Talented aged care resident, Alan Illingworth is a testament to the fact that age is no barrier to pursuing even the fiddliest of hobbies.

Originally from New Zealand, Alan is a miniatures enthusiast who used to devote much of his spare time building spectacular model boats and ships. Being fully operational, Alan’s models looked and acted just like a tiny version of the real thing, sometimes even doing the job too! As Alan’s friend and Lifestyle Coordinator Judy recounts, “he once built a model that would tow his dingy along as he sat in it!”

Being such a large and important part of Alan’s life, it made sense that the boats would join him in his move to Regis Legana. A number of the models currently sit proudly on display in the Home for Alan and the other residents to admire. “Alan is very proud of his models and everyone is in awe of his work,” says Judy.

Alan has completed the second stage to his model city, Simon’s Café, which will accompany his recently completed build of the Flower House. Alan identified that this was a more complicated build as this held more complexities around the veneer flooring, however Alan has stated this has been a well-accepted challenge and he really enjoys the concentration and attention to detail the models pose.

When reflecting on the broader community at Regis Legana, Judy emphasises the importance of enabling people to pursue their existing interests, and helping them to explore new ones. During regular Wellness Checks, the team finds out what each resident’s individual goals are and if there are any new hobbies they would like to take up. They’ll then find ways to make this possible. It might involve sourcing pine to make cheese boards, wool for craft projects, recipes for delicious treats, or something completely different. In Alan’s case, perusing the latest Spotlight catalogue gives him the opportunity to pick out what model he intends to build next. Judy advises that, though simple, this concept is such an essential aspect of caring for others’ wellbeing. “It gives people meaning, purpose, and helps them to feel at home,” she explains, “and it’s very fulfilling to help them.”

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