The sound of music can be heard each week from a popular not-for-profit aged care home in Craigie.
And the dulcet tones that emanate from MercyVille’s residential home each Friday afternoon come from volunteer Asher Caley, who has been singing at the home every week for the last six months.
Singing a range of songs that residents have chosen, from Danny Boy to Waltzing Matilda and the late Doris Day’s popular Que será, sera, the 24-year-old says he gets 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,” explains the City Beach resident who is currently studying a Masters of Data Science at the University of WA.
“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 takes 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, couldn’t 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.”
Mercy Health is a Catholic not-for-profit provider of care, founded by the Sisters of Mercy and grounded in a 2,000-year tradition of caring for those in need. The organisation provides health and aged care services throughout Victoria, southern New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
In Western Australia, the organisation cares for more than 300 people across six residential aged care homes, with an additional 78 retirement living units.