Around 15 residents are sitting quietly on couches and chairs in one of the Group Homes Australia homes.

A dance teacher from Disco D’Tours enters the room kitted with brightly coloured clothing and flashing-light-filled shoes.

The residents are in for a treat – a silent disco, put on especially to celebrate Dementia Awareness Month.

Group Homes Australia has hired a silent disco, complete with silent disco instructor, disco balls, coloured lights and flashing dancing shoes.

The residents react to the music that fills their headphones. One resident, Helen, starts to dance in her chair. Another, Joyce, was hesitant at first but starts to smile and relax.

The residents move and groove. They stand up out of their chairs, faces beaming and bodies rocking to some of their favourite songs like Somewhere Over The Rainbow and The Hokey Pokey.

Founder of Group Homes Australia, Tamar Krebs, says the company’s philosophy is all about living well and celebrating life with dementia which is why they decided to implement the silent disco.

“There is still no cure this year so people with dementia need to be able to celebrate and enjoy life as much as they can.”

“Music brings people alive,” says Tamar. “It creates emotions and memories. Music helps people feel good. We all feel good when we put on music and have a dance. It lights up different parts of the brain. It leaves residents with positive emotions and they know that they have had a positive, fun experience. The silent disco is a fun dance class. It’s gym for the body and the brain.”

“In a few hours’ time none of them will remember the silent disco but they will remember a positive experience. They will experience the benefits of movement and music for many hours after the dancing and singing experience. They don’t need memory to be happy.”

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