Sadly for some – ‘tis the season to be lonely, however Bethanie, Western Australia’s most recognised not-for-profit aged care and retirement living provider is doing as much as it can to combat loneliness and isolation in time for this festive season.
Award winning Bethanie Gwelup Aged Care and Retirement Living Campus will host a special Christmas Morning Tea on Tuesday 19th December for six residents from the Aged Care Facility who won’t have any family to join them this Christmas.
2016 Big Bethanie Bake Off Winner - 11 year old Joshua Wenz and 2017 Big Bethanie Bake Off Winner -10 year old Priya Bielawski will both bring in their winning dishes, hoping to fill residents bellies as they share their stories about their delicious home made recipes and how they were passed down through the generations.
Josh’s Oma’s Pancakes done 2 ways won the judges over in 2016 and Priya’s delicious Dorset Apple Cake came from her father’s grandmother via a special and very treasured hand written recipe booklet from 1902. Bethanie Hospitality Consultant, Tony Rutherford, will oversee the two young budding chefs and they will all join together to sing some Christmas Carols while pulling the traditional Christmas bonbon, hoping to create a joyous, festive and caring occasion.
Bethanie Gwelup was purpose built, where possible, to help customers avoid social isolation. The campus style model – with an aged care facility adjoining the retirement accommodation, allows couples to remain on the same site, even if one person’s care needs are more advanced than the other.
The special morning tea will be held in one of Bethanie Gwelup’s small private self contained dining spaces, areas which welcome and encourage family and friends to come on campus and cook meals onsite – which can be shared with loved ones.
Bethanie is tackling social isolation head on as it becomes more and more common and in particular when, during the festive season, these problems can become intensified.
Bethanie CEO Chris How comments, “There is a real need all year round for people to feel connected, but in particular it’s important at this time of the year, when we perhaps have nothing more than memories to dwell upon.
“Bethanie has the tools, the staff and the access to the people to make a big difference in this area so we feel we have a level of responsibility to make this a priority, we don’t want anyone to feel alone this Christmas, at Bethanie you’re among friends.
“It is important that the community recognises that social isolation is not just about people living on their own; it can occur for people living at home, in villages and even residential care.“
Chris adds, “Within our current operations and certainly within our planning processes we are pushing to make sure that regardless of where people are staying or what level of care they need, we are keeping an eye on them and encouraging sociability to avoid them shutting off from the world.”
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Pictured: Priya Bielawski & Lorna Dudley