Sisters are a ray of sunshine
Originally published as 'Sisters are a ray of sunshine' in Logan Local on October 4, 2022 and reproduced here with permission. Interview and picture by Samuel Daniels.
One Saturday a month sisters Carol Hebron and Janice Maloney provide the residents at the Blue Care Yurana Aged Care with a morning of laughter, singing, and entertainment.
Carol and Janice live at the Blue Cara Yurana retirement village next door, which caters for independent living for over 65’s, and both says it is the best place to live.
“My husband was repairing the house, but it was becoming more difficult, so I took him out here and he saw the wallabies running around and the gardens, and that was it,” Janice says.
“We feel very content here, the people here feel like family, it’s a real community where we feel safe,” Carol, who lives a few doors down from her sister adds.
“And if something is not working you can just call up the maintenance people and Bob’s your Uncle, so you get to relax, and it eases your mind.”
Carol and Janice explain their entertainment mornings at the aged care facility began through a desire to engage with the residents after their mum was looked after there before she died.
“It started out with us doing theatre mornings once a month where we would dress up as ushers with popcorn and lemonade to hand out while the movie played,” Carol says.
“We did that for a year and then started doing themed events like Hawaii or Elvis Presley mornings to increase the interaction people were getting and provide some variety.”
As this morning’s entertainment, themed around travel and language gets underway, Carol is clearly the star of the comedy duo as she packs the room full warmth with her storytelling.
Between Carol’s anecdotes and songs like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Janice takes the reigns as the pun queen and zings the audience with her zesty one-liners.
“Everyone gets something out of it in different ways,” Carol says.
Through the years, Carol and Janice have developed quite the sophisticated performance.
“It took a while to get the hang of it… and bloody YouTube,” Janice says.
“You’ll go looking for a fun dog story and end up listening to Rod Stewart for ten hours.”
Blue Care’s Residential Service Manager Rosalie Casey started working at Yurana Aged Facility in March and says COVID-19 has been really tough on the residents and staff.
“It’s been such a lonely and at times isolating period, they are our family here and we care about them so deeply,” Rosalie said.
“The entertainment mornings are great and so valuable for the residents and even the staff.”
Aged Care resident Sharon Smith said the mornings are a highlight that make her laugh.
“It’s lovely to just mingle with everyone, to feel together and have fun,” Sharon said.
Janice and Carol agree they are constantly surprised by the reactions to the mornings.
“We’ll play a romantic song like ‘Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed’ and you can see residents just imagining that they’re back on their wedding night dancing,” Carol says.
“That’s the whole point.”
In between preparing for their next monthly show, Carol and Janice say their social life at the retirement village keeps them busy, with card games or a hit of squash a frequent pastime.
“I love bingo, it’s good fun,” Janice says.
“They have darts and lawn bowls and every so often we have cheese and bikkies together.”