Groundwater Lodge expands memory support unit

PresCare Maryborough is excited to announce they have doubled the capacity of their specialist dementia household at Groundwater Lodge. This community is now able to support 20 aged care residents with advanced memory support needs.

Residential Service Manager, Judy Fisher, says this increased capacity represents an important added service for the local community.

“The number of older Australians living with dementia is continuing to rise. This means more families are being challenged by the demands of caring for their loved one affected by dementia,” said Judy.

“At Groundwater Lodge, our staff are specially trained to offer expert, around-the-clock support for residents with moderate to severe memory loss.

“Our Nurses, Carers and Lifestyle teams are equipped with the experience and tools to help these residents remain comfortable, active and enjoying life as much as possible.”

The 20-bed secure dementia household is currently undergoing a program of enhancements, including a refurbishment of the generous outdoor spaces to include a new bird aviary, a sensory garden and vegie patches, and a memory wall to spark reminiscing and conversation.

“Apollo Care is using a landscape designer with a special interest in aged care and dementia to design these garden enhancements, to ensure residents will find them engaging and soothing,” said Judy.

Lifestyle Officer, Robyne Cuerel, says that careful consideration goes into developing a lifestyle program specifically for dementia residents.

“Residents with dementia often find that sensory experiences involving hearing, smell and touch are calming and enjoyable. We offer many music therapy activities, art therapy and a range of outdoor activities utilising our lovely open spaces at Groundwater,” said Robyne.

“We even have a beautiful therapy dog who visits the residents, sitting on their laps and giving them cuddles. The residents really light up when she visits, and they love patting her.”

PresCare’s dementia household comprises private rooms with private ensuites. Residents are welcomed on a permanent or short-term respite basis.

PresCare is part of the Apollo Care Alliance, an innovative national aged care provider preserving the unique purpose of regional not-for-profit providers that play a valuable role in their local community.

Learn more about Groundwater Lodge at prescare.org.au or by calling the Admissions Team on (07) 4120 5800

For further information contact:

Judy Fisher
Residential Service Manager
PresCare Maryborough
(07) 4120 5800

Katie O’Brien
Chief Marketing Officer, Apollo Care
Katie.obrien@apollocare.com.au
0412 233 720

Volunteers are an important part of Apollo’s unique Spiritual Care Program

At PresCare Maryborough’s two aged care communities, our team of volunteers helps to improve the emotional wellbeing of residents. Their focus is on supporting residents to remain engaged in activities that bring them joy and purpose, and continue enjoying meaningful relationships with others.

Maree is one of these lovely volunteers. She visits residents at Yaralla Place each week and finds her role to be very fulfilling.

How do you help the residents?

I’m there to be their friend, so we do whatever they feel like on the day. We have many interesting conversations, and they tell me about their childhood, their interests and their families. Sometimes they like to pray with me or I read to them, and other times we just sit quietly and pass the time together.

What do you love about volunteering?

I love getting to know their stories and I use photos or objects in their room to spark memories. Just by pointing to a framed photo can begin a beautiful conversation about someone’s son or daughter, or about a favourite pastime they enjoy. There’s no end to the things we talk about! I also love that I’m helping provide comfort and companionship, especially to those who don’t have family nearby.

What would you tell others about volunteering?

Being a volunteer is very rewarding – I thoroughly recommend it! Knowing that you’ve made a positive difference in someone’s day is magical. It’s such a simple thing to spend some time with a resident, but it can mean so much to them. I think that’s priceless.

Celebrating one year with Apollo Care

In late June, we celebrated Apollo Care’s one-year anniversary as approved provider of PresCare. This was an exciting milestone for residents and staff to enjoy.

We all came together to share a BBQ lunch, birthday cake and entertainment from one of our favourites, Fred. We were then treated to a special singing performance by the Yaralla Songbirds – a group of keen residents led by Lifestyle Officer, Robyne, on guitar.

Over the last year with Apollo, both Yaralla and Groundwater have seen a significant program of improvements aimed at making these communities even better places to live and work. Major investments across technology, food service, human resources and staff culture are already making a positive difference, while the refurbishment of Groundwater continues to be rolled out. The introduction of Apollo’s unique Spiritual Care Program is providing residents with additional support aimed at enhancing their wellbeing. We all look forward to seeing more improvements over the next 12 months.

Meet Val – making a difference to residents living with dementia

When Val heard that residents with memory support needs wanted some pictures cut out of magazines for an activity, she immediately got to work cut out 50 pictures that very day. Five years later, she still makes cutting out pictures part of her daily routine.

These residents welcome every box of pictures sent by Val and they find much enjoyment in sticking them on notebooks and posters around their household.

For Val, knowing that this simple activity is helping others, gives each day a sense of purpose and meaning.

“I’m very glad that other residents are enjoying my pictures. I believe God put me on this earth to help people, and this is my way of helping them.

“There’s one resident who loves cars, so I cut out special car pictures just for him and stick them on cardboard. I love that he gets enjoyment from these and it makes his day a bit brighter. That’s special to me.”

Val’s pictures have now become so popular, they are also used in a wide range of activities right throughout Yaralla Place. To keep up with the demand, her daughter, Sharon, cuts out her own pictures at home and brings them in to add to Val’s. Residents use them for making cards for others, making posters to decorate the walls, and even to decoupage boxes to hold trinkets or letters in their suites.

Sharon says she is grateful to the staff for supporting her Mum to engage in an activity that she finds meaningful.

“All the staff collect magazines and catalogues and bring bags of them in for Mum so she’s always got a supply when she wants to do some cutting. This makes her happy. And if she’s happy, I’m happy!”

At PresCare Maryborough, we love supporting residents like Val to engage in meaningful activities that bring enjoyment and a sense of purpose.

Head Chef Fab is making big changes to meal service

Fab has been working hard on a program of improvements that’s focused on quality, variety and flexibility. Residents are now enjoying more meal options, more fresh and seasonal ingredients, and more choice over when and where they have their meals.

You’ll often find Fab visiting the dining rooms asking the residents for feedback about their meals and what they’d like to see on the menu. Not surprisingly, country classics are high on the request list! Fab’s favourite part of his role is seeing how beautifully prepared food can make their day more special.

So, what’s in the pipeline with meal service at Yaralla and Groundwater? Residents will soon enjoy an improved dining room experience with new tablecloths, serviettes and crockery, and we’re welcoming another qualified chef to join our team. Fab is also reintroducing regular Food Focus meetings to give residents even more say in the menu design. Most exciting is the major refurbishment of the kitchens at Groundwater and Yaralla planned for April this year.