Ask Nicky: The Benefits of a Day in the Southcare Social Centre
I recently spent the morning in our Southcare Social Centre
I wanted to gain a better understanding of what our service offerings are to Seniors.
Transport is a key element – we go to the customers’ homes and the bus trip was a delight. I got to sit next to customers and ask them questions about themselves. As we weaved our way through the suburbs it was great to hear the chatter between friends as more people came onto the bus. It reminded me of school bus trips and the anticipation of what lies ahead. When we got back to the Southcare Social Centre we were greeted by the other staff who had set up the activities for the day. People were assisted off the bus and soon we were welcomed with a morning tea that catered for everyone’s dietary requirements. During morning tea, more stories where shared and I noticed how laughter raised all our spirits. We know that laughter is the best medicine and from my experience it really was.
Before long I found myself sitting with a lady who was keen to get on with the crossword in the daily newspaper. I shared with her the fact that I had never done a crossword puzzle and that I thought they were hard to do. She told me how her mother was paid to make up the crosswords for the newspaper, so she had grown up on them. We sat together and worked through the puzzle – her mind was much sharper than mine. Gee I felt good to be able to identify a few of the words from the clues. Being a lifelong learner shown through in this lady’s smile – she was teaching me and it felt good for both of us.
At the same time some people were playing ‘Sit down Quoits’ I marvelled at the competitive and encouraging nature of the people playing. They wanted to win but they wanted everyone to do well.
I realised how the opportunity to improve drives us all no matter our age or abilities. Quoits is not easy and requires a lot of practice to get the mind and body thing going. I am told that Quoits delivers the brain a shot of serotine. This is the chemical this gives us a bit of necessary pleasure and keeps depression at bay.
Then a beautiful young women by the name of Victoria arrived with her two boys for singing. We were each handed a song book and before long people were saying which one they wanted to sing.
We then moved on to Christmas Carols, I was told the group are keen to sing over the festive season. We all loved Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer – if I am totally honest that was my request!
Before long it was lunch time and everyone gathered to share a meal and more conversations. The health benefits that come from eating regular, nutritious, home cooked meals cannot be underestimate.
As you can see there are so many benefits from a day on the Social Centre, and if you are like me, you may get to learn a new skill and make a new friend.
If you know a person who could benefit from social inclusion can I invite you to read more on the the Social Centre and Community Visitors Service we offer. or call us on 9450 6233.
Dr. Nicky Howe
Chief Executive Officer