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Sharing the fun across aged care homes


An Olympics featuring board games, a Scrabble championship and even carpet bowls, is just one of the many events being planned to bring together residents in Calvary’s seven aged care homes in Adelaide.

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To be coordinated when the Summer Olympics are held in Paris in July and August, the event will also include other age-appropriate activities such as ten pin bowls and a quiz championship afternoon. Medals will be presented to placegetters, with each participant to receive a certificate. To round off the fun celebrations a ‘closing ceremony’ will be hosted by Calvary Flora McDonald Aged Care.

The staging of the ‘Calvary Olympics’ was one of the many items for discussion when the newly formed Calvary Resident Representative Committee met prior to Christmas.

The brainchild of Calvary Aged Care SA Regional Services manager David Purdue, the committee was created so he could hear directly from residents about what they like – and don’t like – at their home so improvements could be made. It has also extended to residents suggesting a number of events to be held in 2024.

“It has been a really valuable exercise and the residents and staff love it,” Mr Purdue said.

“We have made lots of changes – everything from making sure we have a uniform approach to food service across the homes, to making the change from margarine to butter.”

Mr Purdue said one of the highlights of the quarterly gatherings was seeing residents on the committee interacting with each other and forming new friendships.

Members of the Calvary Resident Representative Committee at the December meeting.

Members of the Calvary Resident Representative Committee at the December meeting.

Committee members said the meetings provided the perfect forum to share ideas that would ultimately benefit all residents at Calvary homes.

“I’ve really enjoyed meeting the residents from other homes and hearing their ideas about what we could do differently at Homestead,” Walkley Heights resident Chris Williams said.

Oaklands resident Barbara Roach spoke about how the food at the home brought back “good memories”.

“I told the other residents about how sometimes for morning tea we have chocolate crackles, honey joys and scones with jam and cream,” she said.

When Patricia Dixon from Calvary Mitcham Aged Care Home found out other homes regularly had pancakes on the menu, she was none too pleased about missing out and let it be known.

“We have Bonnie, the best chef at Calvary Mitcham, and she is extremely willing to experiment with dishes suggested by residents,” she said.

“When I learnt pancakes were often on offer at some of the other homes I took that information back to her and now we also have pancakes regularly which everyone is really enjoying.”

Calvary Brighton resident Maureen Russell said meeting residents from the other homes had shown her that “Calvary’s ethos is present across all the homes”. She said it was nice to share stories of the exceptional care being received.

“I lived next door to a man who was receiving palliative care in the home at Calvary Brighton,” she explained.

“The staff would come up to him before every meal and ask him what he would like and chef Emmer would go off and cook it for him. It was just such wonderful care in his last days.”

Other events recommended by the committee to be held at each facility this year include a monthly barbecue, St Patrick’s Day lunch, Mother’s Day lunch, Outback-themed lunch, Father’s Day lunch, Halloween afternoon tea, Melbourne Cup lunch and Christmas lunch.


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