The conversations of life

New wellbeing initiatives bring smiles to aged care residents


The initiatives have been brought in to improve the health and wellbeing by residents at Bolton Clarke’s Cabrini home in Sydney’s Westmead.

For resident Gertie, who grew up in Germany during World War II, and was agitated and distressed for much of the time, staff have introduced a robotic dog named Tiny after noting that she responded well to pet therapy. Her daughter says she’s now a “new woman” and smiling again.

In the memory support unit, a resident whose first language is Italian and who no longer speaks English was often distressed has been given a set of headphones and is now clapping along to Italian music.

Another resident who rarely moved from her chair is using a shoe polishing station to clean other residents’ shoes.

Other new items include an office desk to work at, a dressing table with seat where many like to spend time and a bookcase with sensory items – and it’s paying off with staff saying the atmosphere is much calmer, while families report that their visits are more relaxed.

Great to see providers thinking outside the box.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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