The sound of music and singing wafts gently from the dining room at Heath House, Havilah, as the quarterly dance takes place. Residents are seated at their dining tables eating a three-course meal, or are dancing on the parquet floor to the tunes of their youth and early adulthood.
Team leader Patricia Boyd is moving in and out among the residents, encouraging some to dance, making sure others are being catered for with plenty of lovely roast lamb and vegetables. There are anywhere between eighty and one-hundred people in the room, and Patricia and her volunteers glide in and out between tables. The atmosphere is vibrant as Bob Kolmorgan leads his band and singers through hits from the 30s through to the 60s. The Chicken Dance gets everyone moving early, and there's a dose of Elvis shortly after.
The dance is a natural progression from the Heath House 'cafe' where, on summer Saturday afternoons, residents sat in the warmth singing, dancing and talking.
Patricia's eyes gleam as she explains how the music benefits the residents, stimulating them into conversation and giving them a break away from routine. "It just brings them happiness," she says.
Families of residents are welcome and help the volunteers to organise the dances and serve the food. It's a big responsibility to set up the dance and make sure it runs smoothly on the Saturday morning - but Patricia says it's worth it.
"The music takes the residents to another place. By promoting dancing, their skills improve - not only dancing, but mobility overall. There's lots of laughter."
For retirees and aged-care residents Havilah on Palmerston is just a short stroll away from the Maryborough CBD, medical clinics, clubs, restaurants and cafés and is ideally positioned to enjoy the culture and fine dining of the surrounding wine and goldfields regions. Activities and entertainment ranging from gold prospecting to boating, tennis, bowling, golf, theatre outings in Ballarat or Bendigo, fine dining in Castlemaine or the Pyrenees, touring and tasting in several wine districts and events such as the Avoca races, Castlemaine State Festival or various festivals in the Daylesford and Hepburn region are all within an hour’s drive.
If you are looking for an affordable superior lifestyle as you age, come and talk to us at Havilah.
from Havilah staff
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