Skip to main content

BaptistCare Maranoa Centre

The Avenue, Alstonville, NSW

Something is in the Air

BaptistCare Maranoa Centre - Alstonville (NSW)

Residential - Regional - 80 beds/Consumers or more

Award descriptors

  • Dementia care
  • Social participation and lifestyle
  • Technology and/or social media

Establishing Radio Connect, an innovative in-house FM radio station, providing a vehicle for residents to engage with the local community through music and technology.

About the program

Radio Connect is an in-house FM radio station. This is not a standard concept in aged care and it represents innovation, providing a vehicle for residents to engage with the local community through music and technology.

We heard of an Australian aged care facility that had organised its own ‘in-house’ FM radio station, so we developed a project team and a few months later went live on air for the listening pleasure of our residents. Our original idea was to provide easy listening music that reflected the tastes of our residents and we saw particular opportunities for this in three main areas: individual residents; groups of residents and for residents living with dementia. We accomplished this through establishing a music catalogue with pre-programed 24/7 capacity and dispersing this with live on air DJ sessions.

Since then we have expanded the project, it now includes:

  • guest DJs;  
  • residents learn new skills in radio programming and technology,
  • a different forum for residents to generate discussion and involvement via the radio transmissions,
  • a range of music libraries developed with input from residents and a qualified aged care music therapist,
  • Weekly local primary school pupils broadcasting a half hour content since early 2016. . 
  • The spin offs have been significant, the residents enjoy listening and our interaction with the local community skyrocketed since the school radio club commenced. Benefits include:
  • Community Engagement:
  • Residents attended a formal function last year at a local school for a thank you celebration hosted by parents, teachers and pupils to express gratitude for sharing the radio station. 
  • An increase in school visits, apart from the weekly radio club the same school provides fortnightly performances from different age groups and classes.
  • A general increased interest in our facility, more volunteers coming on board and four live musical performances now being held every week.
  • Interest from members of the local community in being part time DJ’s

Reduction in Challenging Behaviours in our Memory Care Unit:
•         In 2015:  24 alleged assaults involving residents with dementia.
•         In 2016:  11 alleged assaults (after introducing a specific music library played before lunch and in the evening).
•         In 2017: 1 incident YTD for 2017.
For individual residents:
•         The opportunity to engage with either microphone or speakers with one resident who normally doesn’t speak, singing loudly when wearing headphones in the radio room
Opened our eyes to the merits of music therapy:
•         Targeted therapy has benefits.

More information on this program

Samantha Tuck at or call (02) 6698 5700

Friday, 21 December 2018 - 6:19am