The residents at Freedom Cheltenham by Aveo truly hit the jackpot when Gracy de Bakker was appointed their Lifestyle Coordinator and Diversional Therapist.
Not only is Gracey passionate about empowering residents to make decisions that maximise their quality of life, she also reslishes the opportunity to help residents 'escape the everyday' through the creation of immersive seasonal displays.
Gracey, with the help of volunteer Sue and her husband Hans, have created these displays to capture popular themes, including Easter, Mother's Day, Anzac Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas and more. They have even implemented a Circus and a Beach Holiday themed display, with Brighton Bathing Boxes handcrafted by Hans.
Far more than just a poster on a wall, these displays help residents immerse themselves in another place, time or celebration.
Gracey says the displays are something that her and Sue have been passionate about for many years.
"When Sue and I were working for another provider, we were disappointed that staff didn't spend time creating decorative and vibrant social spaces for residents," she said.
"After one Christmas, we decided enough was enough and we started decorating community spaces to celebrate the events we knew that were important to the residents. We ended up doing it for many years and now it's something that I've fortunately been able to bring to Freedom Cheltenham by Aveo."
Gracey also says the displays have also become a popular way for residents to stay connected with each other and their loved ones.
"We held a Mother's Day event this year, where we set up a display with a flower mural," she said.
"We encouraged residents and their family to use the display for family photos. Many residents haven't seen their entire family together for over 12 months, so it was nice to be able to help them capture some special moments."
"With the recent restrictions in Victoria, we've tried to use these displays as a way of keeping residents connected with each other. I quite often walk past and there will be small groups of residents sitting and chatting with each other, just enjoying the space. It feels good to be able to keep everyone connected."
Learn more about Freedom Cheltenham by Aveo.