From men’s bus trips to men’s lunch groups through to a fully-operational Men’s Shed, many of the men’s activities on the Seasons social calendar have been started and coordinated by our male residents themselves.
There has been some research indicating that lifestyle programs in aged care settings are generally skewed to ‘female oriented’ activities, given the larger proportion of females in care. The danger here is that these programs may not capture the male resident’s interests, capabilities and strengths, leading to a lack of engagement.
“We average around ten people on each outing. We’re trying to get a lot of men into it to go out and enjoy themselves. It’s about fellowship. Sitting there talking, telling each other how good we are and telling tall tales and just enjoying life.”
It’s that sense of camaraderie that forms the basis of many of the Seasons communities’ men’s activities.
Also at Seasons Waterford West is the Men’s Shed. Tucked up the back of the community, behind a roller door, the Men’s Shed is a little like an underground bunker where the men of the community, as well as a group from Seasons Redbank Plains, work on a range of woodwork projects.
If you can hear the sound of laughter and the cracking of jokes ringing out over the din of banging and power tools, you’re in the right place.
While light-hearted ribbing is often the order of the day, the space also provides an opportunity for the men to connect and talk about what’s happening in their lives. Men’s Shed projects have included making Lazy Susans for the dining room, wooden memory boxes for residents with dementia, children’s toys and chopping boards.
Activities such as these provide Seasons’ male residents with meaningful activities while connecting with friends, being productive and maintaining an active body and mind. All keys to good health.
Seasons Mango Hill has a long-running Men’s Group who go on regular outings to clubs and cafes in the area.
The group’s meet ups provide the men with an opportunity to catch up and relax. Many members of men’s groups across Seasons communities are dealing with either the loss of their wives or caring for wives who may have dementia or other serious health conditions. The men’s groups help them feel less isolated and create an opportunity to discuss their feelings in a non-judgemental environment with other men who understand.
There are also examples of individual male residents being included in the everyday running of their communities, doing meaningful activities using the work skills they’ve honed their whole lives. An ex-mechanic becomes the go-to person for fixing wheelie walkers and scooters while an ex-farmer dons his work clothes every day and goes and helps the community’s gardener. These activities help residents to feel useful within the community, giving them a sense of purpose to get out of bed for every day.
Catering for a resident’s individual needs means providing them with the space to be themselves and be supported in a way that feels good for them. If that’s a beer at the pub with the blokes, then that’s what Seasons does.