Fun, learning, sharing of ideas, seeing love in action, motivated to do more, networking, lots of food and lots of sweeties. I think that sums up what most delegates experienced at RVMS 2018 (Retirement Village Managers Summit 2018).
Monday 30 July started very early for many. Some getting up as early as 3:00 am to catch flights. We were met at the airport and taken by bus to the Indaba Hotel. Our luggage was put in safe keeping and in minutes we were once again on busses to tour retirement homes and villages and experience how things are done in Gauteng. The bus was soon buzzing with conversation and laughter as delegates started to get to know each other.
We were welcomed at our destination with refreshments, although there was plenty of that on the bus as well. Thank you to Rand Aid for sharing the Eden Alternative with us.
Things that struck a cord with me and will forever be imprinted on my memory were how the residents are kept active in ways that make them feel respected, loved and valued. Their individuality is nurtured. Keen gardeners can participate in the gardening project and sell their plants to visitors. Each resident is assisted by staff and family to put together an informative poster for the door of their room that explains a little of their history and their favourite things. There was a petting zoo and some residents had cats as pets. I loved the words of upliftment in the form of posters and artwork all over the place. Care-givers use the pop-up hair salon and nail bar to keep the residents looking great and feeling special. I saw a resident of 103 years old having a manicure.
Naturally there was plenty of activities in the form of walks, age-in-action gym classes, sudoku, fabric painting, card games etc. Tasteful use of colour everywhere. No hospital like beige walls and floors. Bright and cheerful!
I was really impressed too with the design of the bathrooms and showers that were big enough to allow a wheelchair to turn, and the railing that stretched from inside the shower to outside the shower.
The clubhouse in the sectional title section was very upmarket, with library, games room (card tables), a full sized snooker table in the snooker room and a bar that is run by the residents a few evenings a week.
After returning to our hotel and finding our luggage already in our rooms, the day ended with a sumptuous dinner and an early night for most.
The conference kicked off the next morning and we did not want to be too tired to take in any of the new information RVMS had in store for us.