Clients, families and staff at Glenhaven celebrated the first ever Christmas party at Arcare Glenhaven this year.
Family and friends joined us in the morning for a Christmas concert by entertainer Eleni who is a favourite performer of the clients. Being of Greek nationality Eleni shared with us some of the traditional Greek songs, which two of our Greek residents and families sang and danced along to.
Eleni also invited a family member visiting from Germany to sing a Christmas carol in her German mother tongue, whilst Eleni sang along in English. It was a beautiful duet and all the clients sang and clapped along with them.
After the concert the clients and their families moved to an open dining area where everyone enjoyed eating a traditional roast lunch buffet and a glass of wine or beer. There were many conversations, story telling and laughter amongst clients and families as they all celebrated together as one big family.
All the staff worked well together as a team and everyone was encouraging and supportive throughout the event.
Everyone complimented ‘the chef’, and had much praise for the entire event.
The organisation Hills Pet Buddies visits Arcare Glenhaven once a month to give pet therapy to our residents. The Labrador that visits our facility is named Honey and is a favourite of our Glenhaven community.
Owner Sandra is so generous with the effort and time she puts into caring for our residents through pet therapy at Arcare. It’s great to see how much the community enjoy the pet visits, and lovely to realise that many of our clients have lived on farms or have experience with many other types of animals not just the ordinary house pets like cats and dogs.
Seeing these connections, Sandra invited us to her home where she has several acres of land and owns alpacas, rabbits, dogs and cats. Everyone was very excited leading up to the trip. The drive only took us a minute which the residents found quite amusing, making jokes with each other about walking down for visits and moving in with the Sandra and her pets!
The weather was very warm so it was decided to venture down to the paddock first before morning tea to try beat the heat. The group had so much anticipation as they were walking down and they all had big smiles on their faces as the alpacas approached the fence
Discussions about the appearance of the alpacas included the difference between the colours, sizes and behaviours and movements. The three beautiful alpacas were:
Poncho (Brown): aged 12-named after South American garment which is made from alpaca fleece
Inca (Grey): 9 months- named for the ancient Peruvian civilisation the Incas
Tui (White): 9 months- named after the native NZ bird and tui is also the term for an adolescent alpaca
While the visitors fed and patted these friendly creatures, Sandra gave some facts about the alpacas and answering many of the residents questions
Next, everyone was introduced to the rabbits, Mocha and Binky, as well as patting the Tickles the cat, and regular Arcare visitor Honey the dog.
After visiting all the animals Sandra had prepared a lovely Christmas Morning tea that for all to sit and enjoy. There was a variety of different sweets and a range of tea and coffee. The residents were all so thankful and felt very special being treated to such an exciting morning and delicious high tea.
Over morning tea, the group enjoyed discussing the animals as well as reminiscing about their own experiences and life history with animals. It was easy to see that many had gained a lot of emotional comfort from seeing and interacting with the animals, and for many they were able to express themselves in a different way all while feeling like their old selves again.
Overall, the Alpacas stole the show, and so many thanks and warmth was shown to Sandra for the entire experience.
At the end of the trip driving home we like to ask the clients to rate the trip out of 10- They all rated it 10/10 and one even gave it an 11/10! This has been the best rated trip so far, and it is hoped that it will become a frequent visit for all to enjoy.
“My favourite trip of all time”-Nora, “Seeing the animals brought back so many memories”-Margaret, “I’m so glad I came”-Jean