Aged care residents just Poppin out to the Fraser Coast
Residents from Bolton Clarke’s Centaur Memorial residential aged care community in Caloundra know that a little adventure is the spoonful of sugar for a vibrant, healthy life.
Residents, volunteers and employees recently took their 21st overnight holiday, this time to coastal Hervey Bay and historic Maryborough.
The holidays are a long-standing and much-anticipated tradition for the Centaur Memorial residents.
Resident Paula Fahey was moved to tears of joy when she learned she was taking the trip, her second in two years. From that moment team members said she “could not wipe the smile off her face”.
“I loved it so much last time,” she said. “I enjoyed every moment.”
The residents hit the road on the Bolton Clarke bus from Caloundra, eager to arrive at Hervey Bay RSL Club for lunch.
The bright-purple shirts which read ‘Beware: Older people still having fun’ attracted plenty of attention during the visit.
Bolton Clarke Diversional Therapist Pam Greig said that the group caused a stir with the table next to them at lunch.
“People are always in awe of our shirts! We get asked who we are and where we are from. They couldn’t believe that we were an aged care community on holiday!” she said.
“We felt a bit like the royal family - the crowd that came to applaud the residents and wanted to know what we were up to was astounding. But we really should be used to it by now. It happens every time.”
Resident Muriel Heilbronn pronounced the holiday an outstanding success.
“I wouldn’t get better anywhere else. The team and volunteers do an excellent job,” she said. “It was the best holiday.”
A highlight of the trip was the Heritage Discovery Trail tour, which gave residents a chance to learn about historical Maryborough and enjoy all things Mary Poppins related in honour of the town’s famous daughter, author PL Travers.
“The residents couldn’t believe the amazing history of Maryborough,” said Pam. “You could have heard a feather drop on the bus as everyone was hanging on every word from our guide.”
“Many of the residents remarked that one hour felt like 5 minutes! I think it’s been one of the most informative holidays’ we’ve had.”
It’s the long list of activities that impressed resident Winifred Gaynor.
“I had the greatest time. It’s the best organised holiday I’ve ever been on!” she said.
Pam said the impacts of the holidays are felt for days and months after the group returns, with many residents forming new friendships over the course of the two-day sojourns.
This impact is especially true for residents Daphne, Paula, Vi, Iona and Phyllis, who have begun to visit each other daily even though they live in different areas of the community, enjoying their new-found friendships over bingo and morning tea.
Phyllis McKenna summed up the sentiment of the group.
“We had a great holiday!” she said. “When’s the next one!?”
The Centaur Memorial team is already making plans for holiday number twenty-two to explore a new destination.