Aged care homes around the country have been working to come up with new and innovative ways to entertain and engage their residents as their usual routines have been so disrupted due to the virus this year. With many care homes having to keep residents restricted to their homes, and in some cases their rooms, it’s been a challenging year for all.
But one home in Canberra has found a way to bring one of the cities biggest yearly events to their residents. With the annual flower and art festival, Floriade, cancelled from it’s usual home in Commonwealth Park, BaptistCare Carey Gardens decided to bring the festival to the residents.
“The concept of the Our Floriade project came about at the end of June when people were feeling a little flat with the cooler weather,” lifestyle coordinator Petrina Becker said to The Canberra Times.
“Floriade and the other beautiful gardens on display around Canberra are something the residents from Carey Gardens always love to visit. However, with the cancellation of Floriade this year due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, understandably, it was a disappointment for our residents.
“To lift their spirits, we wanted to do something special and memorable that would bring in aspects of Floriade and give the residents a taste of the community, while still engaging in craft and gardening activities and have something to work towards and together.”
With donations of 2000 flower seedlings from the Floriade: Reimagined program, plants donated by Rodney’s Plants Plus and flower pots donated by the public, the residents and team members set to creating their very own flowerscape.
With exhibitions displayed around the centre, both inside and out in the gardens, Carey Gardens’ Floriade includes displays of giant paper flowers and butterflies, sculptural leaves and mushrooms, plant pot people, and their very own gnome village.
After hours of tireless work, from team members and residents alike, the creation has been an overwhelming success, with one resident, Audrey O’Connell calling it “absolutely beautiful … Better than the real thing.”
“The residents and my team are really proud of what we have achieved, it is great to relax and enjoy it now,” Ms Becker said.
“2020 has been a strange year for all of us. It is great to say the only fever at Carey Gardens is ‘Spring fever’.”