In 2020, Resthaven celebrates 85 years of service, says former Resthaven CEO, Richard Hearn.
‘As we welcome in the new year, and new decade, we recognise Resthaven’s 85 years of working together with older people and their carers in South Australia,’ says Richard.
‘Over the years, many things have changed. However, our commitment to supporting older people and their carers has never wavered. We stay true to the original vision of our founders.
‘It is easy to forget that in the early years of South Australia’s settlement, there was no government welfare support. Services for the elderly were very limited, and many relied on Christian charity to survive.
‘That is why it is remarkable that during the Great Depression, the Methodist Church embarked on a new Home Mission, and called it ‘Resthaven’. The name was chosen as it evoked feelings of ‘safety, serenity and rest in life’s eventide’.
‘When we look at Resthaven in 2020, it is amazing to see what has grown out of that first initiative. In the words of the Rev. Norman Lade, it was to provide ‘a home for aged women, where in a tender, gracious and sympathetic environment, lonely women might forget their loneliness, where among their own generation and experience they might find light and warmth and good fellowship.’
‘Resthaven was officially opened on May 11, 1935, by Lady Isabel Kidman, wife of the prominent pastoralist, Sir Sidney Kidman.
‘Today, Resthaven has a workforce of 2,500 employees and around 500 volunteers to support twelve residential aged care homes, six with co-located retirement living, as well as providing in-home care and support for around 10,000 people through our Community Services.
‘Yet despite all the immense changes and developments experienced throughout Resthaven’s 85 year history, the essence of our mission has not changed. Resthaven continues to provide outstanding care and support to older people and their carers.
‘In 2020, Resthaven is a richly diverse South Australian community founded on the principles of inclusion and unity, embracing and respecting each person’s beliefs, culture, language, background, lifestyle, life experiences and values.
‘Resthaven will celebrate this milestone 85th birthday with a number of events and activities throughout the year. The first was a calendar to mark the entire year!’