On Thursday 25 March, ahead of Relationships Australia’s Neighbour Day this Sunday, residents at Ingenia Gardens Seascape celebrated Neighbour Day to recognise the power of community connection by holding a fun and festive Brazilian-themed lunch.
Combating social isolation has never been more important and the Ingenia Gardens Seascape community is kicking loneliness to the curb, joining the rest of the nation in finding opportunities to creatively connect with their neighbours.
Ahead of the official day, the community gathered together for a Brazilian-styled lunch, where residents got to dress up in their most festive outfits and enjoy a fast-paced Brazilian dance performance.
83-year-old Ingenia Gardens Seascape resident Janette Collard has lived at the community for nine years and said she was always eager to get involved in social events and activities as it gave her the opportunity to meaningfully mingle with her neighbours.
“We do all sorts of things here like questionnaires, crosswords and bingo games which are great ways to keep our minds working and enjoy our afternoons together with friends and neighbours,” said Mrs Collard.
“We have a lot of fun, and it helps new people moving to the community settle in and get to know everybody here.
Mrs Collard also enjoyed being part of a letter exchange initiative between residents where they shared their histories and stories through hand-written letters swapped between one another.
“I really think it’s important to encourage community connection and communication with one another – people should definitely be more aware of how important that is, so it’s great to see that we are celebrating Neighbour Day,” said Mrs Collard.
“Here at Seascape, we always look out for each other and if we haven’t seen someone for a while we check up on them to make sure they’re ok – it’s important to have people you can fall back on and get support from.
“Of course, it makes life a lot more fun and enjoyable when you can spend time with your neighbours and have a laugh together.”
Ingenia Gardens Seascape Community Manager Sonia Magee said the Neighbour Day initiative was something the residents felt was important to celebrate.
“It’s a nice opportunity for the residents to mix and chat with their friends and other neighbours that they might not usually spend time with,” said Ms Magee.
“Community connection is so important for older Australians, especially for those who may be living alone. Neighbour Day is a day when we turn the community activities up a notch and really encourage everyone to get involved.
“Our residents look forward to taking part in the various activities throughout the year. It gives them a sense of belonging and is an opportunity to do something a bit different.
Ms Magee said the community embraced the theme of ‘every day is neighbour day’ year-round, with initiatives like the Activate program helping residents stay active and social.
With a mix of health and wellbeing programs like happy hour, game nights and celebrations, Activate helps foster social connection and encourages the residents to build and maintain friendships.
“The program has proven to be a brilliant way to prevent social isolation among Ingenia Gardens residents and also helps them maintain good health and wellbeing,” said Ms Magee.
To find out more about Ingenia Gardens Seascape please visit: https://www.ingeniagardens.com.au/communities/western-australia/seascape/