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Breaking the stigma of aged care

A lifestyle and wellbeing program to help “break the stigma” of residing at an aged care facility has been developed by New South Wales aged care provider, SummitCare.

<p>Pictured left is Wellbeing Day Centre attendant, Kylie Rogers, with residents Ron Honeybrook and Dawn Caitlin, and relationship manager for SummitCare Home Care, Margaret Russell.</p>

Pictured left is Wellbeing Day Centre attendant, Kylie Rogers, with residents Ron Honeybrook and Dawn Caitlin, and relationship manager for SummitCare Home Care, Margaret Russell.

The organisation last week launched its pilot Wellbeing Day Centre program, which will run for 12 weeks, at St Marys and Penrith.

The Wellbeing Day Centres offer planned programs of activities, from cards and gentle exercise to education on matters regarding health and wellbeing.

Margaret Russell, SummitCare relationship manager, claims the program will help elderly people maintain their independence and confidence, while in a welcoming environment with others.

“We hope by starting this program we can give carers some time out and provide an environment where their loved ones will have fun, meet new people and gain skills to help them in the future,” Ms Russell says.

During the past six months, SummitCare has been working on the rigorous process with management and are heavily invested in aged care processes and safety mechanisms for the safety of its clients.

Ms Russell cloaims the program will help break down the stigma of nursing care and nursing homes.

Activities include arts and crafts, concerts, events such as Christmas in July, a petting zoo, a men's group and gardening.

All activities are tailored to suit the clients' interests.

Centre attendant, Kylie Rogers, claims if the elderly experience this program they will “get a feel for our services and what we're all about”.

“It provides them with support — physically and mentally — and gives them meaningful care,” Ms Rogers says.

The program will be extended to the rest of the state early next year.

Find out more about SummitCare's Wellbeing Day Centre program, or book by phoning 1300 685 548.

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