TEACHER Paul Borbas is hoping the sound of music will be joy to the ears of elderly people to help bridge the gap between young and old.
The choirs of Parkerville and Forrestfield Primary schools are entertaining seniors at aged care facilities near their schools with a selection of Noongar, Polynesian and contemporary songs.
The choirmaster said he wanted to create moments of companionship for children and elderly people.
“I was shocked to hear that about 40 per cent of people in aged care homes do not have a single visitor throughout the year,” he said.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said elders should have a special place in society.
“I’m very happy to hear of the work that Paul is doing to counteract loneliness in aged care and encourage everyone in our community to go out of their way to do something similar,” he said.
The Minister recently welcomed a national trend for younger people to interlink their lives more with seniors.
He said elders were not to be sent away or shunned and should remain fundamental to families and communities as wisdom-givers.
He urged people to respect seniors for their contributions and all they continue to do as grandparents, mentors, volunteers and givers of knowledge and experience.
“Changing our mindset, and our concepts of growing older should be viewed as a strength in living to 100 years,” he said.
The Member for Hasluck said he would like seniors to remain at home as long as possible and be a part of their communities.
“I intend to be here through my 80s and 90s, and as far as possible, I still want to be living the life I enjoy now, contributing to the community in which I live,” he said.
“The National Ageing Research Institute says, ‘Australians are living an extended middle-age, not an extended old-age’.”
Mr Wyatt said the financial implications of a longer life would dictate longer working lives and a “seniors gap year” for employees was worthy of consideration.
“This is something I am keen to explore with my ministerial colleagues, as it is outside of government policy,” he said.