Singalong a good excuse to get out and enjoy great company

Queensland Times, October 16, 2018

IPSWICH'S elderly and those with disabilities enjoyed a day full of music, melodies and dance in a community singalong organised by STAR Community Services in partnership with the Alchemy Street Choir at the W.G. Hayden Humanities Centre.

The community-focused musical event was part of Queensland Mental Health Week 2018, which aims to promote the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing.

More than 50 Ipswich seniors sang their hearts out in the morning session, while those with a disability enjoyed the melodies in the afternoon.

Ipswich resident Beryl Barwick, who attended with her husband Norm, said it was a good excuse to get out and enjoy some good company.

"Social activities like this are definitely warranted for seniors,” she said.

"It is so important for us to get out and enjoy good company.”

Loneliness and social isolation top the list of main concerns for the mental health of senior Australians and those with disabilities.

Loneliness may cause serious health risks such as depression, high blood pressure, diminished immunity, sleep disorders, obesity, dementia and anxiety.

Alchemy Street Choir musical director Melissa Blacksell said music had a critical role to play in our lives.

"Singing or playing instruments or simply listening to music with a group of people can feel greater positive emotions,” she said.

John and Linda Tessman have lived most of their life in Ipswich and said they loved the day.

"If it happened again, I would definitely come along. It gave us a chance to do something different and meet other people in our neighbourhood,” Ms Tessman said.

STAR Community Services js a not-for-profit Aged Care and Disability Support Service provider that has operated for more than 22 years.

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