Topic: Doing more with less – how technology powered virtual lifestyle programs can support staff to improve engagement and connection and manage dementia behaviours during COVID and beyond

Day: Thursday 22 October 2020

Time:  1:50pm-2:10pm AEDT


Listening to personalised music is a simple and low cost intervention with therapeutic benefits for those with dementia. Studies have shown however it is difficult to implement this therapy in a healthcare settings given a number of operational and cost barriers.* With the onset of COVID there are limited visits and staff shortages, staff have had to develop ways to create virtual experiences and connections using new technologies.

Moove & Grove has developed an innovative world first program of audio and visual content specially curated for seniors, delivered via wireless silent disco technology for residential aged care. This program has now been successfully rolled out in over 120 facilities and is overcoming many of the barriers to implementing music and reminiscing therapy. Staff are required to provide choice for all residents based on their individual preferences. Moove & Groove successfully assists staff to easily offer a variety of personalised virtual audio and visual immersive experiences.

This presentation will focus on how Moove & Groove has overcome many barriers to successfully implement this program including training and engaging staff, equipment storage and hygiene, personal playlist preparation, involvement of families and accommodating a wide variety of personal preferences. It will also highlight how the program accommodates a diverse range of cultural and spiritual needs and can be used as a part of a palliative care plan. Importantly during times of staff shortages all staff not just lifestyle staff can be trained to deliver these experiences and create connections.

The presentation will also share early feedback from research projects underway measuring the impact of the program including:
-A full research study with Uniting and Australian Catholic University across 60 sites. We will share initial survey results about the effectiveness of the program in managing dementia behaviours and how easy it was for staff to use and deploy.
-A joint pilot study with Southern Cross Care in SA pilot funded by SA Health looking at how the program can be beneficial in palliative care to reduce agitation, anxiety and isolation.


Alison Harrington is a passionate social entrepreneur who has worked in technology for Microsoft and has founded 2 technology businesses and been recognized as a finalist in the Telstra Business Women of the Year Awards.

More recently Alison has dedicated her passion and skills to social impact and has completed post-graduate studies in social impact at UNSW. It was during her studies Alison applied her technology expertise to create an innovative project that utilised silent disco technology to create better physical and mental health outcomes for seniors. From a university idea and a small NSW government grant, the Moove & Groove program was born, a world first. With the initial support of NSW government grants, qualified music therapists and exercise physiologists the Moove & Groove program was created. A pilot study proved the concept not only worked, but was a much needed solution that addressed the mental health and physical well-being of seniors. And did so in a fun, engaging and innovative way. The program has flourished and has demonstrated proven benefits for those living with dementia. It now runs in over 100 facilities across Australia making a great impact in many seniors’ lives every day. Alison and her team have built a community of residents and supportive staff in facilities across Australia. Alison has presented at Aging 2.0 in San Francisco, is a 2020 finalist for She EO and the program was a finalist in the 2019 innovAGEING Awards.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Law and Arts and a post graduate diploma in Social Impact from UNSW.

Alison is committed to re-inventing aging and utilising technology to assist those living with dementia and their families by creating connections, conversations and joyful moments