On Tuesday, the aged care facility was transformed with costumes, spoons, kites, and flying umbrellas. Staff and residents got into character and performed musical items.
Leisure and lifestyle coordinator Kerryn Anderson said Mary Poppins was very popular among the residents. Many of them recognise songs and costumes from the era, and the decorations helped trigger positive memories.
“Music plays a significant role in our lifestyle activities, with the recently formed Haven Choir gaining in popularity among the Strath-Haven community,” she said.
“The choir, which averages around 10 members, performed a series of popular songs from the residents’ era. This was followed by a live performance of the musical’s show tunes by local singing group ‘Ella’, featuring Strath-Haven’s care staff member Sally Sheppard.”
The choir rehearses every Wednesday and is accompanied by volunteer pianist Gail Godber.
Ms Anderson said research shows music can bring tremendous benefits to residents.
“Regular singing can lift spirits, increase immunity and provide a workout for the brain and lungs. These benefits are significant for those experiencing mild to moderate dementia,” she said.
“Singing also improves psychological health and well-being through relieving boredom, rekindling positive memories and promoting social interaction.”
The afternoon tea also celebrated Uniting AgeWell’s Foundation Day. Every October, the organisation celebrates Foundation Day with a series of special community events at its sites across Victoria and Tasmania. These include themed-events for residents, recognition of residents turning 90 or 100, and awards for long-serving staff.
This year marks 12 years since Uniting AgeWell (originally under the name Uniting Aged Care) began, but the provision of senior services by the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania extends back to the late 1940s.