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.”
 Sylvie Silver, director of the National Association for the Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA), is also fully of praise for the Care Home Idol initiative. She said: “Care homes are full of talented older people who don’t get many opportunities to show off their skills so a competition like Care home Idol will give them a chance to shine. Activities that have meaning and purpose – and a chance to win something – will always motivate residents far more than doing something just for the sake of it.”
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.

  • If you would like to interview Davina Ludlow or embed any of the Care Home Idol videos in your story or contact any of the care homes, call Sue Learner on 01488 684321/ 07779 155130 or contact the press office on

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