A Memorable Horse Drawn Carriage Ride for Jemalong Residential Village Residents
27 Oct 2020
Delighted residents from Jemalong Residential Village in Forbes were recently treated to a horse drawn carriage ride through the countryside as part of Catholic Healthcare’s My Wish program. For the residents, the experience was nostalgic and an opportunity to reminisce, share stories and bond with each other.
The My Wish program grants residents living in one of our Homes, a special wish. It’s about promoting life to its full at any age, rewarding our residents and giving them the opportunity to enjoy an extraordinary experience.
The horse drawn carriage ride, proposed by a female resident, was a big hit with everyone at Jemalong.
Acting Lifestyle Manager, Bec Higgs said, “It was a wonderful and memorable day. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather. The grand carriage drawn by two beautiful Percheron Draft horses was visually mesmerising. The residents were elated and the experience was enjoyed by everyone.
“The horse drawn carriage ride was offered to all the residents and some were encouraged to step outside their comfort zone. Altogether, 35 residents went on a ride, with nine trips being made in total. For every trip we had a different staff member escort the residents including the Maintenance Officer, the Residential Manager, Care Staff, Kitchen Staff and Lifestyle Officer. Residents were taken around Jemalong, along a country road in a rural neighbouring field to a quaint little cottage and back again. It was lovely,” she added.
Some of the resident comments included:
I haven’t done this in decades. I used to work with horses everyday and it’s good to be in their company again. (Jack)
I want to go again and again. (Pearl)
What a beautiful way to spend a beautiful day. (Di)
I am not getting off. That went too quick. (Jim)
Catholic Healthcare is passionate about enriching the lives of its residents. Bec Higgs says the horse drawn carriage ride was a perfect example of this.
“The wish had a positive impact on residents and staff alike. On the day, the Home was abuzz with hype and activity and everyone at Jemalong enjoyed the experience. For residents who didn’t want to go on a ride, we made sure there was time in the day to meet the horses, talk to the driver and the lady who owned them. Out here in the country, most people including our residents grew up with horses or had some involvement with them.
“The experience also allowed our residents to reminisce, share and bond with each other before and after. We learnt so much about them. We would hear residents in the dining room, in the foyer, during activities, or having a cup of tea saying, ‘oh, my family used to own a horse and carriage business’ or ‘I grew up with horses until my father died and then my mother had to sell them’. We didn’t know any of these things until this experience came along. To me, that was the most magical part about the experience.”
Catholic Healthcare would like to give a special thanks to Marianne and Robert from the Travealy Horse Drawn Carriages of Cowra.
As part of the My Wish program, residents also enjoyed a delicious high tea with musical entertainment.
For more information about Jemalong Residential Village visit www.catholichealthcare.com.au/residence/jemalong-residential-village/