Connection and a sense of belonging in a community are significant factors in our overall health and wellbeing which includes our friends, family, faith or interests and a continued participation in society. For many seniors, experiencing isolation and loneliness can lead to mental health problems and a decline in overall health.
At Cumberland View Aged Care, we have a strong community of residents, families and staff with a shared vision of enhancing the lives of residents. With a large focus on community, residents are supported and encouraged to connect with others inside and outside the home. The lifestyle activity program has been carefully designed to include social, cognitive, and physical engagement, in which residents are encouraged to participate in as many or as few get togethers as they like.
It can be daunting entering an aged care home where you know no one, so welcoming new residents into our home and ensuring they feel they belong is a key focus. When new residents enter our home, we host an afternoon tea, Welcome to New Residents, which is the first step for new residents to feel included in our loving community.
Our wonderful resident, Melva, shares her experience from when she first joined the Cumberland View Aged Care community.
‘Before living at Cumberland View my family were worried about me living by myself. Although I had many family visits, it wasn’t every day and it wasn’t realistic. Moving out of my home was a big step and the end of a chapter, but it needed to happen.
Since living at Cumberland View, being able to have support at any time during the night has eased my worry. I was feeling vulnerable at home but this has since gone since moving in to Cumberland View as there are always residents and staff around to provide support when I need it.
The first day I arrived the lifestyle staff showed me all the wonderful activities available. At first, I was shy and kept to myself but with encouragement I started to join in and now I attend most activities. There is a ‘new residents afternoon tea’ and when it was my turn, I was the only new person, so I was the guest of honour. I felt so welcomed. I have made new friends and meet them daily for coffee and cake.
Activities like ‘Memory Box’, ‘Crafty Cumberland’ and the ‘Knitting group’ are so social and enjoyable; we chat just as much as we knit. I had stopped knitting when I was living at home, but when I heard there was a knitting group at Cumberland View, I took it up again. The admin staff are also very helpful with queries when I ask and they can help me contact family should I need to. I still see my family just as often as before but am so pleased I made the decision to move here.’