You’re never too old

You’re never too old

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Delia Zapata discovering the world of virtual reality. Photograph— Richard Polden.

There is a new interactive café in town and Silver Chain Pendana Social Centre in Bentley is the first in 13 social centres to open a café on site.

The grand opening was celebrated last week and it welcomed a lot of customers that look forward to regularly take part in the activities at the café.

Called Cooinda café-Noongar, for ‘Happy place’, has a homelike setting for elderly clients to socialise and come together.

A lot of the customers are socially isolated people who look forward to visit and take part in activities such as arts and craft, cooking, games and excursions.

A virtual reality experience was even provided during the grand opening.

Clients in their 80s and 90s proved age is no obstacle when learning new skills by taking on roles as baristas at the café.

Pendana Social Centre users will run the coffee shop serving up coffees for centre visitors and loved ones visiting or utilising the centre as a community hub.

Assistant Coordinator Dorota Kalbarczyk, who trained the group, said the positive effects she had seen on clients’ wellbeing were immeasurable.

“It gives them a sense of purpose because they are making the drinks instead of the other way around,” Ms Kalbarczyk said.

Long-time client Norma Bono, who was previously reluctant to get up and make a cup of coffee due to her pain levels, said she was proud to be a part of the Cooinda coffee shop.

“I had a lovely time making coffees and I had to make so many, it was great fun,” Mrs Bono said.

Social centres and volunteer manager Kerry Watts said Cooinda empowered clients to maintain their social skills.

“The team started on a new journey to transform all centres across the metro region,”she said.

“They will be taken from a traditional setting, to one that embraces a person-centred approach and creates a day filled with opportunities to enhance well-being, create connections with others and maximise clients’ abilities.”

The Cooinda café is also the second social centre cafe open following Rockingham in 2017.

Silver Chain has six social centres in the Perth metropolitan area and seven in regional Western Australia.