Retirees adapt within village community
A STAFF member at a Bargara retirement village praises the sense of community spirit shown during pandemic isolation measures.
Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village’s acting village manager Belinda Hensler said residents were using their imagination to remain connected, and to also have fun.
“The unique challenges presented by the pandemic have also been the inspiration for some innovative solutions, with a range of fun and heart-warming rituals established in our community during lockdown,” she said.
“There has been an overwhelming desire from our residents to help out others in the village and to just put a smile on each other’s faces.
“People have wanted to stay connected, look after their neighbours and ensure the village is still a fun place to be.”
She said residents have remained connected with dress-up days, through the production of a community newsletter, and by making sure all the mothers receive a bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day.
“We have a community garden that residents look after, but with COVID-19, we can’t sell produce to fund its upkeep.
“That prompted us to open up the garden to all residents.
“We encourage them to come and pick their own vegies for free, it’s a small lining in the midst of a pandemic.”
Staff have also ensured that residents have had access to regular wellbeing checks, and were able to access essential items.
The village’s chief executive Brett Robinson urged everyone in the community to check on their older neighbours who might be lonely.
“We know older Australians are vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness, and this can have a detrimental effect on their physical health, leading to sleep disruption, increased cortisol levels and elevated blood pressure,” Dr Robinson said.