It was all bright colours, big smiles and expressive dance moves at Bupa David Lange Care Home last fortnight.
The Care Home, located in the South Auckland suburb of Mangere, organised festivities on Friday, October 18, 2019 to celebrate the Indian Festival of Lights.
Female staff and residents of Bupa, dressed in Saree, and were joined by the Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust who kept everyone entertained through music and dance.
The Festival is one of many celebrations, which Care Home Activities Coordinator John Benedict Bernardo said, ‘makes the place feel more homely for residents.’
“They look forward to dressing up and socialising. It’s a great way to get them out of their rooms, and to bring in members of the community. It is important to include the residents in the culture in which they grew up, and even for Non-Hindus, it is educational and fun,” he said.
Care Home Manager Yvonne Kleyn said that Bupa has a multicultural mix of staff and residents, with 27 residents (of 77) of Indian origin and 30% Pacifica.
“So, it is good to recognise those cultures and we never like to miss an opportunity to have fun and celebrate,” she said.
Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust does a lot for the Care Home, Ms Kleyn said.
“It has been wonderful to see the interest and enthusiasm of Indian culture grow and develop at the care home with residents, their families, and staff. From the colourful saris to the traditional music and dance. We have even developed healthy Indian curry alternatives at mealtimes and make sure we celebrate significant festivals and dates such as Diwali in the care home,” she said.
About Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust
The Trust was formed in 1995 to support the migrant community, both young and old, but has since formed a friendship with the came home – providing them with cultural activities, resources, and tradition Indian food on a monthly basis.
Founder Jeet Suchdev said it is important to support the elderly, especially those of different cultural backgrounds, to keep tradition alive for them.
“Our elderly often suffer when they go into rest homes as they are used to eating Indian food, and then have to adjust to a Kiwi diet – and there also might be language barriers. So, we provide all the help we can; supplying Indian food, supporting staff and residents with Hindu language understanding, and mediating when any concerns arise,” he said.
Mr Suchdev said that he is happy to see the residents happy during Diwali festivities.
“Normally people like to go out and celebrate with friends and family, but we choose to come and celebrate here because the residents don’t have the option to leave. We are blessed with the opportunity,” he said.