Community Participation at RSL LifeCare
Retirement living, either independent or in-care, doesn’t mean you’ll lose your ties to your local community.
Our resources are available for our local communities’ benefit, whether it be mums and bubs groups meeting in our lounge rooms, pet therapy training sessions in our gardens, children’s swimming lessons in our pools or friends and families popping in to one of our (many!) cafes –we are not separate from the local area, we are a dynamic part of it. Here are just a few examples…
Lismore Flood Support
The flood event on the NSW North Coast in the wake of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie is certainly memorable. Of all our north coast sites, Fromelles Manor was the most directly impacted, with flood waters eventually surrounding the premises. Fortunately, the buildings themselves were well above flood levels and there was no risk to residents, although it was still a worrying time.
Fromelles Manor rose to the occasion for our community – offering a laundry service for flood affected people, as well as a place to use shower and lounge facilities and have a cuppa.
Chauvel pitched in to make food for volunteers working in the Lismore CBD. In addition, beautiful blankets have been knitted/crocheted for those families who lost everything.
Australian Defence Force Care Boxes
Residents across a number of RSL LifeCare villages and care homes packed over 260 care packages for ADF personnel serving overseas on ANZAC Day, 2018. Each box contained well-loved “Aussie” snacks and foods, a red crocheted poppy, a photo of the residents and a lovingly written card wishing them all the best. It was wonderful to receive the photos of personnel receiving the packages. The looks on their faces show how touched they were to be remembered in this way.
Knit One, Pearl One with love
We are very fortunate to have so many residents who want to help others less comfortable than them, and who can see that a little hand-made item has the power to convey friendship, warmth and care. This year, Heather McTackett and Florence Scherer from Agris Hutrof House in the Southern Highlands took it upon themselves to knit an Easter Chicken (complete with yummy egg) for every member of staff and resident – over 70 chickens. That Heather and Florence wanted to attempt such a challenge is testimony to the sense of community at Agris Hutrof. We’re sure those chickens will be treasured for many years to come.
The Knit and Natter group at Jonathan Rogers GC House, Nowra, have worked tirelessly, knitting and crocheting jumpers, blankets, teddy bears, scarves and shawls to give to the local Women’s Refuge and further afield. With winter chills and an increasing number of women and children in the local area needing care and personal items, we’re sure these lovingly made woollies will be received with much gratitude.
Visits from School Children
Right across New South Wales and the ACT, children of all ages visit RSL LifeCare’s care homes on a regular basis to talk, sing, dance, do craft and generally have fun and share some time with the elders of our community.
Museum Week, ANZAC Village Narrabeen
The Museum Committee and team of experts from the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation held the “Museum Week” at ANZAC Village Narrabeen. The week included tours of the museum, talks by veterans and medal cleaning workshops across both the mornings and afternoons. Each session was well attended with approximately 35 people in both the morning and afternoons. The Museum Committee, comprised solely of volunteering residents, were very pleased with the result.
Pet Therapy Training Ground
At Taara Garens Thirlmere, residents and staff enjoy sharing their facilities with the community, hosting training and assessment days for the local PAWS Pet Therapy Group. The roomy hall, modern kitchen and lovely grassy spaces are the perfect facility for this worthy initiative. Of course it’s quite fun to be a “patient” for the day too – sitting in a cosy bed and patting our four legged friends. Pet therapy is available at many RSL LifeCare Aged care homes across NSW and the ACT.