Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra, ACDC, Aretha Franklin… the music tastes of seniors are interesting, diverse and surprising.
The power of music is set to bring joy to aged care residents, reconnect families and help recover memories at Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH).
The not-for-profit aged and disability services organisation has teamed up with charity, Music and the Brain Foundation, to run a personalised music program, Encore, within 11 VMCH aged care residences.
With support from their families and VMCH staff members, interested residents will put together a playlist of music on an MP3 player, iPod, iPad or tablet device.
Monica Cashin from Music and the Brain Foundation said uploaded music should always be meaningful to the listener and could include football theme songs, nursery rhymes or even favourite advertising jingles.
“Music is an extremely powerful tool,” Monica said.
“It can enhance creativity, learning, aid healing, decrease pain levels and increase optimism. For people living with dementia, it can also help to connect them to the present and to recover fond memories.”
Monica said the program offered significant intergenerational benefits.
“All generations have opportunity to be actively involved in the collation of music for their loved one. This shared experience can help members of the younger generation to learn more about their elders and, in so doing, act as a conversation point for everyone involved.”
VMCH Pastoral Care Services Manager Bridget O’Shannassy said she hoped the program, led by VMCH’s Pastoral Care workers, would “enhance the lives of our residents and evoke memories of their favourite music.”
Encore will be rolled out across VMCH sites this week.