Tea for two . . . Long time married couple Val and Adrian Davison dress up for celebrations at Wallingford Home where they reside. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

By Alexia Johnston

Wallingford Home has been recognised for creating quality of life for its elders.

The retirement home recently achieved all 10 principles of the Eden Alternative Philosophy of Care – an initiative designed to encourage continued growth, despite age or the challenges residents face.

Wallingford Home nurse manager Raewyn Mehrtens said the initiative dealt with loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

“[They] are the three plagues of ageing,” she said.

To combat those issues, a range of techniques were used to ensure residents continue to be a part of the community.

Mrs Mehrtens said as part of that, residents were encouraged to continue to do what they loved, whether it be playing a musical instrument, flower-arranging or attending a service group they were involved with before moving into the home.

Long-time married couple Val and Adrian Davison are doing just that.

Mrs Davison’s dream of working with flowers has become a reality since she moved into the home last year.

She is responsible for the many flower arrangements displayed throughout the home.

Although she had a love of flowers and a desire to be a florist, Mrs Davison spent her younger years as a nurse.

“I can remember saying .. I want to be a florist and my aunty Ina said ‘you will never get out of bed in time to get up early to do flowers for a funeral or wedding’.”

Thanks to the support of Wallingford Home, Mrs Davison is now living her dream of working with flowers.

Mr Davison, who also moved into the home last year, has continued his love of music.

He plays the keyboard whenever he gets a chance, especially when Happy Birthday is required.

Music also sounds across the home on Friday afternoons thanks to invited bands who perform during happy hour.

Mrs Mehrtens said those examples were just some of the many ways the Eden Alternative Philosophy of Care was embraced among residents.

Others attend church, service clubs or groups and Mr Davison has continued his involvement with the Masonic Lodge in Fairlie.

“It’s maintaining a lifestyle that’s been a part [of their] lives,” Mrs Mehrtens said.

“They keep up what they did when they were at home.”

Resident Daphne Gudsell was among those who wanted to thank the staff and volunteers for their work.

“We really appreciate all they do,” she said.

“And, of course, without the volunteers too, we wouldn’t be able to play bowls.”

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