Rockhampton aged care community celebrates milestone
Carinity’s aged care community in Rockhampton is celebrating a milestone – and Graham Harvey and Donna Hinchliffe have been there from the start.
Graham and Donna were present as Carinity Shalom marked its 20th anniversary with a special function on September 27, attended by around 180 residents, family members, current and former staff and volunteers, and local politicians.
Carinity Shalom aged care opened in 2003, to complement the retirement village on the Kawana site which had opened 18 years earlier. Carinity Shalom’s property supervisor, Graham has been involved with the seniors’ community since 1991.
“From raising funds to build the aged care community through to arranging countless garden parties and social events, Graham has been at the heart of almost everything that happens at Shalom for over three decades,” said Carinity Interim CEO, David Angell.
Donna, who supports Carinity Shalom’s residents in her role as a Diversional Therapist, was amongst the aged care community’s inaugural staff.
“I have always had a passion for serving others. I enjoy the engagement with both residents and their families knowing that I have tried to make their lives better,” Donna said.
“I also acutely know that my life has been enriched by sharing time with our seniors. I hold dear to my heart memories of past residents and their families and old teammates from the many years I have worked here.”
The residents of Carinity Shalom, whose ages range from 69 to 97 years, have some fascinating backgrounds and stories to share.
They include a bravery award recipient, former professional boxers, a man who operated a food van supporting Rockhampton’s homeless, and a Polish national who spent his teenaged years in labour camps during World War II.
The current resident who has lived at Carinity Shalom the longest is 95-year-old Betty Allen.
Another resident, 90-year-old Nola Thomas, cut a special 20th birthday cake at the anniversary event, at which Rockhampton Deputy Mayor, Neil Fisher, and Senator for Queensland, Matthew Canavan, were guest speakers.
David Angell congratulated Shalom’s dedicated nurses and support staff who have “displayed a determination to care for our most vulnerable” for two decades.
“Our devoted aged care employees help to create welcoming communities where seniors feel at home, included, heard and valued,” David said.
“Carinity is also delighted to offer in-home care for seniors, as well as counselling, special assistance education and crisis accommodation for young people in the Rockhampton district.”
Carinity Shalom Residential Manager, Joseph Lionheart, said many seniors had transitioned from Shalom’s independent living retirement village to the co-located aged care community.
“Residents who move into our retirement village have the security of knowing there is ongoing care on the same site should residents require it,” Joseph said.
“If someone needs to move to higher care, it’s much easier for their partner or friends in the retirement village to stay in touch.”