Residents at four Uniting aged care homes in NSW and ACT have been benefiting from a trial of the latest technology in personalised entertainment and wellbeing.
The platform from social enterprise Moove & Groove allows isolated residents to become immersed in personally curated music, podcasts, videos and even courses such as yoga and meditation.
The residents listen on wireless headphones with aged care workers able to easily change the programming from one tablet.
"This is really revolutionising care for our residents, especially those with dementia," said Georgene McNeil, Dementia Behaviour Specialist and Practice Lead, Uniting NSW ACT.
"It's been a while since I've seen our residents so relaxed and happy, which is extremely important in these times."
"The joy and connection Moove & Groove is creating for our residents is unlike anything I have seen in residential care.
"For so many of our residents, it is the antidote to loneliness and isolation; it brings them back to life as they listen to music and engage with staff and communicate with each other. It really is music therapy on tap!"
Moove & Groove Founder and CEO Alison Harrington added, "It's wonderful to hear residents happily sing like nobody's watching. Now is a time when we really need to be able to bring moments of connection, as well as calm and happiness to our elderly citizens."
"Moove & Groove can be used safely during times of infection control, is quick and easy to set up and uses remote wireless technology.
"The silent disco technology allows residents to immerse themselves fully in the experience of the content. They can listen alone or together in groups, which stimulates interest, engagement and connection.
"The ability for team members to provide a diverse and person-centred choice of listening, including a variety of other languages and church services has been well received," she added.
The program is part of a one one-year research program with Australian Catholic University, which is looking into how it can reduce the need for medication in residential aged care homes.
Virtual Visitor Program
In response to restrictions on family visits, Moove & Groove quickly designed a new user-friendly Virtual Visitor program to make it extremely easy for busy staff to schedule on line video calls, so families can stay connected.
Katrina Finch, Facility Manager at Uniting Aldersgate, said the virtual visits had been very emotional for residents and their families.
"They've been so grateful and overwhelmed. One resident has a son in intensive care he hasn't been able to see for three months and they spoke last weekend via this technology. There wasn't a dry eye in the house."
"This is one of the many ways Uniting is adapting to the pandemic and using technology in our services to reduce Loneliness and keep people as connected as possible," added Georgene McNeil.