The conversations of life

The power of song: Australian-first pilot to teach aged care residents how to make music


Aged care provider Fresh Hope Care is partnering with Singaporean-based music technology company I’m Soul Inc and Western Sydney University to introduce the 12-month program at its Ashwood Aged Care Services home in Pendle Hill, teaching aged care residents how to play a musical instrument.

Its 170 residents will also be taught to use music making equipment to make music of their own.

Since many people with dementia, hearing and visual impairments and physical and learning disabilities, can’t hold an instrument or read notes, the program uses technology to enable them to do this – and it’s hoped that it will have real benefits for their health and quality of life.

It does make sense. Previous research has shown that music is one of the few activities that stimulates the whole brain and encourages the growth of new brain cells – key to helping people who have suffered strokes or dementia and keeping people healthy as they age.

Of course, residents should have a lot of fun along the way too – we will wait to hear the results.

Residents at St. John’s home making music

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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