Festive Fun

Christmas is a time of year that can be very lonely for the elderly. Often there might be a token visit to older relatives before family rush off to spend time at the beach or doing their own thing. This sense of abandonment and isolation is one of the causes of depression in the elderly, which affects many over 65-year-olds in New Zealand.

It’s this time of year in particular th at I find it reassuring to think that the elderly who are being looked after by Radius will get to enjoy the festive season and the company of friends and staff if they can’t be with their families. In many ways the residents are like family to each other and to Radius staff.

And they certainly know how to have fun! All of our residents have their own unique way of celebrating the “silly” season – with activities including a Mad Hatter Tea Party and making a video of a ’Twas the night before Christmas’ recital starring the residents.

It’s also really wonderful to see how generous our residents are in the season of giving. Since October, staff and residents at Radius facilities around the country have been beavering away gathering food to donate to families in need this Christmas.

But one activity that’s going on at Radius Peppertree really sums up the festive spirit of our residents and staff for me. There, even the bees have been taken into account with residents and staff running a ‘save the bees’ campaign. They have replanted the entire resthome with flowers and flowering fruit trees to attract the bees, as well as hanging baskets to be hung throughout the grounds. Then they are sending out wildflower seed packs with their Christmas cards to encourage their families and the community to get behind the campaign and help save the bees.

Not content to rest at that, in the New Year Radius Peppertree will purchase bee hives – and not just any old bee hives, but hives that don’t cause harm to the bees when honey is extracted.

I think that’s what the festive season is all about – having fun, giving back and remembering what’s important – and who’s important – including our valued elderly in society. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and takes the time to enjoy what matters.


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