Wonderful hour of music at Waterford Residential Care Centre

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Wonderful hour of music at Waterford Residential Care Centre

Mobile Music Machine performed at Waterford Residential Care Centre

Aidan’s Unit at the Waterford Residential Care Centre has marked one year of its operation by hosting a wonderful hour of entertainment provided by the Mobile Music Machine classical string quartet, who engaged an audience in a special, socially distance appropriate recital from the courtyard of the facility.

The event was sponsored by Rethink Ireland social innovation fund and delivered in a partnership with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival in conjunction the HSE/South East Community Healthcare.  

The Mobile Music Machine is a classical string ensemble, established by cello soloist, chamber and orchestral musician Gerald Peregrine. The group is also a leading national music education company.

Acting as compere for their appearance at Aidan’s Unit was soprano singer Sandra Oman, who set many of their recital pieces in context for the audience of service users and staff – whether a preamble to the ensemble’s playing of Tom Jones’ Delila or setting the scene for songs ranging from opera classics to giving the floor to tenor Gavin Ring and his rendition of Macushla.

Two other leading names in the Irish classical music scene joined the singers for the Waterford performance – Katie O’ Connor on violin and Paula Hughes on cello.  

Aidan’s Unit in Waterford Residential Care Centre comprises of 20 en-suite single bedrooms in purpose built modern accommodation, and replaced a shared model for Psychiatry of Later Life and Rehabilitation Psychiatry residents previously provided at a building located on the grounds of the nearby St Otteran’s Hospital.  

Psychiatry of Later Life is a specialist mental health service for people over the age of 65 who haven’t used mental health services before and have been referred by a GP or consultant. The Psychiatry of Later Life team work in partnership with local GPs, hospitals, and other health care and social services.

Aidan's Unit has also provided modern accommodation for clients of the Rehabilitation and Recovery Service who have required longer-term care.

Speaking about the visit of the Mobile Music Machine, Margaret Reid, assistant director of nursing for Waterford Mental Health Services, said: “We are delighted that we were able to host, albeit within the necessary constraints, a therapeutic intervention in the form of this recital. It happily marked one year in our new home for us, in addition to bringing classical music into the lives of vulnerable members of society and those often most affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Everyone that gathered here this afternoon will have been impressed at how the beautiful music and song literally touched a chord with them. We look forward to the joy that was brought to us today being part of a long-lasting friendship between such musical initiatives and residents in this and other HSE/South East Community Healthcare mental health and other residential healthcare settings.

"Aidan’s Unit as a new, state-of-the-art facility and is a great achievement in community healthcare in the Waterford area and has been a massive step forward for Psychiatry of Later Life care and for the residents and families involved. We look forward to coming through the current pandemic phase safely, to thereafter fully enjoy what is one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country for families of those requiring long stay Psychiatry of Later Life residential care," she added.