A Slice of Farm Life for Eliza Purton Residents 

Eliza Purton |

A Slice of Farm Life for Eliza Purton Residents 

Eliza Purton has been proudly supporting the West Ulverstone community in north-western Tasmania since it first opened its doors in 1964, and an important component of its ongoing commitment to local families is the care it provides residents in its Memory Support Unit. 

Our Eliza Purton team members are passionate about building surroundings of support for our residents living with dementia, from physical spaces catering to their unique needs to a vibrant environment of community connection, and this includes regular activities developed to inspire participation and engage stimulation. 

As part of this focus, Eliza Purton recently recommenced the home’s regular visits to Molenda Lodge – a local farm designed to cater for aged care residents, particularly those living with dementia, through a unique memory care program. 

Our residents thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Molenda Lodge, which provided them with an opportunity to explore the surrounding gardens, spend quality time feeding and playing with the farm’s animals and pets, and participate in several fun-filled activities designed for people living with dementia. 

Research suggests that time spent at care farms can improve the quality of life of older people living with disabilities, including dementia, who often experience social isolation and a decline in their mental and physical wellbeing. 

More generally, it has been reported that as little as five minutes a day spent sitting amongst nature can provide stress relief for individuals and decrease their mental fatigue.  

We also know how beneficial time spent with animals can be for older people living in aged care. In fact, some studies have even shown that if an individual spends just 15 minutes bonding with an animal, it can promote hormonal changes in their brain – boosting mood and alleviating negative feelings of loneliness, as well as providing support for mental and social health issues. 

Suzanne Pursell, Social Care Assistant at Eliza Purton, says the Molenda Lodge visit brought smiles to each and every one of the residents’ faces, and they were already looking forward to returning in a fortnight’s time. 

“We’re over the moon to be able to return Molenda Lodge for our visits, especially following the Covid challenges of previous years,” she says. “Our residents absolutely love it, and it provides them with so many benefits – from helping them maintain regular physical activity to having fun and building their morale and self-esteem. 

“Considering the age of our residents who participate, they can all relate to farming. So we also do activities like picking blackberries and digging up veggies so we can incorporate as much time in the garden as possible – which they enjoy immensely. 

“Thank you to everyone at Molenda Lodge for continuing to support our residents. It’s a great community connection which we’re proud to continue in the future.”

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