Our residential aged care facilities have been lucky enough to have the Melody Makers entertaining our residents for the last 20 years. The Melody Makers are a musical group that comprises of Sheila on the piano, Kevin on guitar, George on the violin, and Lawrie on the saxophone.
All four members of the group volunteer their time each Friday morning to play familiar songs/tunes for the resident and sing along with them. Currently the Melody Makers take turns visiting our Grasmere Terrace, Paling Court, and Werombi Court facilities.
As if that wasn’t special enough, Sheila celebrated her 100th Birthday in July this year, and is still dedicated to giving up her time each Friday morning to come and entertain our residents. Hearing (and seeing) Sheila play the piano mostly from memory is a very special thing.
Pictured below are the Melody Makers performing at our Grasmere Terrace facility.
Mary Mackillop facility had the privilege of hosting Angie from Butterflies Florist in Camden, who came in to demonstrate tea cup flower arranging for our residents. Angie is lucky enough to have an abundance of cups donated to her from members of the local community, and so she was excited to demonstrate this new activity to our residents.
The residents had the opportunity to show off their creativity and have a sensory experience through the touch and the delicate smell of the flowers. At the end of the activity, Angie presented each resident with a gift card and an envelope; they could choose to keep their arrangement or give it to somebody as a gift. One of the participating residents decided to gift her beautiful arrangement to another resident who was not able to make it to the activity on that day in the hope that it would brighten up their day.
What a lovely gesture! A big thank you to Angie from Butterflies Florist in Camden for coming out to spend time with our residents, we are looking forward to having her back with us again very soon.
Our Grasmere Terrace facility are very proud of their partnership with Elderslie Early Learning Centre. There have been many studies that demonstrate the benefits that intergenerational interaction can have not just for the elderly, but also for our younger citizens as well.
Once a month our residents go to visit Elderslie Early Learning to engage with the children, participate in activities, and share a lunch meal with the children.
Not only is it a great way for our residents to continue having ties to the local community through these outings, but the activity also serves as a reminiscence exercise, where our residents can reflect on their own childhood, and share what life was like when they were growing up.
Thank you to Elderslie Early Learning Centre for embracing this partnership and being so kind and welcoming to our residents. Pictured below are some of our Grasmere Terrace residents participating in various activities with the children of the Elderslie Early Learning Centre.
Werombi Court have recently introduced an Aroma Touch program for their residents. Our Werombi Court Leisure and Lifestyle staff were trained by Fiona Jones, and were taught to use different scents and smells to provide a sensory experience for the residents.
The staff were also taught how to use a singing bowl, which has been used for centuries as a meditative and relaxation tool in various cultures around the world.
The residents have very much embraced the new program. They have enjoyed the comforting and relaxing effects of aroma touch, with residents able to choose their own scent for their own experience. It has been a great experience for the residents as a relaxation and reminiscence activity. Staff have also been loving the one on one aspect of this activity and are looking forward to continuing this special program with the residents.
Our residents, family members, and staff very much enjoyed celebrating Oktoberfest this week, a traditional German celebration. While the origins of Oktoberfest are uncertain, it is now an 18 day festival celebrated by six million people celebrating the event in Germany alone.
Our Leisure and Lifestyle cooked traditional food for the residents, including Pretzels and Black Forest Pudding. To further immerse themselves in the German Culture, a ‘Travel to Germany’ documentary was shown.
The residents are looking forward to continuing their cultural explorations next month with a special ‘Malta Day’.
It was great to see families and friends from Camellia down in our Mary Mackillop facility come together for family day recently.
This day is an annual event organised by staff in the facility- we were in luck with the weather this year! This year’s event featured clowns dressed up to entertain the residents, and Jye, one of our music therapy students brought along some musical instruments for a sing along. It was wonderful to see residents and families participate in this very special activity.
What a day it was! We had 26 family members dancing in a congo line through the Carrington grounds, catching bubbles around the courtyard, and enjoying a picnic lunch with their loved ones in our beautiful gardens.
It was great seeing the family and residents try and guess who it was beneath the clown costumes- a big thank you to Bob from our Village who gave his time to be there on the day, as well as Julie Barry, our facility manager, and nursing staff Therese and Anna.
The music therapy programs at Grasmere Terrace provide residents with live music making and singing to support their physical, emotional and cognitive needs. Residents either receive group or individual sessions that improve socialisation, reduce anxiety and give them a creative outlet.
A 1-hour group session is run each week at Macarthur where residents are engaged in various activities and interventions playing drums, hand percussion, singing from printed lyrics and relaxing to classical songs. Residents who are unable to attend a group are met in their room and actively involved in individual sessions to songs they choose or are most familiar with.
The music therapy students that run these sessions are in their final year of study at Western Sydney University of the Master of Creative Music Therapy and will definitely miss all the great residents and staff at Carrington.
We have recently had the pleasure of receiving a wonderful testimonial from one of our Independent Living Residents, Graham Shelley-Jones.
In full the testimonial reads:
“I applaud the royal commission into aged care, but I plead for a degree of calm as we delve into one of the most emotional areas of our society. As a husband who has had to commit to his wife of 55 years to an aged care facility, I am qualified to offer an opinion. I am delighted to say that she is in the best of places and receiving a very high standard of care.
I am sure we will uncover horror stories as we dig deeply into various facilities around Australia. But I ask for some thought to be spared for a very large group of nurses and carers who carry out their demanding and challenging duties every day of the week. Their grace, genuine care, and even love for their patients is an absolute joy to behold, and I am so very grateful to them.
Yes, there are a few rotten eggs, but let’s keep things in perspective as we trawl through the industry and, if possible, let us encourage further improvements for everyone.”
On Tuesday the 28th August the residents from Mary MacKillop had the opportunity to compete with Magdalene high school students in a shoot and shuffle competition. The event was filmed by Channel 7 News and it appear in the local news paper next week.
The residents thoroughly enjoy participating in shoot and shuffle weekly at Mary MacKillop using their skills and maintaining their hand and eye coordination. The residents were a great challenge for the students and it came down to the wire. Both teams were neck and neck and then a Magdalene student hit one of Carrington’s pucks off the board to give Magdalene the win and the trophy.
The residents described the day as wonderful and exciting and they look forward to the next challenge for a chance to win the trophy- we are hoping to make this a regular occurrence with Magdalene students.
Many thanks to Steve and Andrew Mortimer from Australian Shuffleboard who organised, ran and refereed the competition.
Thank you also to Magdalene High School for their hospitality and ongoing support in bridging the gap between generations.
Carrington has partnered with Dementia Australia to provide our staff with the latest training in dementia.
Enabling EDIE uses virtual reality technology to enhance staff member’s knowledge of the impact of dementia and to develop a support plan that enables ‘Edie’ and his wife to live more confidently with dementia.
The aim of this workshop is to better understand dementia from the perspective of the consumer through an Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (Enabling EDIE). This three hour workshop introduces a ‘enablement’ approach, focusing positively on what people can do, given appropriate support, and on the possibilities for living well with dementia.
At the end of the session students will understand:
a consumer’s perspective of dementia
how to identify support needs in partnership with the client and their carer
how to develop a dementia support plan that focuses on enabling a person living with dementia
Staff feedback was extremely positive and all felt they understood how to care for a resident and support their families more effectively.