We believe everybody
deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age
Known as the broad bean queen, Coombrae Home resident Nancy Sargent has been keeping her fellow residents full of beans for the last three years.
The annual broad bean planting at Enliven’s Coombrae Home in Feilding has become a welcome tradition for residents, who enjoy reaping the benefits of Nancy’s gardening each year.
“I’ve grown broad beans for as long as I remember,” says Nancy.
“I grew them at home because I had five children to feed and they ate what grew in the garden. I enjoy growing them, harvesting them, and of course eating them.”
Nancy takes charge of growing the broad beans with the help of recreation staff, while the other green-thumbed residents help her to harvest and eat them, explains Coombrae Home manager Kelsey Smith.
“The broad bean harvesting has become a hit amongst the residents and sees the
m working together to pick the beans and get them ready for eating,” says Kelsey.
“They all sit around a table and chat while they’re shelling the broad beans, and they give them to the cooks to prepare for dinner. It’s become a tradition here.”
Kelsey says residents are encouraged to continue with their interests at Coombrae Home.
“We have quite a few residents with varied interests in gardening and they are all able to choose what plants and vegetables they’d like to grow in our Eden gardens,” says Kelsey.
“Continuing with their hobbies is a huge part of our model of care at Coombrae and we do what we can to support them.”
That’s because Coombrae Home, along with all other Enliven homes such Willard Home and Brightwater Home in Palmerston North, embraces the Eden Alternative, an elder-directed model of care that aims to provide much more than health care alone.
“Eden changes the way people think about supporting elders,” Kelsey explains.
“Instead of focusing on what people can’t do, we support them to continue with their hobbies and passions in a way that’s right for them.”
Coombrae Home is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, and provides rest home, dementia and respite care, as well as a stimulating day programme.