Last week, two groups of aged care groups located in Melbourne, Australia and Amsterdam, Netherlands travelled to local Cisco offices, for a different kind of TelePresence meeting – participating in a one of a kind TelePresence sing-along!
The meeting was orchestrated by Kevin Johnson, from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, who introduced the two passionate singing groups as part of the Cisco Ageing Well program, which is addressing some of the world’s most significant yet positive trends. Firstly, the fact that people are living longer, healthier and more-active lives, and secondly the potential for communication and collaboration technologies like video to transform the way we work, live, play, and learn in an ageing world.
After some brief introductions, the two groups took turns performing songs they had rehearsed in choir practice for a heart-warming hour filled with positive energy and emotion. In the Melbourne office, six residents from Victorian-based Jewish aged care facility, Emmy Monash Aged Care, were joined by children from a local primary school and sung a number of Hebrew folk songs, while the spirited group of ten in Amsterdam belted out a few rock ‘n’ roll classics, including Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog’ and even some choreographed dance moves.
The Emmy Monash Aged Care Choir is led by the centre’s Life Enrichment Program Coordinator, Pamela Bruder, who is working with the facility to implement programs to make life for elderly residents at the centre a more nourishing and culturally rewarding experience. Pamela has been running the choir for a number of years, drawing members from all areas of the home, as well as from local schools, friends and relatives.
A Cisco staff member who attended the event commented on the obvious joy and excitement it brought to the elderly participants, describing it as an uplifting experience. The groups are set to meet up for another TelePresence sing-along soon and will be deciding on a number of songs that both groups can rehearse separately and then sing together.