The Meander Valley Festival of Creative Ageing – Thriving aged care communities through arts and health programs

Mrs Alexandra Morse1

1Aged Care Deloraine

The presentation will review ‘The Meander Valley Festival of Creative Ageing’ in 2016 and 2017.  The festival was not only the first creative ageing festival in Tasmania, but also the first Creative Ageing Festival in Australia to be initiated by an aged care organization, rather than local government. During 5 days, 22 creative arts events occurred in Deloraine, Tasmania including fine arts, music immersion, intergenerational arts workshops, 4 art exhibitions, wine and cheese evening, movement to music, educational forums, radio broadcasts, choirs and a celebration dinner across 9 community venues in the district.  Each event was hosted by numerous organizations and community groups who support older adults living in the Deloraine district, however coordinated by Aged Care Deloraine. Through case studies, the presentation will explore how the festival inspired both staff and residents in Aged Care Deloraine’s homes and increased family involvement and satisfaction in their relative’s care. increased motivation of staff occurred, in addition to job satisfaction and gaining a deeper understanding of residents needs beyond basic care requirements. Increased organizational engagement with professional artists and arts organizations has allowed arts to become central to every day happenings in the homes.

Alexandra Morse is a registered music therapist, practicing in North and North West Tasmania. She holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy from the University of Tasmania. Alexandra specializes in dementia and palliative care in both residential and community aged care facilities.  Alexandra is a passionate advocate for quality creative arts programs to increase quality of life in older adults. She conducts a number of unique music therapy programs including intergenerational playgroups, personalized music on iPods, music listening applications on iPads, movement to music, choir therapy, Montessori and music groups and community engagement through music programs. Alexandra has run music therapy and creative ageing workshops in Tasmania, Adelaide, regional Victoria and Brisbane for older adults and their caregivers.


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