My first Magazine - Page 71

g lunteer trainin shirt) at the vo see w to llo ’ st ye Te (in s e Jiak Je the ‘UV Germ o rg de un to ting nds workshop wai washed his ha how well he’s the residents to touch and smell. We spent the next three sessions promoting our project and getting the residents involved. We spent the next three sessions promoting our project and getting the residents involved. The most popular plant the residents would like to grow? Curry leaves! When we finally got down to potting the plants with soil, we asked the residents to put their names on the pots and left them in their care. A week later, the plants were dead! Everyone was dejected and a couple of residents called it quits. But we persisted and encouraged them. That’s when we got to know the residents better and realised there are those who really love gardening, those who only want to harvest and cook the herbs and others who are content with just looking at the plants. Phase 2 With the knowledge gleaned from phase 1, our team broke down the planting process down conducted ing workshops en rd ga lts of on s- and hand tom left) resu Basic theory Ming and (bot ow H e m an ho Ti r e th ee of lunt by NParks vo different parts ans grown in the green be into more manageable tasks like potting, seeding, watering, fertilising and harvesting/ cooking. We also rostered ourselves visit the home such that there’ll be someone to water the plants daily (if the residents forget to do so) After several weeks, our efforts bore fruit. We had enough fresh green basil and mint leaves to make a meal of omelette with mint tea and honey, both Francis’ idea. The residents helped to chop the herbs and fry the eggs while the volunteers made tea. Success never tasted sweeter! Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces filled us with indescribable joy. It’s not about how grand the garden is or how fast we get there. It’s really this relationship that we share with the residents! The Future of Ageing The years after 50 look clearer now. I realise it is about recalibrating my expectations about what will bring me meaning and joy. Money and time are no longer in the driver’s seat. Instead, experiences matter. The residents have changed my concept of time. I used to be in a hurry but not anymore. When I cycle around my neighbourhood, I can stop to explore something that catches my eye. I have also stopped keeping track of how long conversations with my parents last and the number of times they repeat themselves. At age 50, I enrolled in the HMI INstitute of Health Sciences to study to become a physiotherapist. I can imagine myself spurring others, including seniors, to better health. I also see myself working on longer- term engagements with St Joseph’s Home. This is how relationships can be properly fostered. With every interaction and every new friend made, I see myself learning how to prepare for my own ageing and how to better connect with people of all ages.” StJ St Joseph’s Home | 69