Spreading Christmas cheer

December 8, 2023 BY

Dorothy Davis shares a laugh with Uniting AgeWell Direct Care Worker Janet Rerden.

Dorothy Davis is working as hard as Santa’s elves to make beautiful Christmas gift tag cards which she sells to raise funds for research into Parkinson’s disease.

The 89-year-old is living with the disease and six months ago decided to put her creativity to good use. Dorothy cuts up old cards that are donated to her and beautifully repurposes them as gift tags. And she has sold hundreds ranging from birthdays to special celebrations, with her Christmas tags already wildly popular.

Dorothy is delighted to be living at home in the place she loves, thanks to a government-funded home care package through Uniting AgeWell. She chooses to receive help around the house and garden, as well as personal care and assisted shopping.

“Nothing is too much trouble for the staff at Uniting AgeWell,” Dorothy said.

“I get on well with all the carers, it’s also good to be able to have a bit of a laugh.”

She sure does! Especially with Direct Care Worker Janet Rerden, who has a wonderful sense of humour and loves being able to make a difference in the lives of older people.

Kalkee Murray Residential Services Manager Louise Harvey (right) at the stall at the street craft market with Geelong resident Lucy Stone, who loves helping out at the residential facility where her daughter works.


Dorothy is not the only senior who is busy and purposeful this Christmas. The residents at Uniting AgeWell Kalkee Community Murray are loving their novel new way to connect with the community with their recently opened street library, which is already getting rave reviews.

Not only can locals choose a free book or a DVD, but they can even take a lemon or two. The residents’ craft group has created hand-made stickers and a beautiful book mark to go with each book, all bearing the message “With love from the Kalkee Murray Street Library”. Children’s books remain the hot favourites.

Residents also made gifts for a stall at the Bushikori Christian Centre Christmas Street Craft Market held outside the facility recently to raise funds for the Ugandan health facility and Joshua Primary School. Uniting AgeWell is proudly part of the Uniting Church – and the Belmont Uniting Church has had a significant connection with Bushikori since its early days.

Uniting AgeWell supports older people every step of their ageing journey. From services to support people in the Barwon area to live well at home, to social connections and respite programs to keep people active and connected in their community. Specialist residential care is also available in Belmont when 24/7 care and support is needed, as well as independent living units for those who want to downsize. And if you are considering a career in aged care, Uniting AgeWell has opportunities in the Barwon area too.

For more information, head to unitingagewell.org or phone 1300 783 435.

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