Resident wellbeing takes centre stage at expo


In June residents at our Sugarland Gardens Retirement Village in Bundaberg enjoyed their very own curated ‘Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Expo’ organised by the village.

Administration Officer at Sugarland Gardens, Rejana Currie, organised the inaugural expo for the village’s 128 residents to educate them about the many and varied services available.

“A lot of residents are not able to get out and find the services they need, so this event was designed to help close this gap and show them what was available for them.” Rejana said.

There were 11 local providers with stalls on the day, covering hearing, quality of life, residential aged care, mobility, and even lovely homewares and gifts.

“This year, I had decided I wanted to help as much as I could to educate our residents on what is available to them and what they can access in Bundaberg. So even if they don't require services such as residential aged care now, at least they know what is available for when they do."

The event, which was only open to village residents and their close friends and family due to COVID-19 restrictions on numbers, was very well received.

"It was something for them to look forward to. It has been so gloomy that it was good to plan something. It was also good to be able to support local businesses who have been doing it tough."

Rejana said it also helped open social doors for people, not only allowing them to connect with fellow residents they may not have met yet, but with local organisations that offer social support.

"We had local service providers who help with social isolation, as well as the Bundaberg Church of Christ, who came and talked about the morning teas and breakfasts they hold for men. Some older, single men can be socially isolated and not ask for help. By having these services there, it gave them help without having to ask."
One particular resident who attended indeed had his life changed.

Vince was new to the village and had experienced a deterioration in his health recently. But following the event, his family reported that they had never heard him so happy, as he was able to access support that immensely improved his wellbeing.

"Vince talked to Bundaberg Mobility, and that day they installed a raised seat on his toilet and were able to organise a mobility scooter for him. He was so happy, and his family were thankful.

“It was worth the effort of planning the event for results like this.”

Jim Geary has been a resident at the village since January. He attended the event and thought it was extremely well done and got a lot of out the experience.

“I have run Retirement Villages, and I found this event to be so helpful and I learnt a lot. RJ did a fantastic job and I definitely got the most out of it,” Jim said.

On the day, Jim connected with the hearing service who had a stall set up and then and there was able to book an appointment and is now enjoying a new set of hearing aids.

“The audiologist was terrific. I was always going to do it [get new hearing aids] but I never got around to it. I needed to get it done so just booked it in.

“I have talked to other residents and they all got a lot out of it. I think that RJ, who organised the event, did a fantastic job.”

Hopefully, next year the event will return bigger and better, and perhaps even spread to other Churches of Christ retirement villages.

  Posted July 27, 2021 in News