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Highlights and Happenings in Retirement Living and Aged Care: 2020 in Review

Well, it’s safe to say that 2020 is a year we will all remember. The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic stretched far and wide, and sadly, it’s the older generations who have felt the challenges more than most.

However, among the hardships, there have also been many positives, moments of joy and milestones to celebrate. So in this article, we’re looking back at some of the highlights and happenings from the last 12 months, in both our retirement communities and aged care residences, to inspire you to dream big for a wonderful, happy and safe new year ahead.

Stories and Events from our Retirement Living Communities

For residents in our Retirement Community, COVID-19 saw some additional safety measures and guidelines introduced for parts of the year. Our staff worked closely with residents to educate and inform them of the situation and provide support to those in need as required. A sense of community and mateship was felt during these tough times and we are proud of the efforts of all to keep each other safe.

Early in the year, residents at James Ommaney Retirement Community enjoyed a visit from well-known Brisbane entertainer Johnny the Jester who put on a fun show. Resident Margy Tummon, who is affectionately known as ‘Margy the purple lady’ had a special treat—she ticked ‘getting up close to a snake’ off her bucket list in style, when Johnny draped his pet python around her neck!

We also caught up with former teacher Diane Davis, who is loving life in Compton Gardens Retirement Community, and is relishing her role as secretary of the social committee. She has introduced some fantastic activities to the community including walking basketball, a guest speaker program and a monthly morning tea to introduce new residents.

We shared a story of the many benefits aqua aerobics and other on-site activities such as tai chi, hydrotherapy, billiards and golf putting are bringing to the lives of residents at Runaway Bay Retirement Community. We also highlighted the many levels of participation and service options available when Val Rees shared her story of the ease of transitioning from total independence to handpicking the services that fit your needs and lifestyle when it suits you. 

Stories and Events from our Aged Care Residents

The safety measures put in place this year to minimise the risk of COVID-19 were far more strict in aged care residences, with lockdown and visitation restrictions causing understandable concern. Our staff worked hard to provide additional support in promoting the health and wellbeing of residents, as well as assisting them to stay connected with family and friends virtually via Skype, Zoom and FaceTime while in-person visits were not possible.

At Bayview Place Aged Care Residence, a fun and varied lifestyle program provided residents with an interactive way to get together and create something beautiful. The gorgeous birdbath made by Beverly Clowes is just one example of what is being achieved, and it now has pride of place in the gardens for birds to enjoy.

A wonderful milestone event was held for Mabel Crosby, who celebrated her 111th birthday on September 7 to become the eldest person in Australia. While restrictions meant many of her family were unable to attend in person, the team at Sunnybank Hills Aged Care Residence made her day special by wearing her favourite colour blue and enjoying a delicious high tea prepared by the on-site chef and his team.

At Bundaberg Aged Care Residence, staff and residents organised a walkathon, with support from the lifestyle crew and carers, as well as physiotherapists from Encara. It became an intergenerational event when grade 6 students from the local school got involved, making star badges for the participants which they loved. Some amazing efforts were seen, both individually and as a team, and the winners received trophies, special treats and massages from physios to celebrate.

Here’s to a Fun, Safe and Very Happy New Year Ahead

From all of us at TriCare, we thank you for your support in 2020, and wish you and your family the very best new year ahead. We look forward to bringing you more inspiring stories from our amazing residents and communities in 2021!

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