Meet Mel – who loves keeping it in the family!

Mel Nunan is our Support Services Team Leader, who works closely with Fab overseeing the day-to-day operations of meal service, laundry and cleaning at both Maryborough communities. A local girl herself, she knows first-hand the importance of family connections. In fact, her husband and three children are also fixtures here at PresCare.

What do love about what you do?

I was raised by my grandparents who taught me to respect my elders. My Grandma was a resident at Yaralla and now I love being a part of these two special communities and getting to know residents’ stories and favourite routines. Just seeing their smiles and knowing I’ve helped make their day a little brighter is amazing.

How do you support residents to maintain connections to the people they love?

To me, family is everything. All of us at PresCare do everything we can to encourage and support residents to have friends and family visit whenever they can. Whether it’s a birthday party, just swinging by for a cuppa, or bringing the family pet in for a visit, we love welcoming residents’ loved ones.

How is your own family involved at Yaralla Place and Groundwater Lodge?

My husband, Steven, is the Maintenance Officer here, and my children, Caleb, Hope and Finn come in before and after school every day. As a family, we donated the quails that now call Groundwater home. The kids clean out their cage and just help out with whatever’s needed.

What else do your children do when they visit?

They love interacting with the residents, and they have their favourites! In school holidays, they help with the activities, calling the bingo or making up stories and just entertaining the residents. They also set the dining room for meals. It makes them feel good knowing they are doing something to help others.

How do the residents respond when your children visit?

They light up! They all wave and smile at them, and one resident often saves a little treat for them. It makes me and my husband feel so proud that our three kids are connecting with residents and learning respect.

We asked Caleb (10), Hope (9) and Finn (6) what they love about visiting Groundwater Lodge:

Caleb said: “There are so many things I can think of, like looking after the quails and parrots, getting to meet all the residents, and helping them. I especially like May because she is the kindest,Clive because he chases the plovers so he can pat their babies, Joe because he builds things, Pat because she can play the piano, and Harry because he is so nice.”

Hope said: “I like helping the residents, doing the folding, setting the tables for breakfast and waving good morning to Muriel, Lorraine and May. I like Joe because he knows so much information, Muriel because she is so nice, and May because I like talking to her. Actually, I like everyone because they are all nice to us.”

Finn said: “I like the quails because they are cute, and I like helping Dad clean up and Mum by setting the dining room tables. I really like showing off my ninja moves! Some of my favourite residents are Joe because he lets me play building blocks with the pieces of wood that he has left after creating his masterpieces, Lorraine because I ask her questions, and Pat because I play the piano with her.”

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.

Meet Margie – our very own Vegemite Kid

Margie was born in 1923 – the very same year that Vegemite was invented. At 98 years old, she credits a daily serve of this iconic spread, as well as a wholesome country upbringing, for her sprightly energy and positive outlook!

Margie was originally a city girl. She would spend school holidays at her grandmother’s farm at Pine Hill, not too far from Maryborough, and ended up moving to the property with her family after her grandmother passed away. It was then that the city girl became a country girl.

Margie had dreams of becoming a schoolteacher, but fate had other plans when a handsome young man called Ronnie came to do some work on the property. Margie and Ronnie’s courtship was interrupted by the war for four years, but they wrote letters to each other constantly and Margie kept herself busy by helping on the farm. A devoted Catholic, she would ride her beloved horse, David, 14 miles to attend Mass every Sunday.

Shortly after Ronnie returned from the war, the couple married and enjoyed a very happy life together raising their five children. Her dream of becoming a teacher was part realised as she home-schooled all of her children!

Sadly, Ronnie passed away last year aged 99, two days before what would have been their 75th wedding anniversary. A beautiful photo of the couple sits on top of the piano in the Grevillia House lounge room, and Margie will often reach out to this fondly, saying “My Ronnie”.

Margie feels right at home at Yaralla and loves her life in this country-style community.

“I’m so happy to be here. I don’t have to worry about a thing, and there’s lots to enjoy, especially dancing – I dance as often as I can! I love my daily walks and playing games and quizzes with my neighbours. I’m grateful for every single day here. Everyone is so good to me.”

Her former neighbour, Jan, also resides at Yaralla Place and they still enjoy a chat and a laugh – just like they used to over the back fence. And Margie of course still loves her vegemite on toast!

At PresCare Maryborough, we love celebrating the unique stories of residents like Margie and making sure they feel at home.