In February, Adrian's Red Hot Rockers were approached to provide some volunteer dancers for a series of events at Aveo Retirement Villages. I coordinated volunteers for 3 retirement villages, Mingarra in Croydon, Fountain Court in Burwood, and Domaine in Doncaster. As entertainment for the residents, and also marketing for the villages, a "Summer Rocks Tour" with rock and roll afternoons were held in the community centers at these villages, with a live band "The Cadillacs", finger food, drinks, and dancing. The staff were dressed up in Summer Rocks t-shirts, they had great decorations, prizes for the best dressed in 50's and 60's gear, and raffles as well as the live music and dancers. A fun afternoon for all involved. The volunteers danced for much of the afternoon as entertainment, as well as encouraging the elderly residents to get up on the dance floor and move around. Many of the residents got up and had a bit of a dance, with many telling the dancers about their experiences of dancing in their younger years.
Thank you to the following who volunteered their time:
Volunteering to dance at a retirement home and spending a few hours entertaining and chatting to the elderly residents is always appreciated by both the staff and residents. It gives you a warm feeling to have brightened up their day and gives the residents something to break up their everyday routine. Watching the smiles on faces, the toe tapping, singing along, and then dancing with those who are able to get up and join you on the dance floor is a great feeling. I danced with a 93 year old lady who enjoyed telling me about her dancing days and the fun she had. It was lovely to see her moving to the music and remembering her past.
If you would like to have a go at entertaining the elderly at your local retirement home / hostel / nursing home, all you need to do is contact the activities supervisor and volunteer. Pick a suitable time, get a few friends together, take along some music to dance to (rock n roll plus some slower ones the elderly can sway along to - Glen Miller always gets a great reaction), and spend a couple of hours bringing some joy to the elderly. You'll be well rewarded by the smiles on their faces, and go home with a warm fuzzy feeling that you have brightened up the day for them. As an added bonus joining in for a cuppa and a chat will often uncover some great stories too. Give it a go sometime and I'm sure you'll get great satisfaction out of volunteering.
And from me too, well done to Joceb and all who participated. Very worthwhile initiative and I hope more to follow.
It's well recognised that music and dancing are excellent activities and entertainment for all senior citizens. And that's not counting the companionship provided. Hopefully it also helps bring back many wonderful memories of their younger days spent.