A Christmas feast and community cheer at Glades Bay Residential Aged Care Facility!
The food outshone Santa this Christmas at Gladesville!
This is to be expected, as the residential village is known for its Christmas feasts and outstanding cuisines. Head cook, Ramina Shiekhali, had been preparing this jolly feast since 4 o’clock in the morning and the results were spectacular.
Towers of chocolate covered strawberries. Rice bubbles shaped into Christmas trees. Mango and avocado salad. Soy chicken drum sticks. Trifles and so much more.
The great food was no surprise to those living at Gladesville however, as resident Helen Spurrs told her daughter, Rebecca Knight, “The food is just always lovely”.
Twilight’s annual Christmas party provides opportunity for families like Helen’s to come together for the holidays.
But other residents use the Christmas lunch as an opportunity to show off some talent. Liz Matthews, a resident of Gladesville for the past four years, makes an annual performance from anything from poetry to singing and brought a rendition of Jingle Bells to the party.
Gladesville Public School wrote up Christmas messages for staff and volunteers to hand out to the residents. And community groups had contributed gifts for Twilight’s residents as well.
However, it wasn’t just the residents receiving presents, but the staff as well. Families of the residents came in and delivered gift baskets and homemade goods.
One of the parcels included fidget cushions made by one of the residents daughters for residents with dementia to engage in tactile stimulation.
The Christmas lunch has been a long-time tradition of Twilight aged care, to bring people together during the holiday. It is held annually in Gladesville Residential Aged Care Facility as well as throughout all of their four homes in the northern Sydney area.
Presents from Santa, school kids and a diamond anniversary have made Christmas merrier at Glengarry Village Residential Aged Care.
Dozens of families and friends came together in celebration of Glengarry’s annual Christmas lunch on Thursday the 31th December. All the residents were in their best clothes, wearing paper crowns and breaking Christmas crackers. There was delicious food, a live performance from singer Leyla Nassif and chatter all around.
Jinky Mactal, the recreational activities officer, was the life of the party and had been sitting up and planning since 2 o’clock that morning. She had gone ‘all out’ for the Christmas lunch, and was constantly grabbing more chairs for the increasing number of resident’s guests.
It was well worth the effort according to Jinky, “To get everyone together” she said, “That is the one thing that matters to me”.
Jack and Jill Kindergarten had visited earlier in the day to sing Christmas carols to the residents. The children had been coming weekly to the home to visit those at the home as part of an Intergenerational Program that Glengarry has. The lunch was also special for another reason, it was the 60th wedding anniversary of resident David Wilcken and his wife Bridget. They were given a bunch of orchids by Twilight’s facility manager Margaret Smithson in celebration of their diamond anniversary.
However, they were not the only ones to get presents this Christmas, as local community groups and even the families had donated gifts for the residents. Santa came around with labelled and wrapped gifts for all the residents, with surprises from slippers to novels.
Everyone fell in love with Frankie, the soft hearted giant from Delta Therapy Dog Volunteers that put on antlers and served as Santa’s reindeer. And at the end of the day Frankie was also given a gift from Santa- a juicy bone.
Residents of the memory support wing, ‘Eloura’ had a quiet in the courtyard to enjoy their own Christmas festivities. Student nurses and volunteers catered their lunch with soft music for a relaxing time for the residents.
The food fit the season perfectly with classics like shaved ham and beef with gravy, roast vegetables and peas. Desert was also very popular with residents and families alike with homemade mince pies, fruit cakes and pastries.Jinky and Margaret thanked guests and staff for making the day special for the residents at the end of the lunch. The Christmas lunch has been a long-time tradition of Twilight aged care, to bring people together during the holiday. It is held annually in Glengarry Residential Aged Care Facility as well as throughout all of their four homes in the northern Sydney area.
It was a jolly time for those at Hunter’s Hill Residential Aged Care Facility, as families, school kids and even Santa himself joined for the festivities!
The community came together to create a merry experience for everyone with carols, presents and festive red and green food. Hunters Hill Public students made the Christmas cards for those staying at the home, and local groups donated raffle prizes and gifts for Santa and the children to give to the residents.
Heilala Galbraithe, a staff member at Hunters Hill said that the event meant that everyone could come together in a family Christmas that all their residents could enjoy. “They are our family too”, she said “like our own grandparents”.
Staff who had the day off, like Heilala herself, still made the trip to the home to join those setting up the lunch festivities. Facility manager, Gladys Maseko, thanked all the relatives and staff for coming and making the day more magical for the residents and their guests.
The Hunters Hill Congregational Community Church choir lead by pastor Julie Grancha, brought music and energy to the day. They had an early show that carried into lunch time, and brought a joyful spirit to the Christmas celebrations with classics like Jingle Bells and Holy Night.
However, the highlight of the day was when George Burns, one of the residents, performed the old Irish balled Danny Boy with Julie and the church choir. It was an emotionally charged moment for his family, as well as staff and residents like Helene Polhill, who recalled the moment, saying it “Brought me to tears”.
The food was catered for by Twilight’s passionate cooks, including Yvette Fonseca, who crafted a feast for those attending. Residents and families enjoyed food like vibrant Christmas coloured panna cotta and chicken puffs- the “all-time-favourite”.
The Christmas lunch has been a long-time tradition of Twilight aged care, to bring people together during the holiday. It is held annually in Hunters Hill Village Residential Aged Care Facility as well as throughout all of their four homes in the northern Sydney area.
We are very proud of this wonderful intergenerational community project, LEST WE FORGET Ensuring the stories of our diggers live on…
Thank you to St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill for agreeing to be apart of this very special project. Also thank you to Betty and the Wilson family. Betty Wilson chatted two Year 7 students about her husband John and his missions in the war.
This project was supported and funded by DVA – Department of Veterans Affair. Please enjoy as Betty share’s with you her story.
The staff at Twilight Aged Care know only too well how common this disease is as they deal with it every day within their jobs, so they wished to actively support the work of Dementia Australia.
Have you made your preferences known to the loved ones around you?
To celebrate Seniors Week, Twilight Aged Care will be holding a Health & Wellbeing Seminar on Thursday 12 April at the Hunters Hill Village. We will be discussing Advanced Care Planning and how you can plan for the future when you can no longer speak.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have family around them and some residents can become socially isolated. Similarly, many children do not have the benefits of having a relationship with a grandparent or older person.
I had a wonderful time trekking Torres Del Paine and Grey Glacier, spending time travelling up through the fjords, driving around Lake Llanquihue (the second largest lake in Chile) surrounded by volcanoes and also enjoying some of the local Chilean hospitality and wines.