On a beautiful January Summer’s Day, eleven residents and the Lifestyle team from our Green Gables Residence took two Maxi Taxi’s to the beach. This was no ordinary beach excursion, as two of the residents were in wheelchairs, but thanks to the wide accessible beach matting that reaches the shoreline at Altona Beach, our residents were able to be included in this wonderful trip to the beach because their wheelchairs could be pushed to the shoreline.
Some of the residents had not seen a beach for almost ten years, and were quite overcome with being able to see and touch sand and water again, and able to smell that alluring beach aroma, a mixture of seaweed and the surf.
A special morning tea comprising cheese and biscuits, chocolates and soft and hot drinks was pre-prepared and shared together. For many the trip sparked memories from times past spent with loved ones at the beach. The group chatted and shared stories whilst enjoying the view of the water and people swimming and playing on the beach.
For one of our residents Tia, it was particularly special, because in Maori culture, the sea is seen not only as a food source, but as also possessing great spiritual and cultural values. Customs and protocols called Tikanga are based on cultural beliefs, so for Tia to be able to pray and wash her face and hands in the ocean held special significance and re-connected her with her strong affinity to the sea. The residents watched Tia’s ritual of cleansing in the ocean and were able to discuss this and what it meant to Tia afterwards.
The residents then went for a walk along the pier and went out to lunch. They returned mid-afternoon tired but exhilarated and re-energised. It was such a truly wonderful day for all, residents and staff alike are all planning and looking forward to the next day trip to the beach.
If you would like to visit one of our Aged Care homes, please contact us on (03) 9559 0400