The magic of music is proving to be an important therapy for residents living with dementia at Regis Woodlands, thanks to an intergenerational partnership with students from nearby Hale School.

The program, which runs every fortnight on a Thursday afternoon, sees around half a dozen Year 10 students from Hale School spend time with residents from the Home, where those involved play instruments and sing songs, while at the same time helping to improve social isolation and combat generational stereotypes by building strong connections and bridging the intergenerational gap.

Krupa Shah, General Manager of Regis Woodlands, says the therapeutic effect of music for seniors, particularly for those living with dementia and other related conditions, couldn’t be overstated.

“Generally speaking, music is an incredible trigger for emotions and memories from our past to emerge,” she says.

“We’re delighted to have the support of teachers and students from Hale School to provide an uplifting and positive experience for our residents through facilitating these fortnightly music therapy sessions, organised by our incredibly dedicated lifestyle team.

“It’s wonderful to see residents, some of whom are usually very quiet, express their joy and sing along to the music they love from many decades ago.”

Mrs Wendy Keene, Service Learning Coordinator at Hale School, says the program with Regis is a wonderful opportunity for the boys to share their love of music with an appreciative audience, while developing connections with the residents.

“It is so rewarding for the boys to see how smalls acts of kindness can mean so much, especially those who don’t have grandparents in their lives,” she says.

Ms Shah adds, “the introduction of the program has had an extremely positive influence on residents and I would like to say a special thanks to our lifestyle coordinator, Jacqueline Salgado, and everyone else involved at Regis for getting this wonderful initiative off the ground.”