Care Community stories

Maintaining independence through work

22nd July 2021 | 3 mins
Narraweena Grove General Store

At Opal HealthCare, we are advocates for the people in our care. We believe everyone should be able to contribute their skills, experience and wisdom to society as they age.

People actively seek meaning and purpose in their lives in order to enrich and fulfil their sense of self - it is human nature. Meaningfulness has been positioned as a fundamental psychological need that strengthens an individual’s self-worth and life experience. When individuals are pursuing a profound purpose or engaging in work that is personally important, they experience significant positive effects. We see this every day among our residents.

In our 2020 Social Impact Report, we highlighted the importance of our Helping Hands program which is designed to enable residents to engage in meaningful work in their Care Community. Performing jobs that are meaningful enhances a person’s wellbeing and challenges perceptions of ageing in society. Many residents relish the opportunity to participate, be it folding napkins for meal service, tending the garden, delivering mail to residents, answering telephones at reception, or interviewing candidates for positions in Opal HealthCare Care Communities.

In 2020, residents at Narraweena Grove Care Community in Sydney opened the Narraweena Grove General Store. Corrine and some of her fellow residents operate the store from end to end - managing the roster of resident volunteers, stock selection, cashier management and stocktaking. It has become a thriving part of life at Narraweena Grove and provides a valuable service for residents.

At Alfred Cove Care Community in Perth, Yvonne, who is 100 years young, provides administrative support to our reception team and phones family members of residents every two months to conduct a customer service and care check.

Yvonne at Alfred Cove

Neville, at Warrandyte Gardens Care Community in Melbourne, is the resident representative for care team job interviews. He was involved in eight interviews in 2020, explaining roles and responsibilities to prospective Opal HealthCare team members. He is an integral part of communicating the culture of the Care Community, giving insight into what great care looks and feels like for residents, and providing vital feedback to the leadership team that informs hiring decisions.


As well as being great for our residents, the Helping Hands program gives comfort and assurance to families in knowing their loved ones have agency in how they spend their day, and they have a voice in the running of their Care Community.

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