The twilight concert on April 16 saw Jazz pianist Peter Luckas – who now tutors students at John XXIII and is working towards a Bachelor of Jazz Piano at WAAPA – play a collection of jazz standards from the Community Centre balcony. A number of residents watched on from the car park and garden below, while many listened from the comfort of their own home – setting up chairs in their front porch, garage, garden or balcony.
The soiree was organised by Resident’s Committee Chair Joan Langton and John XXIII College’s Director of Faith and Mission Janeen Murphy, whose 90-year-old father lives at Mercy Village. The event was a welcome distraction for residents who have been spending more time at home since social distancing measures were put in place.
“Mercy Village has such a great community spirit, so a live balcony concert where all the residents can come together as one and enjoy, while still observing social distancing, is amazing,” MercyCare Aged Care Executive Director Joanne Penman said.
“A feeling of community is still important, if not more important, during these uncertain times. John XXIII College’s beautiful gesture with this concert recognises the importance of community spirit, and the strength people can draw from that.”
Residents at Mercy Village usually enjoy a range of social activities and outings including weekly music club in the Community Centre every Monday. With all social events currently on hold, Ms Murphy thought a twilight jazz concert – an idea similar to something she had seen online – would bring enjoyment to the residents and help them to feel connected.
“In addition to creative ideas like the Mercy Village Street Soiree, MercyCare’s staff have been working with residents at our five Aged Care homes and our home support clients to empower them to connect with family, friends and community in new ways,” Ms Penman said.
“We have been supporting residents by providing technology and dedicated support staff so they can link with family and friends in different ways, including using video platforms like Skype, Zoom and Facetime.
“Our residents’ wellbeing and mental health is as important as their physical health. Alongside providing excellent care, residents need connection to those that matter most to them – their family and loved ones.”