A sense of community is an important part of living at one of our McKenzie homes.
We say we provide care as only a family can give. But we also know that having friends is really important as well.
A Harvard Study concluded that strong friendships promote brain health, encourages good mental health, and helps us deal with life decisions and also rebound from health issues we may be facing. We are just stronger when we are surrounded by love and support.
We see it every day. Residents who initially keep to themselves are, within weeks, on first name basis with other residents. People who have eaten alone, sometimes for many years, are now sharing mealtimes.
Within a week of each other five ladies joined our Lynbrook Park home in Victoria and our Sales Manager Roxanne could see the similarities and knowing how important friendship is arranged to have the ladies seated together for their evening meals. Within a few weeks the ladies had formed a bond that saw them sitting together for each meal - the laughter and chatter form their table lifted everyone’s spirits around them. When another resident became widowed the five ladies took her under their wing and soon the gang became cemented at six. They are now meeting in between meals for activities or just catching up for a coffee in the lounge room. The six ladies are a wonderful support for each other, they are looking out for each other and their happiness is contagious.
Many friendships have been formed throughout our 17 homes and are strongly encouraged by all staff, coming into care means that living at home without any daily social connections is no longer a worry for the resident or their family. Our Lifestyle teams organise all-inclusive activities for all to try and encourage those who are a little shy at first. Laughter and connection are medicine for the soul that we should be enriched with at any age.