Young At Heart Choir hits high note with Bentley seniors

The Young at Heart choir group at Bentley Swan Care’s Waminda facility have sent an audition tape to Australia’s Got Talent.       Picture: Marie Nirme www.communitypix.com.au   d443605
The Young at Heart choir group at Bentley Swan Care’s Waminda facility have sent an audition tape to Australia’s Got Talent.       Picture: Marie Nirme www.communitypix.com.au d443605

IT is never too late to follow your dreams and a team of residents at Bentley’s Swan Care hope to prove that age is no barrier when they take to the stage as part of the Young at Heart choir.

A group of 25 residents at the Waminda aged facility have sent an audition video to Australia’s Got Talent in the hopes of gaining an invitation to audition live for the show.

The group, made up of men and women aged 75 to 100, meet once a fortnight to sing their hearts out.

The choir offers more than just fun; the members all suffer from varying stages of dementia and the choir is a form of music therapy that helps the singers cope with their condition, while boosting physical and mental health.

SwanCare’s diversional therapy co-ordinator Annemarie Kluvers set up the choir last year, after learning about the benefits of singing for seniors at the Diversional Therapy Australia National Conference.

“There are so many benefits of singing for older people in terms of physical, emotional and cognitive improvements…there are the mental and social benefits – being part of a group with a common purpose increases your feeling of wellbeing and residents’ sense of belonging,” Ms Kluvers said.

She said the group is about singing for the pure pleasure of doing so, without aiming to be an exemplary choir, and wished the group luck in their aspirations for the small screen.

It is predicted that by 2050, there will be close to 900,000 people living with dementia in Australia, up from 342,800 in 2015.