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Tackling COVID-19 social isolation: ArtSound Senior Memories Service Shifting to FM Band

ArtSoundFM is tackling loneliness and isolation among the ACT community’s older people by widening transmission of its Internet-streamed Senior Memories Service — radio programs tailored for seniors — to the Artsound FM band.

The Senior Memories Network has been providing the programs for several years to several aged-care facilities in Canberra and western New South Wales.

Chris Deacon OAM, developer of ArtSound Senior Memories said the move would make the service more openly accessible to people who are largely restricted to their homes or care facilities and who need entertainment and company when they are increasingly isolated from their loved ones because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In keeping with its role as a community broadcaster ArtSound recognises the vital need to bridge the communication gap between ArtSound and families affected due to physical circumstances or confined to home by lockdown,” Mr Deacon said.

ArtSound is dedicating two hours on weekdays from 10am to noon, following the popular Bill McGlaughlin’s Exploring Music, to specialist and nostalgic music programs, including a one-hour music and information program designed for seniors.

“The time is right to open the Senior Memories Service, programmed and presented by volunteers, to a wider audience via FM and DAB+ digital radio, the Artsound website, Internet radio sites, and smart speakers,” Chris Deacon said.

“We also plan to include life stories, information on well-being, and other features in the Senior Memories Service consistent with radio’s role as a companion.

“Radio has played an historical role in years gone by in combatting loneliness, but there has been a void in Australian radio since the popular ABC Hospital Hour ceased broadcasting.

“Making Senior Memories more accessible is a positive contribution to meeting a largely unmet need for such programs in the ACT community.”

ArtSound is interested in hearing from organisations that may wish to give something back to the community by supporting the service.

Contact: Chris Deacon, Senior Memories Committee, at cdeacon@ozemail.com.au, or John Worcester, ArtSound Board Vice-President, johnworc@gmail.com

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