“So we built a pub”- creative and caring staff and residents countering social isolation

“So we built a pub.” The Old Dog & Duck bar was designed and built by Sue L. (physio aide), her husband, the physio team and the caring residents all at Estia Health, Tea Gardens.


OVER six months of social distancing has been exceedingly difficult for many people in our elder communities, especially those who have been unable to leave their aged care homes due to heightened health concerns.

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John is one such person, who after months of staying safe in his Estia Health Home was really really missing his mates and the pub.

So, the wonderful staff and residents decided it was time to bring the pub to John.

Using pallet wood, the group secretly built a traditional ‘pommie’ bar, decorated with lights, flags, streamers and all inside their shared home.

Naturally, beer, wine and cocktail glasses, as well as a light nod to “Cheers” were all included.

Residents affectionately named it the “The Old Dog & Duck”.

They handpainted the name (with a bright yellow duck and dog) onto a traditional timber sign, which was hung with pride behind the new bar.

An incredibly surprised and happy John was invited to cut the ribbon and open the pub for a big night long to be remembered.

Ray Dudman, a mate of John and a caring local shared the story with News Of The Area, reflecting.

“While nursing homes and staff have been in the spotlight in the past six months for many wrong reasons, it must be noted that the people who work in these aged care facilities in the majority care for our relatives, their residents, with the utmost duty of care, responsibility and compassion.

This story shows the depth of creativity that Estia Nursing Home’s management and staff will go to, to ensure residents are given every opportunity to maintain their connection with the outside world, their wellbeing and mental health.”

As Ray says, keep looking out for each other.


By Sandra MURRAY


John opens his pub, cutting the ribbon to kick off “International Beer Day” with raucous music, dancing, corner chess and trivia (everyone won).

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