February 27, 2020
Written by Jamie Loh
Since opening in November 2019, Arcare Parkwood has been forming various connections with the LGBTI communities.
In the last couple of months, they have invited youth from the Open Doors Youth Service and now, they are organising their first Mardi Gras.
For many of the clients, it will also be their first time experiencing a Mardi Gras and their first time watching a drag show.
In true Mardi Gras fashion, clients, families and team members got all dressed up for the occasion with sparkles, sequins and lots of rainbow colours.
Clients also wore some of the glitter-y DIY masks they had made in a craft activity.
Residence chef Rudy even prepared an array of rainbow cupcakes and desserts to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
To top it all off, Lifestyle Co-ordinator Tadeja had invited a special guest to celebrate Mardi Gras with them – drag queen performer Carmen Taykett!
During the interactive performance, Carmen sang, danced and even joked with the audience members.
There was laughter all around the room when Carmen gave her humourous rendition of ‘Frank Walker from National Tiles’.
‘I think it’s wonderful!’ client Dennis shared.
And with four costume changes and a variety of popular songs, clients and families were kept on their toes as Carmen mesmerised them with her extravagant costumes and her expressive performance.
There were also plenty of opportunities to take photos with Carmen and many were excited to give her a big hug!
Parkwood’s Mardi Gras is a special event as it enables clients to celebrate the diversity of those in the LGBTI communities.
When asked about transitioning into Arcare Parkwood, the close friend of an LGBTI client commented, ‘It has made the whole transition going into aged care a whole lot easier.’
And by celebrating their first Mardi Gras event, Arcare Parkwood is paving the way for other LGBTI-inclusive aged care residences.
Jamie Loh is Arcare's Community Marketing Officer for Queensland. Jamie joined the Arcare team in early 2019, stepping straight into her responsibilities which include communications with the broader community and some internal communications responsibilities. Jamie is a firm advocate for consistent, varied communications to help bridge the gap between those living in aged care residences and those living in wider communities. Jamie utilises a broad array of strategies to help improve messaging and boost brand awareness. Jamie is passionate about improving engagement between those who are enjoying their retirement in Arcare residences and family and friends who live in the wider community. She is always advocating for new methods of communicating, including new strategies and mediums. After graduating from Brisbane State High School in 2014, Jamie attended the University of Queensland where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications (Public Relations) and Arts (Japanese). During her time at the University of Queensland, Jamie attended an intensive exchange program at Waseda University in Tokyo for two months.