Person First: Growing together at Northhaven

Longer, healthier, happier lives
02 September 2016
Growing together

Making sure we understand our residents’ individual needs and meeting their wishes in any way they want is all part of our Person First approach to care.

And with this in mind, Peter Fields, now Sales Consultant at Bupa Hugh Green Village, Auckland, spotted an opportunity when two residents at Northhaven Retirement Village, New Zealand, continued to build small vegetable plots wherever they could find a space at one end of the building.

Peter, who was the Village Manager at the time, said: “I thought it was great that the residents were taking it upon themselves to build the plots, and they were clearly enjoying themselves while doing it.

“So I put a request in to have four raised vegetable gardens constructed with a suitable footpath for all the residents to use.”

Peter’s request was quickly granted and the impact was immediate, with residents having their plots full within the first two weeks – and now a number of Northhaven’s residents are spending each day in each other’s company in the gardens.

“It’s very gratifying to see a resident come into the foyer at the end of the day carrying some lovely, fresh vegetables – and they are also sharing and spending more time with each other, which again makes for a happy home,” Peter added.

Rob Bycroft is one resident who has seen the immediate benefits of spending more time in the gardens: He said: “I get a real thrill from seeing something grow and it gives me lots of pleasure to be able to share my produce with other residents.”

And it’s the simple things such as interacting with the residents, and being able to make their day and bring joy, that make Peter’s job truly worthwhile.

“The residents are always truly grateful for anything we do for them,” he added.

“But we are simply caring for them in a way that we hope someone will care for us if we need assistance in the future.

“Person First care is all about treating everybody with the respect they deserve and making sure they feel valued, ultimately ensuring their older years are as happy and fulfilling as possible. That’s what makes the difference.”

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