Residents paint the town with curiosity in scavenger hunt antics

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The activity has given residents a sense of purpose and connection to their community. [Source: The Courier Mail]

A Bundaberg aged care facility is using a unique approach to keep residents engaged, stimulated and happy with a town-wide scavenger hunt.

Small colourful rocks were painted by Forest View Aged Care Childers resident which have since been hidden around the township for locals to find. While none have been found yet, successful scavengers can return the rock to the facility, meet the residents and receive a free coffee or hot chocolate voucher for the facility’s public cafe.

The facility’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Julie Mayer, said the activity has seen a reduction in agitation, lowered medication rates and boosted engagement for all residents, even those with significant cognitive impairments.

“Typically in nursing homes, when someone is agitated they just give them medicine to calm them down,” Ms Mayer told The Courier Mail.

The facility has a multipurpose approach to caring for residents – caring for them in-house with engaging activities to extend their capabilities, partnering with the community, and inviting them into the facility to encourage interaction and show locals how residents live. This is facilitated by themed monthly open days where locals can visit the facility and engage with residents. 

“We engage with the community for them to understand that the people who come into the aged care facility don’t come here to die, they come here to live the next chapter of their life,” Ms Mayer said. 

“People who were frightened to come into aged care because ‘that’s where you go to die’ are now coming in to engage in activities, fun days, open days, so they feel comfortable here for when they do need to come in.”

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