News • 02 Mar 2022

Music and dance help mental health recovery for Angela

Music and dance help mental health recovery for Angela

Angela, a 70 year old Supported Independent Living client of Open Minds, has been enjoying music and dance with the help of her Support Workers and says it soothes her soul.

When Angela first came to Open Minds in 2011, she had no family around her to connect with.

Whilst she had always loved music, she was only able to enjoy listening to music on her CD player.

When her Open Minds Support Worker, Phil, discovered that they shared a love of music, he began bringing a piano to her Supported Independent Living (SIL) home.

When he started playing for her, she lit up and started dancing for the first time in years.

Phil took the time to get to know Angela and discovered that she was especially passionate about the accordion as this is commonly used in Poland, where she is originally from.

Phil started playing the accordion for her too and enjoys seeing her face light up even more.

“Angela sees me and smiles as I walk through the door because she knows we’re going to have fun playing music and dancing together that day,” Phil said. “She loves dancing, whether it’s watching me dance or joining in herself. She even gets her little dog Lena to join the fun!”

Angela lives with dementia and an intellectual disability but has said that music helps to “soothe her soul and bring her great joy” on her mental health recovery journey.

Her favourite song is “You are my sunshine” and she regularly requests that Phil play her this song for them to sing and dance to.

The team at Open Minds recently put in a request to her Trustee to enable them to buy her a brand-new CD player for her birthday, to continue her love of music.

Angela also enjoys colouring and making pom poms with her Support Workers, which she uses to dance with.

Angela lives in an Open Minds SIL home in Brisbane North with two other co-tenants.

Angela’s main aspiration is to remain living in Australia and not move back to Poland, because Australia “feels like home now.”

Find out more about Open Minds Supported Independent Living service here.