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Monday, August 2, 2021

Silent disco helping dementia sufferers

Aged care homes are reporting positive impacts on dementia-related behaviours from the introduction of silent disco activities during COVID lockdown.

New research being conducted across 63 Uniting aged care homes is investigating how Moove & Groove silent disco technology is being used to bring joy to residents living with and without cognitive impairment.

To coincide with Dementia Action Week, Uniting says early analysis of staff surveys suggests that the Moove & Groove program positively impacts dementia-related behaviours during use, including reducing vocal disruption (80%), agitation (73%), pacing (70%) and apathy (70%). 

Georgene McNeil, Dementia Behaviour Specialist and Practice Lead at Uniting, said that the program is having a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of consumers and staff in a way she has not previously witnessed. 

“It has helped cement Uniting’s positive approach to dementia care and has facilitated staff and residents to connect with each other in a way that’s both unique and moving,” said Ms McNeil. 

“During COVID-19, Moove & Groove has helped alleviate loneliness and facilitate connection between residents and their families through the virtual visit platform,” said Ms McNeil. 

So far, Uniting says that around 65% of staff who participated in the research believe that Moove & Groove’s programs could lead to a reduction in the use of psychotropic medications that are sometimes used in the homes. 

Increased job satisfaction has also been identified in 80% of staff surveyed who say that silent disco technology has provided them with a vehicle for connection with residents in many different ways.

Moove & Groove’s Founder and CEO, Alison Harrington, said she is delighted to see the impact the program is having on aged care residents. 

“The early results of the Australian Catholic University study reinforce the benefits we see every day in aged care homes,” said Ms Harrington.

“The Moove & Groove program is not only engaging residents in remarkable ways, but it’s also assisting staff during what is an incredibly difficult time for aged care workers.”

Ms Harrington will be sharing additional research findings at the virtual International Dementia Conference this week to coincide with national Dementia Week.

The Moove & Groove program has been rolled out in over 100 residential aged care organisations across Australia in under 12 months, with a reported 300% growth in subscriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moove & Groove is a world-first program that allows aged care residents to become fully immersed in specially curated music, podcasts and videos at the touch of a button. Delivered via wireless headphones and accessed via an app, the innovative program can be used individually or in groups. 

For 88-year-old Faye (pictured below), who lives at home and is cared for by her niece, Catherine, Moore and Groove has been life-changing.

Faye enjoys music, outings and travel, but hasn’t been able to go out much due to COVID-19.

A weekly social club get-together using the Moove & Groove program for people living with dementia has meant Faye can enjoy chair yoga, armchair travel, and conversing and reminiscing with fellow social club members.

Demand for the program has led to its rapid expansion in recent months. Many aged care homes have found new ways to utilise the technology at scale to engage and entertain residents during times of social distancing. 

Residents have enjoyed activities such as corridor singalongs, socially distanced bingo, virtual exercise classes and streamed religious services.

Several homes have also used Moove & Groove to connect families to residents when visitors have not been permitted.   


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