Thanks to the generosity of people leaving a bequest in their will, not-for-profit aged care provider Blue Care has been able to introduce more sensory gardens to its facilities.
Plans are now underway for the inclusion of a sensory garden at Blue Care Mt Gravatt Respite Care in Brisbane. New gardens are finished at other services at Eidsvold, the Sunshine Coast, Gympie, and shading has been put over the garden at Blue Care Bundaberg Pioneer Lodge Aged Care Facility.
Sensory gardens, also known as memory gardens, are an important part of Blue Care’s residential aged care and respite care services for people living with dementia.
Research shows that sensory gardens can stimulate senses as well as reconnect people with their childhood memories.
Planned Giving Officer Vanessa Bole said the gardens are more than just an area to enjoy.
“Most Australians spend much of their childhood and adult years outside, but as they get older they aren’t able to enjoy the places they once used to socialise and enjoy,” Ms Bole said.
“Our gardens have modified access to allow ease of access for wheelchairs, walkers and mobile bed chairs to allow them to be enjoyed by everyone.
“Already we’ve noticed that the outdoor spaces in our residential aged care facilities have become a preferred space for family, friends and grandchildren to visit their loved ones.
“Activities normally reserved for the indoors at our respite care services have been adapted to suit the outdoors, including morning teas and exercise activities. Gardening sessions have also been introduced. “This is having a huge impact on the physical, mental and social wellbeing for residents and clients who choose our services.”
In addition to sensory gardens, bequest money will also be used to build a Blue Care Men’s Shed at Blue Care Kallangur Pilgrim Aged Care Facility in Brisbane’s north to encourage social connectedness for men in the area, as well as extend the Hervey Bay Community Care centre.
Jess and David Bauer have made a decision to leave a gift in their will, after Jess’ mother was looked after by Blue Care.
“We were impressed by the dedication and compassion the staff showed towards mum,” Jess said. “Leaving a gift in our will means Blue Care can provide the extra things that make life more homely and comfortable for people in care.”
Doreen Bengston says both her parents and brother received Blue Care services, and leaving a gift in her will is her way of thanking the organisation for looking after them so well.
“It is a joy and a privilege for me to do all I can so that the great service given to the community thorough Blue Care can expand and continue,” she said.
While much of the work done at Blue Care is made possible through government funding and client contributions, the not-for-profit organisation appreciates additional support to make improvements to buildings, facilities and gardens. Since beginning in 1953, Blue Care has grown into one of Australia’s largest and most respected providers of quality care and services. The services are delivered to people across a range of setting including in their homes, in their communities, across respite and allied health services, in residential aged care facilities and retirement living villages.
For more information about Blue Care’s bequest program or for details on how you can leave a legacy, please visit www.bluecare.org.au/help-us/bequests or phone 1800 001 953.