Aged care residents encouraged to dream big

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A lap in a V8 race car, Andre Rieu concert tickets and a deep sea fishing trip are just some of the items waiting to be ticked off the bucket lists of Mercy Health aged care residents and home care clients.

The Mercy Health Foundation Ball on Saturday 26 May is hoping to make as many of these dreams come true as possible with proceeds from the event going to the Imagine Fund.

The Imagine Fund was established to enhance the lives of older Australians by supporting projects and programs which help people to age well and to help socially and financially disadvantaged residents and clients realise lifelong dreams.

One of Australia’s most prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders, Naomi Simson, will be the Master of Ceremonies at the Mercy Health Foundation Ball. Ms Simson is the founder of online experience gift company RedBalloon and believes in a sense of purpose and dreaming at every stage of life.

“A bucket list is a wonderful way of having everything in its own space,” Ms Simson explains.

“I think vision boards as well as having a bucket list of lovely things to reflect on annually is great. I like to tick at least one or two things off each year.

“I wanted to do the seven great train journeys of the world…I think I’ve done five of them so far. I’d also like to swim with ocean dolphins.”

Ms Simson says it’s often individuals who stop themselves from chasing their own dreams.

“I think that little voice inside our head often wants us to play small and we all need people to challenge us to greatness to play a bigger game.”

While a number of Mercy Health aged care residents and home care clients still have many dreams and aspirations to accomplish, they sometimes don’t have the family support or the means to fulfil these dreams.

Southern Cross Care Keon Park (Southern Cross Care (Vic) recently merged with Mercy Health) resident Margaret Vears has been a huge fan of the St Kilda Football Club since she was young and watching her team play one last time is at the top of her bucket list.

“Watching the game on TV is the highlight of my week. Everyone knows not to panic if I have no voice after a win,” Ms Vears says.

“I would love for one last time to see my boys play at a live game and maybe even give one or two of them a sneaky kiss on the cheek for good luck.”

The Imagine Fund (also supported by the Knights of the Southern Cross) has already helped many residents and clients tick off their bucket list items including Tiger Moth flights, Harley Davidson motorcycle joy rides, a scenic helicopter flight and a trip to the Frankston Sand Sculpture Festival.

Mercy Health Group CEO Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen says watching peoples’ faces light up and hearing their bucket list stories — days, weeks and even months after the experience — was priceless.

“At Mercy Health we believe in looking after the whole person, not just their health and physical wellbeing,” Adj Prof Cornelissen says.

“If we can help our residents and clients to follow their dreams and continue to live life to the fullest then we have achieved what we set out to do.”

To help Mercy Health aged care residents and home care clients fulfil their dreams, visit

Download full media release ( PDF, 130.0K )

Last reviewed May 18, 2018.

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