Music therapy has been aiding aged care residents at Regis Legana due to the generosity of the community. The Rotary Club of West Tamar heard about a project involving a music therapy program for people living with dementia in their Geraldton-Greenough location in Western Australia, and decided to also roll out this initiative to benefit the local community in Tasmania. After a successful application to Rotary Australia Compassionate Grants and the Dick Smith Foundation, $1,500 was approved to purchase headsets to distribute around the local community.
Regis Legana is a part of the community that was chosen to receive some headsets, which were welcomed with open arms. Receiving 14 headsets to support those residents living with dementia has had a positive impact on their daily wellbeing. The Lifestyle Team at the aged care home asked the residents and their families what genre of music they enjoy and set up their headphones accordingly. The residents at Regis Legana have been thriving whilst listening to music, so much so this initiative from the Rotary Club of West Tamar is in the process of being rolled out to Regis Norwood.
There is ample scientific research unravelling how music affects the neural pathways and connections in our brains and how listening to music can provide essential emotional and behavioral benefits for those living with dementia. The sounds they listen to awaken different parts of the brain that are not affected by dementia. Listening to music, especially tracks from the individual’s young adult years, can bring about positive engagements and recollections for those living with dementia. This form of therapy is intrinsic to relieving stress and anxiety, depression, and agitation, and has extremely positive impacts on the individual’s behavior. Some of the key benefits include eliciting positive memories, motivating movement or dancing, calming nervousness, and promoting social interactions. The team at Regis Legana has seen these positive effects in the residents utilising their headsets and appreciate the support and generosity from the local community.