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79-year-old Tharma (right) listening to Tamil music using Moove and Groove. Supplied

Silent disco delivering benefits for people living with dementia

Silent disco provider Moove and Groove has released early findings of research conducted with the Australian Catholic University that shows promising links between its listening program and the wellbeing of aged care residents living with dementia.

The preliminary results were announced during a presentation made to the IDC 2020 International Dementia Conference and coincided with Dementia Action Week.

The research is being carried out across 63 Uniting Aged Care homes by ACU researcher and psychology lecturer Dr Kirsten Challinor whose team is investigating how Moove & Groove’s silent disco program is being received by residents.

Early data from staff surveys revealed it has contributed to significant reductions in vocal disruption (80 per cent), agitation (73 per cent), and pacing and apathy (both 70 per cent).

Approximately 65 per cent of staff surveyed said they believed the silent disco program could lead to a reduced need for psychotropic medications.

The Moove & Groove program allows aged care residents to become immersed in specially tailored music, podcasts and videos. It is delivered via wireless headphones and accessed via an app, and can be used individually or in group settings.

Some of the activities accessed by residents include dancing, corridor singalongs, socially distanced bingo, virtual exercise classes and streamed religious services.

“It has facilitated staff and residents to connect with each other in a way that’s both unique and moving,” Uniting Aged Care dementia behaviour specialist and practice lead Georgene McNeil said, adding that during the COVID-19 lockdown Moove & Groove’s virtual visit platform has helped maintain connections between residents and families.

The silent disco technology has also contributed to increased job satisfaction, with 80 per cent of staff surveyed saying it has provided them with an enhanced means of connecting with residents.

“The early results of the Australian Catholic University study reinforce the benefits we see every day in aged care homes,” said Moove & Groove founder and CEO, Alison Harrington.

“The Moove & Groove program is assisting staff during what is an incredibly difficult time for aged care workers.”

Moove & Groove has been rolled out in over 100 residential aged care organisations across Australia since launching less than a year ago.

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