Spicing things up in aged care

A group of older women gathered at a table making gingerbread houses

Spicing things up in aged care

by Britt Ramsey (‘Nambucca Guardian’)

Armed with icing, sweet treats and a blank gingerbread house canvas – Nambucca’s aged care residents got their creative juices flowing this week.

Gingerbread is fun to eat, decorate and admire during the holidays and the residents of Uniting Pacifica had a blast this week at the inaugural Gingerbread House Decorating Day.

It’s the first event held at Pacifica and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated.

“We have just got a new chef manager (Penny Moran) and it was all her idea,” Uniting Pacifica service manager Joanne Butler told the Guardian.

“She thought the day would be wonderful for the residents – even coming in on her time off to make all the gingerbread houses and the stars and gingerbread men.”

Around 40 of the 84 residents were involved in the day in some way. Pacifica has four households and there was one gingerbread house for each to decorate.

On hand were chocolate freckles, musk sticks, jelly beans, Smarties, red and blue clouds, sour straps and licorice lollies, bullets, jubes – a sugar lovers dream.

“The chocolate freckles and musk sticks were used (and eaten!) most … though I don’t know if that was more the residents or the staff,” she joked.

“They just had fun! They loved the colour, the gingerbread, the social aspect, the experience and the fact that it was something different.

“There were lots of visitors, the day was very Christmassy.

“They spent about 4 hours on the houses, and they all looked amazing.”

Of course, one house took a spill – however residents weren’t fazed, blaming it on the Mother Nature.

“One did collapse, but we had a storm last week, so people joked that it due to storm damage,” she said.

The houses are on display at Uniting Pacifica – wrapped in cellophane – until the Christmas party on December 15, after which time they will be picked apart and enjoyed by residents and their families

“Everyone had an absolute ball and we’ll definitely do again next year.”

(This article originally appeared in the ‘Nambucca Guardian’)

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