Getting to know our surroundings and our community has always been a most enjoyable experience for our residents.
One of this month’s highlights was an outing to Muizenberg beach for our wheelchair-bound residents. Transporting wheelchairs is not always an easy task so, for the first time, we booked a Dial-a-Ride vehicle. The vehicle is specially designed to accommodate five wheelchairs and four passengers. Each of our wheelchair-bound residents has to have an appropriate carer with them for safety reasons and to ensure that their basic needs are met. This may seem like a simple process, but a lot of planning has to go into this, such as reducing our staff compliment on the floor, selecting an appropriate outing and determining a time frame in order to maximise the positive experience for the residents. In addition, the vehicle has to be booked well in advance with the destination, the number of people and times being clearly stated and this can be particularly difficult at times.
Despite it being a very windy day, and the destination being changed to Fish Hoek beach due to the tight bus schedule, our residents thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the stimulation of a different environment. For most of these residents, this has been their first outing in a long time. We want to repeat these outings as the value and benefit to our residents are indescribable.
Outings and especially being involved in the community is beneficial to all of our residents, they learn social skills and going on outings as part of a group builds their self-esteem and helps them to identify with a wider community. Our residents’ weekly visits to various synagogues has provided consistency and integration, which they love. We are very grateful to the Rabbonim and shuls for making our Glendale residents so welcome. Some of the social skills we try to reinforce is to have good manners and awareness of others, not to overfill their plates as others also need to eat, and to try to learn healthy eating choices and habits. This is not always an easy task but we persevere. Our Chaggim were also celebrated both at Glendale and in the community.
Looking back at some of the major outings last year, they occurred mainly in nature and most of them included an educational component. The highlight was our annual four-day visit to Montagu where our residents swam, had a tractor ride and braaied with their carers. We also went strawberry picking, to the aquarium, the museum, One to One, a game farm, the Shark Center and have taken weekly drives that included visits to the beach.
We continue to celebrate our birthday parties monthly and always try and have some form of entertainment. Music and dancing are very popular.
This year we want to focus more on festivals and welcome any ideas or feedback that the community wants to share with us. Our Glendale community loves having visitors and they are always received with great enthusiasm and warmth.