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NovaCare Community Services Limited (NSW)

33 Newton Street Broadmeadow NSW

Singing with our Community

NovaCare Community Services Limited, Milpara Social Day Centre

Home Care - Metropolitan - Organisational wide or multiple home program

Award descriptors

  • Consumer engagement and/or co-design
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Social participation and lifestyle

Implementing the “Sing Out Loud Together” (SOLT) program for elders in home/community care, promoting social engagement and positive cognitive functioning.

About this program

In August 2013, our Organisation conducted a survey of attendees of our social day centre, and identified our events activities program had opportunities to be enhanced to add value and quality to the outcome of our consumers.

Our social day provides events and activities to promote social engagement for members of the local community who are aged 65 years and over, have unmet health and wellness needs, and who may be at risk of social isolation and consequent premature admission into a Residential Aged Care Facility.

Evidence suggests that remaining active and engaged in the community are important factors in quality of life as defined individuals. (Browning and Thomas, 2-13).

Older people, who practice healthy behaviours, take advantage of clinical preventative services and continue to engage with family and friends are more likely to remain healthy, live independently and incur fewer health related costs (National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2011).

Music therapy and singing have been found to improve psychosocial wellbeing in a variety of settings. These interventions are also helpful in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression and improving quality of life.

Our organisation approached the Arts Health Institute and local primary school to discuss the possibility of entering a partnership to implement the “Sing Out Loud Together” (SOLT) program for elders in the community, as we knew that this program had only previously been delivered in Residential Aged Care Facilities. We were then, acutely aware, that to introduce such a program into the community would indeed be breaking new ground as we would be the first and still only organisation in Australia to facilitate the program for people who live at home.

“SOLT” promotes social engagement, elicits positive cognitive functioning in both elderly and people living with dementia as they engage with young people.

For primary school children in Year 6 “SOLT” is a 9 week educational program that integrates English, Art, Music, HSIE and technology and forms part of the school’s service learning unit, linked to the Stage 3 National School Curriculum, while simultaneously modelling empathy, responsibility and positive relationships with elders through real life experience and interaction.

A specially trained Arts Health Institute musician (Maestro), works with the students and their elder buddies to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes.

The program culminates in a concert performance at the school showcasing the choir what they have learnt about their “buddies”, and the era in which they grew up.

More information about this program

Deborah Dunn or call 1300 363 654

Friday, 21 December 2018 - 6:32am