Grant sees new ukuleles in aged care facilities in Merimbula and Eden to help improve the well-being of residents

Aged care residents at Merimbula and Eden have been gifted with eleven new ukuleles after the Pambula Merimbula Lions Club helped them to secure a grant from the council.

Woobles volunteers Adeline Perrett and Barbara Allgaier conducting one of their monthly practice sessions with about 15 residents eager to learn how to play the ukelele at Albert Moore Gardens in Merimbula.

Woobles volunteers Adeline Perrett and Barbara Allgaier conducting one of their monthly practice sessions with about 15 residents eager to learn how to play the ukelele at Albert Moore Gardens in Merimbula.

Recreation activities officer at Albert Moore Gardens in Merimbula, Elsa Booysen, said that the residents had been learning how to play the ukulele with local group The Wobbles for the past six months.

She said that is had lead to big improvements in the residents.

"People with cognitive impairments respond very well to music and that's why we have brought in this program, to stimulate long term memories and they just respond better to music.

"The residents respond very well to the ukulele music, they sing songs and they strum with it and I they just enjoy it so much.

"Even just having the instrument in their hands. Some of them with less dexterity will use other instruments such as maracas."

One of the residents uses a maraca to join into the sing-along. Image: supplied.

One of the residents uses a maraca to join into the sing-along. Image: supplied.

Adeline Perrett is one of the members from The Wobbles who has volunteered at the aged care facility with her band-mate Barbra Allgaier.

Ms Perrett is a long term volunteer in aged cared facilities and also runs a program called MEM (Music Evokes Memories) in several of the nursing homes across the Far South Coast region where patients with dementia are given tailored playlists to listen to on iPods.

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The two Wobbles members started the music program to teach residents the ukulele after a strong interest sparked among residents at the facility.

"We teach them three easy cords. It is using both sides of the brain and the singing and reading is really catching on as well."

Some of their favourite songs include You Are My Sunshine, When the Saints go Marching in, Michael (Row The Boat Ashore) and A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation).

The Wobbles Ukulele Band performing together at an event in the local area. Photo: supplied.

The Wobbles Ukulele Band performing together at an event in the local area. Photo: supplied.

The musicians had been bringing in their own ukuleles for the residents to practice on, but they had just three to go around to the 15 eager residents.

Also a member of the Lions Club, Ms Perrett approached the club to assist in gaining grant funding to purchase new ukuleles for the residents.

They managed to secure a $1000 grant from Bega Valley Shire Council for Seniors Week in order to purchase the new instruments for the residents.

"Music helps them relieve stress, it gives them a really positive attitude and really lifts them. It shows the power of music," said Ms Perrett

The residents are going to perform for the other residents with their new ukuleles on Thursday April 15 at 1:30pm at Roy Wotton Gardens in Eden and on Friday 16 at Albert Moore Gardens in Merimbula at 2:00pm.

The Lions club will also be putting on an afternoon tea for the residents, providing scones with fresh cream and jam and slice.

This story Grant sees new ukuleles in aged care facilities to improve the well-being of residents first appeared on Bega District News.