Seven days of activities a hit in Christchurch

Residents at Bupa’s Cashmere View, St Nicolas, Bethesda and Ballarat Care Homes in Christchurch are enjoying a new activities programme that keeps them busy every day of the week. In the past, activities have run Monday to Friday, but the four Care Homes are part of a Bupa pilot that will see the activities programme span all seven days of the week.

Diversional Therapist Margaret Reiha on a shopping trip with residents Alda Hornsey and Sharene Harvey


Diversional Therapist Margaret Reiha on a shopping trip with residents Alda Hornsey and Sharene Harvey

Margaret Reiha is a Diversional Therapist at Bethesda Care Home. Since the new activities programme was implemented she has been able to start a weekly coffee club which has been very popular with residents, and has enjoyed being able to take residents on a wide variety of outings.

Daphne McKerrow, a resident at Bethesda, agrees, and says - “I really enjoy our trips out. At the weekends we now find ourselves able to choose how we fill in our weekend, when we don’t see our family.” 

“It is rewarding when we can provide entertainment, fun and laughter for our residents. It has made a huge difference to their quality of life just a smile from them is all we need for our reward,” says Margaret.

The Christchurch team has been focused on increasing trips outside the Care Homes, and has hired a dedicated van driver who works for all four homes. The van has a hoist which makes it easy for less mobile residents to join in on trips out.

Outings are varied, with something for everyone. They include trips to the mall for a spot of shopping, coffee and cake, walks around the Botanical Gardens, fish and chips Lyttleton to admire the views of Quail Island and Diamond Harbour, as well as a visit Bunnings Warehouse to purchase new items for the residents’ workshop area.

“I really enjoy the outings. It was exciting to go to the library – it was breezy & beautiful and we weren’t rushed. Tina is a great driver and I felt very safe driving with her,” said St Nicolas resident Marion McNaughton.

Other activities in the new programme have included games of bowls and housie, hand massages and manicures, gardening and exercise groups.


Residents’ family members are also impressed.

“I think these weekend activities are great for the patients, and for families that are visiting. It has made a real difference,” says Kitrina Griffin, whose father Win lives at Cashmere View Care Home.

Bupa Operations Manager Janet Lester has been pleased with the success of the activities pilot.

“Activities make a huge difference to the quality of life for our residents. They help to make one day different from another, give residents something to look forward to and provide a sense of purpose to the day. It makes sense that we give our residents the option to take part in activities on any day they choose,” she says.

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