It’s not just Generation Y or avid music festivalgoers that are in on the silent rave scene. At MercyCare Wembley Residential Aged Care home, silent discos are all the rage.
To an unsuspecting visitor, the sight of residents dancing – throwing their arms in the air, swinging their hips and laughing – to the sound of absolutely nothing is somewhat inexplicable.
But in actuality, the residents are busting out their old, familiar rock and roll moves and lyrics from the 1950s and 60s golden era.
And they’re embracing technology; dancing to music only they hear via their wireless headphones.
The discos are so popular that staff struggle to get headphones back from residents.
“It’s just one of those absolutely priceless moments,” said MercyCare Lifestyle Therapy and Spirituality Coordinator Emma Chapman.
“You can see it on their faces, they light up; you can hear their happiness.”
Ms Chapman said silent discos were the perfect activity for aged care residents, especially those with hearing difficulties and dementia.
“It puts music straight to their ears, so everyone can take part,” she said.
“Some residents may not take part in any other activities, but they love the music and seem to remember all the words – it’s great to see them happy.
“The residents who are able to dance get up on our dance floor but because it’s wireless, it’s great for residents who aren’t mobile.”
Many residents participate in the disco from the comfort of their own bed, singing along to the likes of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison.
Others clap along in their chairs and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
Ms Chapman said the silent disco equipment could easily help residents participate in other activities such as quizzes, podcasts and audio book reading.