Main photo: At left (from left) Stephanie Beall, Cathy McNaughton and Aussa Penniall recreate Bonnie and Clyde; at right pirate Aussa Penniall has some fun with Phyllis Leggett (photos supplied by Chartwell Rogers Cove)
The residents of Chartwell Rogers Cove decided to get creative when COVID-19 restrictions stopped them from being able to take part in their usual activities and entertainment.
Aussa Peniall, Rogers Cove’s retirement living consultant, had the idea to introduce a themed Happy Hour every Friday and it became a huge hit with the residents.
“I have a background in theatre so I thought why don’t we try something fun? The other girls that work there were keen too and we’ve done a different theme every week since March,” she said.
Each week’s theme is a surprise until Happy Hour starts and Aussa and other staff members, Cathy McNaughton and Stephanie Beall, come out into the lounge dressed up and with music playing.
“We have such a good time at the days the staff has planned for us,” said Vera O’Brien. “The games and entertainment are great.”
The bar cart and cocktail reflect the theme. For the Bonnie and Clyde theme they made the drink cart into an old car with bullet holes.
They even made their own Baileys one week, which the seniors loved doing. Wine, rum, and beer are offered but Baileys is their favourite.
“Happy Hour is the best way to get to know the staff in a relaxed atmosphere. The staff are so good to us and we enjoy a lot of fun smiles, songs and dance, and don’t forget a ‘toddie’ each, if we wish,” said resident Barb LeMay.
Past themes have included Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sound of Music, Grease, ’80s, ’70s and Hawaiian. The next theme planned is Peter Pan and for Halloween they’re doing Wizard of Oz.
Above left: (from left) Welsh guards Stephanie Beall (left) and Cathy McNaughton (right) usher in Aussa Penniall;
Centre: Pirates Stephanie Beall (left) and Aussa Penniall (right) try to press Eldon Harvey into service;
Top right: Hula girls Aussa Penniall (second from left) and Mackenzie Lynn Yeo (second from right) bring a touch of Hawaii to Gladys Ramsay (left) and Mary McLaren.
Bottom right: Cathy McNaughton serves up some Timmies to Elaine Garner at the ‘drive-thru’ (all photos supplied by Chartwell Rogers Cove)
“Each theme is getting more elaborate. We have a new activities manager and she is really artsy so we’re going to continue the Happy Hours permanently,” said Peniall.
As they are still only permitted to have 10 seniors in the lounge room at once, staff running the Happy Hour bring the bar cart around to each room to drop off the themed drink and snack to those who can’t make it.
“The Happy Hour really does brighten their day and bring a smile to their faces,” said Peniall.
“Our residents worry about their families and are quite sad they can’t see them as much as they used to. We’re really lucky that Rogers Cove didn’t have any cases of COVID-19.”
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