Love is in the air at Bupa Aged Care Edithvale where a regular ‘date night’ is bringing back fond memories and helping couples make new friends.
‘Date night’ or ‘couples lunch’ started as a way to bring those with partners in aged care, who tend to spend a lot of time in their rooms into a more social environment with others. It's quickly become popular.
Karen Garwood from Bupa Edithvale’s
lifestyle team thought creating a couples event would bring people together to socialise, just as they would have at home.
“We had a special lunch where we set the table and created a more intimate dining setting. We used their favourite music gathered from their maps of life and we worked on a really personal dining experience,” she says.
Ronald and Joan Denson have been married for 57-years. ‘Date night’ has helped them meet friends and develop an active social life at the home.
“We’d only been here about three weeks when we were invited to the luncheon and it was lovely to meet people and talk about what’s going on in the world and in their lives,” says Ronald.
“We’ve made a lot of friends, naturally with a lot of the residents but also with the staff. They are absolutely exemplary,” says Joan.
“The kitchen always puts on such lovely food and sometimes a glass of vino and that helps the food go down very nicely,” says Joan.
The couple, who are still very much in love, say it’s important to them to have their life partner by their side in aged care.
“I don’t know what we’d do without each other we’ve never really been apart,” says Ronald. “We’d be lost without each other.”
“It’s wonderful to be with someone you love and to talk about life and sometimes not talk at all and just be in each other’s company.”
Karen says even though many of the couples have been married
for decades, their love toward each other hasn’t faded.
“Just the affection, the touch on the hand and the kiss on
cheek, it makes you sit there and think I want to be loved like that,” says
“I asked one man what he loved most about his wife and he
replied, ‘I love everything about her’, when she looked at him funny he replied
‘You can’t be surprised by that.’”
Romance aside, the program has made a big difference in
helping couples connect with others and bring them out of their shells and
“It was a chance to get to know each other, they spoke about
their jobs, their interests, how they came to be in the home,” says Karen.
It was so successful, BupaEdithvale will host a special couple’s lunch on Valentine’s Day.
The invitation will also be extended to partners who aren’t
living in the home to help create a stronger sense of community.