Across Seasons communities, celebration days are an opportunity for residents to come together around the table and share in a special menu of food and fun.
Whether it’s celebrating family at Mother’s, Father’s or Grandparent’s Day events, cultural experiences for Chinese New Year, Oktoberfest, Australia Day, Hawaiian Day, St Patricks Day and Harmony Day or major events such as Melbourne Cup and Christmas Lunch, the teams across Seasons communities work together to ensure residents enjoy a day to remember.
According to Seasons Executive Chef Trevor Kemp, his focus for creating celebration menus is to provide quality food that’s a bit novel and residents can enjoy at no extra charge.
“We try to match the food to the event if we can, but for me it is about offering our residents something different to make these events a highlight for them and the staff,” says Trevor.
“These events are all included in the Seasons food service charge for those on a food service package so it’s a real value add for the residents.
“The variety is something everybody looks forward to and it’s an excuse for good food, entertainment and, for those that are willing, an opportunity to dust off the dancing shoes!”
While food is a focus, Trevor says it’s a true team effort in the planning and executing of these events.
“It’s not just about the food, it’s all the work put in by the Seasons teams to create the theme for the day with props, raffles and entertainment. The staff will often dress up and we encourage residents to do the same.”
Seasons Redbank Plains community manager Janine Peucker says that celebration days are one of the favourite parts of her job.
“Our aim is to make a difference in our residents’ lives. We just love seeing them smile and have fun and watching the expressions on their faces,” says Janine.
“The best thing ever is seeing our residents laugh. Residents like to see the staff get in and enjoy themselves as well. We encourage our staff to participate wherever they can, and they do this by getting our residents up to dance, sitting with them, singing along and clapping with them.”
Janine says that while planning can begin a month before each event, it’s done in a way that details can be organised progressively without stress.
“We think about what the theme is, then we book suitable entertainment. We always look for entertainers that will engage with our residents – they must be fun. Then we go searching online for the decorations. The decorations make the atmosphere, and we always want to produce a wow factor for our residents.
“We just love to do special touches, like putting tablecloths on the tables, serviettes in the glasses, printed placemats, decorations on the tables, and a menu on a stand. Decorations hang from the ceiling and music plays in the background to set the mood.”
Janine says for her seeing the residents enjoy themselves makes every effort behind the scenes worthwhile.
“One of my favourite memories is hosting a masquerade evening. We saw residents that hadn’t danced for many years get up and dance with the staff. Some of the residents use their walkers to help them balance. The expressions on their faces say it all. I get very emotional when I see the residents enjoy themselves.”