This morning, residents and staff at Resthaven Marion gathered to be presented with a Better Practice Award.
Resthaven Marion welcomed representatives from the Aged Care Quality Agency to acknowledge in person the residents and staff involved with the award winning ‘Spirituality in the Garden’ program. The program won an Aged Care Quality Agency ‘Commendation’ award at the 2017 Better Practice Awards in Sydney in August.
The site was presented with the award by Philomena Mitolo, Acting Assistant Director, Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA).
Seeking to build ‘interactive’ worship styles, with a focus on spirituality and the individual, last year, Rev Dr Bruce Grindlay, Coordinating Chaplain at Resthaven Marion, introduced the ‘Spirituality in the Garden’ program.
Developing the idea with residents and Lifestyle staff, Bruce took ‘worship’ outdoors to the newly built, landscape architect designed, aged care specific ‘Warrawee Gardens’ at the home.
With the focus on a more mindful worship, resident attendance—which had been static—steadily increased. It now averages between 40 and 60, flourishing on word of mouth.
‘The residents have been actively involved in the evolution of this program, and attendance numbers have increased to such an extent, we even ran out of chairs!’ says Resthaven Marion resident, Mrs Peggy Eckenrode.
‘As a resident of this home since 1999, I have witnessed numerous changes introduced, but the Spirituality in the Garden has been one of great importance, not only for myself, but for all the residents at Resthaven Marion.’
‘Each time I attend, I listen to Bruce, our Coordinating Chaplain, as he takes us on our own personal journey and I experience a special feeling of connectedness to nature.’
‘Residents encourage each other to attend; they make suggestions for future sessions, and share their stories’, says Anthea Tyler, Manager, Resthaven Marion Residential Services.
‘The sessions have increased residents’ spiritual wellbeing, thereby noticeably improving their general health, and increasing their involvement in social activities. Overall, there has been a great improvement in quality of life and a strengthening of the sense of community and connectedness.’
A new program has evolved from this; a morning ‘spiritual’ walk in the gardens, followed by reflection time in the gazebo.
A commemorative plaque has been installed in the garden, honouring the ‘place to reflect on the heart and soul of life itself’.