Lion Susan McAllister and Suzie Soulker test out the new reclining chairs.
Lion Susan McAllister and Suzie Soulker test out the new reclining chairs.

Proserpine Nursing Home hoped to be first in national plan

THE Whitsunday community's stall fees for the Airlie Beach Lions Foreshore Markets are being put to good use at the Proserpine Nursing home.

Over the last fortnight the Whitsunday Lions have built on their music therapy program as well as donated $4,350 towards four new "comfortable and electronically reclining chairs” in the newly refurbished wing of the nursing home.

Lion Susan McAllister and Suzie Soulker are at the nursing home most Thursdays, working with residents and staff on the club's Music Therapy project.

Kicking off 18 months ago Ms McAllister said it was a project close to her heart.

"We started in the dementia unit by asking resident's families to write down their favourite music,” she said.

The Lions then made up MP3 players full of customised music which played through noise blocking head phones.

Ms McAllister said the positive results were visible straight away.

"There was one lady who had stopped communicating and had become very withdrawn within herself. When she put on the headphones she lit up, she started playing the piano in the air and telling us her happy memories. We were all crying of course.”

Recently the silent disco trolley has been completed which means residents which aren't mobile can have the music brought to them.

Ms McAllister said the next step would be for groups of eight people to share the same music while wearing headphones and copy a leader doing gentle exercises like raising their arms to the music.

Ms McAllister said the regional project will hopefully become a national one at the Lions Conference in Townsville in May.


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