The Light Horse comes to Yaralla Place

In October, PresCare’s Yaralla Place enjoyed a special visit from the 5th Light Horse Regiment Hervey Bay Troop. Volunteers from the troop made history come alive for residents on a day they’ll never forget.

Dressed in wartime military and nurse uniforms, the troop re-enacted authentic Light Horse drills and thrilling bayonet charges for the excited residents. Mounted on their beautiful horses and wearing their famous slouch hats decorated with emu plumes, the volunteers also brought two medic dogs along for the visit.

Residents were able to get up close to the horses and dogs, feeding and patting them. With many Yaralla Place residents formerly farmers, seeing, smelling and touching these horses brought back fond memories.

When one of the troop members, 15-year-old Lachie, learned that a resident was unable to leave her room to see the performance, he decided to bring the performance to her! He carefully negotiated the hallways of Yaralla Place, ducking into the resident’s suite so she could also enjoy this amazing experience. This resident’s grandfather was a Light Horseman in the Boer War, making this visit even more special and emotional.

Lifestyle Officer, Ivy, said this event was a highlight for residents.

“It meant so much to them and the joy on their faces was wonderful to see. The visit sparked many memories and many conversations, and we are very grateful to the 5th Light Horse for volunteering their time,” she said.

Residents at PresCare’s other Maryborough community, Groundwater Lodge, are looking forward to a similar visit next year.

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

Meet Joe – whose passion for woodwork has been reignited at Groundwater

Joe used to be a construction foreman in charge of large-scale government building projects like water treatment plants and dams. In his spare time, he was a keen woodworker and could often be found happily tinkering away in his home shed. Unfortunately, due to poor health, Joe had to give up his hobby a few years ago, and this left a big hole in his daily life.

After he’d been living at Groundwater Lodge for a little while, one of our team members discovered his former love of woodworking and asked to commission him to make a simple outdoor table for his wife from recycled wood. The next week, some wooden pallets tools arrived and Joe set to work, using the outdoor Gazebo as a makeshift workshop.

This first piece was so admired by everyone at the community that Joe started taking more orders. The women’s sewing group asked him to make a cupboard, a neighbour asked for a bookshelf, a Carer ordered a dog bed, and a visiting doctor commissioned him to make a letterbox! All the pieces were made out of discarded wooden pallets that team members would find around the local area and bring in.

Soon, Joe found he was spending most of each day immersed in his passion, and he couldn’t have felt happier or more energised.

He used the money he made from selling his pieces to purchase more tools and equipment and saved the rest. When his family invited him to join them on a trip to Fraser Island in January, Joe was able to use the money he’d saved to pay his own way.

As well as the pieces he’s sold, Joe has also built and donated many items to the community, including colourful planter boxes for every resident’s private verandah, Jack and Jill chairs, and garden benches for the outdoor areas.

Joe credits the encouragement he received from everyone at Groundwater for helping him reconnect with his hobby and regain his sense of purpose and energy.

“This is how I enjoy spending my time. I’ve got a real workshop here and I’m very happy. All the staff have been so enthusiastic about my work and that makes me feel proud and useful. I like living here – it really feels like home.”

At PresCare, we love supporting residents like Joe to remain engaged in the activities that bring them joy and purpose.

Meet Margaret – our experienced and compassionate Nurse

Margaret completed her Registered Nurse training back in Zimbabwe and spent the first part of her career working in hospitals. Immigrating to Australia in 2005, she had originally planned on settling on the Gold Coast until she discovered that elderly people in Maryborough needed her more.

Why did you decide to come to Maryborough?

When I arrived at Brisbane airport, my Nursing sponsor asked if I would consider going to Maryborough as there was a critical shortage of aged care Nurses. I didn’t hesitate to change my plans – I wanted to go where I was most needed. I’ve been working as an aged care Nurse in Maryborough ever since, and I’ve been at PresCare for 10 years. I love the relaxed pace of this town and how everyone looks out for each other.

What do you love about Nursing in aged care?

I love the residents to bits! Being able to spend so much time interacting with them and getting to know them is really special, and I can see their younger selves shining through. I just love being around them because they feel like family.

How does PresCare support you to utilise your clinical skills?

I am very well supported by the PresCare leadership team. We collaborate on clinical issues and I know they are always on hand to help me. Plus, the Carers are fantastic. The way they work together and help each other, and the Nurses, makes a big difference to every day. I am privileged to work with them.

What would you say to others considering a career in aged care Nursing?

It is amazingly rewarding. As a hospital Nurse, patients come and go so quickly there’s not much time to form relationships with them. But at PresCare, I have the time to find out what makes each resident unique. They feel comfortable with me because I know and respect them as people. I feel like I’m part of them.

Do you ever regret not settling on the Gold Coast?

Not for a single day! When my daughter became a Nurse, her first job was on the Gold Coast. I visited her there but it’s far too busy for me. Maryborough is where I belong and caring for the elderly is what I love doing.

At PresCare Maryborough, we love supporting our Nurses like Margaret who are passionate about making a difference to residents.