Italy silvio berlusconi community service
Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he will continue his visits to the Catholic hospice Sacra FamigliaGIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to continue visiting an Italian hospice even after the end of a community service sentence for tax fraud that saw him taking care of elderly dementia patients once a week for almost one year.

The former prime minister said his weekly sessions at the Sacra Famiglia centre near Milan were a "serenity break" as he entered the Catholic care home for the last time under a court order to do so.

"Spending time with patients and charity, health and social workers was a touching experience," Berlusconi told reporters lined outside the centre. "Thus I am willing to continue with this experience and commitment."

Since 9 May last year, Berlusconi has been spending four hours every Friday at the care house in Cesano Boscone.

The 78-year-old politician reportedly adopted skills he learnt in his youth when he worked as a cruise crooner to entertain the centre's guests.

Besides tickling Alzheimer's patients with his repertoire of jokes, the billionaire also took a piano to the hospice before Christmas and performed classics like La Vie en Rose, accompanied by his right-hand man Fedele Confalonieri.

"He sang, put on music, cleared the table and supported [patients] on walks," a nurse told La Repubblica newspaper.

"He became fond of those affected by Alzheimer's who are fragile and delicate and has even become popular among some of them."

The nurse described Berlusconi's behaviour as never over the top, saying he was always on time and never fussy.

His good behaviour also earned him a 45-day discount from judges on the one-year sentence related to fiscal irregularities worth several million of euros in the tax affairs for his flagship media company Mediaset.

His troubles with justice however continue as he is facing fresh allegations of bribing female witnesses of his bunga bunga parties to ensure their silence in the related trial, which he denies.