Residents enjoy the sound of music each week thanks to young volunteer

Singer Asher Caley with MercyVille residents Joanne Friar and Joyce Johhnson.
Singer Asher Caley with MercyVille residents Joanne Friar and Joyce Johhnson.

THE sound of music can be heard each week from the MercyVille residential aged care home in Craigie.

For the past six months volunteer Asher Caley has been visiting the home every Friday afternoon to sing a range of songs chosen by residents, from Danny Boy to Waltzing Matilda and the late Doris Day’s popular Que será, sera.

The 24-year-old from City Beach said he got as much pleasure out of volunteering as the residents do from hearing him sing.

“I first started to volunteer because I wanted to make a contribution to the community, and I initially became involved through Silver Chain who helped my mum when she had cancer,” the UWA Masters of Data Science student said.

“I have always been interested in music and have sung at high school and also in an ensemble choir at UWA, so it’s a real pleasure to be able to sing for residents every week at MercyVille.
“The seniors love the music and it also helps them to reminisce about their younger years.

“The songs they ask me to sing certainly seem to make them feel quite nostalgic and it’s a joy to hear them sing along with their favourite songs.”

Mercyville service manager Alison Devonport said the therapeutic effect of music for seniors, particularly those living with Alzheimer’s and other related conditions, could not be overstated.

“Generally speaking, music is an incredible trigger for emotions and memories from our past to emerge,” she said.

“Extensive research indicates that singing is mentally and physically beneficial in so many ways, and we are very grateful to Asher for choosing to volunteer with us, and assisting residents to continue to enjoy music.”