It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We can feel the excitement of Christmas building here at Vincent Court. There’s so much to love about this time of year! Our whole community is busy getting ready to embrace those treasured Christmas traditions that make the festive season special for everyone.

To get us all in the spirit, residents have been decorating the trees in each household, baking Christmas biscuits, and creating beautiful hand-made Christmas cards for their families. We’re all looking forward to our bus trips to see the amazing Christmas lights around Kempsey, and of course coming together for our resident Christmas party on 15th December.

Residents and visitors can join our special Christmas Church services, including Mass every Thursday and an ecumenical service on Wednesday 14th December, and interested residents can also attend Christmas Eve Mass at All Saints Church in Kempsey.

At Vincent Court, we love supporting residents to continue their connections with loved ones, especially at this time of year. We encourage family and friends to come and share some time together in our many welcoming outdoor spaces.

Please note that visiting protocols are subject to the latest COVID-19 guidelines issued by NSW Health. Please phone (02) 6562 6062 for information about any visitor restrictions or screening requirements.

To find out more about how Vincent Court supports residents to continue doing the things they love, call our friendly admissions team on (02) 6562 6062.

When to use respite care for your loved one

Respite care in a residential aged care community can be a safe, short-term solution for families or partners caring for an elderly loved one. At Vincent Court, we care for respite guests with low care, high care and memory care needs. Guests can join us for a week or two at a time, or longer if needed.

The Australian Government subsidises the cost of respite care for eligible residents for up to 63 days in a financial year, making this an affordable option for families.

Respite guests receive expert care 24/7, and access the same support, lifestyle program, and meal service as permanent residents.

Here are some of the times when respite care can provide you with the trusted support you and your loved one need:

1. When you need a break from your carer role

Relax and recharge with peace of mind that your loved one will enjoy companionship, fun times and personalised care.

2. Following a hospital stay

Your loved can recuperate and recover with expert 24/7 care and all meals and housekeeping provided.

3. When you’re on holiday

Head away on a holiday knowing your loved one will be looked after with tailored support in a vibrant and welcoming environment.

4. When they need emergency care

Respite is an ideal option if your loved one has had an accident, injury or illness, and they need dedicated, ‘round-the-clock care in a hurry.

5. To trial what living in one of our communities is like

Your loved one can experience what it’s like to live at Vincent Court before considering a more permanent move.

Respite guests enjoy all the support and services that permanent residents access, including:

  • 24/7 tailored care from our dedicated team of Carers and on-site Nurses
  • A private, light-filled suite with plenty of space for personal belongings
  • A full, country-style meal service (including morning and afternoon tea), plus all-day access to snacks and drinks. Respite guests can choose when and where they enjoy their meals.
  • Daily housekeeping, laundry and room service
  • Access to our full activity schedule, indoor and outdoor shared spaces and on-site hairdressing salon
  • Pastoral support and on-site Church services

To find out more about respite care, download our Respite Guide, or contact our friendly admissions team by calling (02) 6562 6062 or emailing

Our favourite Gingerbread recipe – with a twist

Who doesn’t love yummy little Gingerbread men at Christmas time? This is our Head Chef’s favourite Gingerbread recipe that Apollo Care residents and visitors will be enjoying in each of our communities this festive season.

For something different, we love pairing these Gingerbreads with a French-inspired syrup. It’s delicious drizzled over the biscuits and definitely adds a fancy touch to this Christmas classic.

Here’s the recipe so you can try at home:

Gingerbread (makes 24)


580g plain flour

3 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

175g softened butter

175g caster sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp orange juice

1/2 cup molasses

Sugar to dust


1. Cream butter and sugar together.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

3. Add eggs, orange juice and molasses to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

4. Slowly add the dry mixture and stir until it comes together as a dough.

5. Roll the mixture on a floured bench with a rolling pin to a consistent thickness of approx. 0.5cm.

6. Use a cookie cutter to make gingerbread-shaped biscuits and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then dust with sugar.

7. Bake at 175 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

8. Cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with piped icing

Pain D’Epice Syrup


125g Sugar

500ml water

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 star anise

1 cardamom pod

Small pinch ground cloves

Small pinch ground nutmeg


1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

2. Keep simmering until syrup has reduced to desired consistency, then remove star anise and cardamon pod from the mixture.

3. Allow to cool and then serve syrup as a drizzle or dipping sauce with the Gingerbreads.

Careers Night showcases flexible career opportunities in aged care

Vincent Court Careers Night - Macleay Valley Parish Hall on Tuesday 29 November 5pm - 7pm.

Vincent Court Aged Care Community is holding a Careers Night at Macleay Valley Parish Hall, Kempsey, Tuesday 29 November to encourage locals to explore the career pathways available in this in-demand industry.

The event, held at the Macleay Valley Parish Hall in Kempsey, promises to be an informative evening for job seekers of all ages and backgrounds.

Vincent Court Residential Services Manager, Kylie Bonney, says that aged care offers a fulfilling and stable career with lots of day-to-day variety.

“At Vincent Court, our team loves supporting residents to live their best life. It’s an honour to build close relationships with older Australians and their families,” said Kylie.

According to Kylie, the Careers Night will appeal to anyone who’s interested in jobs in Nursing, Care, Hospitality or Cleaning.

“We also want to talk to those looking to re-enter the workforce after a break, those who want to explore a new career in aged care, or school leavers looking for a vocational career pathway”, she said.

Rosanne Watson from TAFE Kempsey will be in attendance with information and advice on how people can undertake a Certificate III in Individual Support while learning on-the-job at Vincent Court.

At this informal information session, interested jobseekers can ask questions and hear inspiring stories from people who love working in aged care. They’ll have the opportunity to meet Kylie Bonney, Vincent Court Clinical Nurse Paige Bellenger (pictured), members of the Vincent Court Lifestyle & Administrations Teams, and TAFE & High School Students completing their Cert III at Vincent Court.

Anyone is welcome to come along to the Vincent Court Careers Night on Tuesday 29 November from 5pm – 7pm at the Macleay Valley Parish Hall, 52-58 Marsh St, Kempsey.

For more information call (02) 6562 6062.

Come to the Vincent Court Resident Open Day!

Vincent Court is welcoming new residents with our refurbishment almost complete. Come to our Resident Open Day to meet our team, tour a new-look private suite and find out about permanent and respite aged care.

Prospective residents and their families will have the opportunity to talk to:

  • Kylie Bonney – Residential Service Manager
  • Paige Bellenger – Clinical Nurse
  • Members of our Lifestyle & Administrations Teams

You can also enjoy a freshly baked morning or afternoon tea and see our resident craft stall.

Join us on Thurs 8 Dec, 9.30 – 11.00am & 4.00 – 5.30pm

Email to register your interest and preferred timeslot. Please spread the word to others who might be interested. 

Specialised support for Kempsey locals living with dementia

Vincent Court is offers specialist dementia care in their secure household, supporting aged care residents with advanced memory support needs.

Residential Service Manager, Kylie Bonney, says this specialised care is an important service for the local community.

“The number of older Australians living with dementia is continuing to rise. This means more families are being challenged by the demands of caring for their loved one affected by dementia,” said Kylie.

“At Vincent Court, our staff are specially trained to offer expert, around-the-clock support for residents with moderate to severe memory loss.

“Our Nurses, Carers and Lifestyle teams are equipped with the experience and tools to help these residents remain comfortable, active and enjoying life as much as possible.”

The secure dementia household includes an outdoor courtyard with raised garden beds, chickens, a sensory garden and fruit trees.

Lifestyle Officer, Michelle Douglas, says that careful consideration goes into developing a lifestyle program specifically for dementia residents.

“Residents with dementia often find that sensory experiences involving hearing, smell and touch are calming and enjoyable. We offer many music therapy and cooking activities, art therapy and a range of outdoor activities utilising our outdoor spaces and courtyards,” said Michelle.

Vincent Court’s dementia household comprises private rooms with private ensuites. Residents are welcomed on a permanent or short-term respite basis.

The community also cares for residents living with dementia who have lower-care memory support needs.

Vincent Court is part of the Apollo Care Alliance, an innovative national aged care provider preserving the unique purpose of regional not-for-profit providers that play a valuable role in their local community. Learn more about Vincent Court at or by calling the Admissions Team on (02) 6562 6062

Meet Margaret – whose handmade crafts are helping others in need

Margaret is a much-loved Kempsey local, moving here from Port Macquarie when she was nine years old. She has a long history of serving her community, spending more than 40 years proudly working at the iconic variety store, Fosseys.

Margaret’s crocheted dolls, rugs and cushions are legendary at Vincent Court. She was taught to crochet by her grandmother and finds this pastime to be very fulfilling.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be able to crochet – I think everyone should learn! It’s so good for my mental stimulation so I crochet all the time.”

Margaret donates the rugs she makes to the Vincent Court raffles and has won many prizes for her beautiful crafts at the annual Kempsey Show.

But the positive impact of Margaret’s crocheting has a far wider reach. She also donates her creations to Wrap with Love – an amazing not-for-profit organisation that distributes hand-knitted or crocheted rugs to people in need around Australia and overseas.

“I find it so rewarding that something I’ve made can help someone less fortunate. To think that my rugs are being used to keep people in need warm makes me so happy.

“I’m very grateful that the staff at Vincent Court are so supportive of my hobby. They really take an interest and encourage me to do what I love.”

Margaret has been a resident at Vincent Court since 2017 and says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My Mother, Mother-in-Law and husband, Lyle, all lived at Vincent Court for a time, so I knew how good this community was. If anyone asks me what it’s like living here, I tell them I wouldn’t go anywhere else. It’s as good as you can get and I have everything I need right here. Everyone is so friendly. I recommend it to anyone – I’d be lonely if I didn’t live here.”

At Vincent Court, we love supporting residents like Margaret remain engaged in the activities that bring them joy and purpose.

Community spirit alive and well at Vincent Court

Anyone connected with Vincent Court would know how community minded the residents are. From cooking stalls and choir performances at the annual Kempsey Fete, through to the amazing array of handmade craft items donated as raffle prizes, the residents love using their talents to make a positive contribution.

Any money raised from the stalls and raffles is saved in a special bank account and the residents vote on how it will be spent. There’s one golden rule of thumb when deciding, though. Whatever is purchased must be used and enjoyed by ALL the residents.

Just some of the items that these funds have purchased include outdoor tables and chairs, a Jack and Jill chair, and even the snooker table in the Recreation Centre! What a great commitment to making our community an even better place to live.

Next time you visit, take a look at the items for sale in our display cabinets. You’ll find beanies, rugs, gloves, coat hangers and Christmas decorations all available for purchase.

Meet Paige – our Clinical Nurse with a real passion for aged care

Paige was just 15 years old when she first started working in aged care through a school-based traineeship. Graduating high school with a Personal Care Worker qualification, she then studied to become an Enrolled Nurse and joined a hospital in a surgical ward. Her love of learning saw her go on to achieve her Registered Nurse qualification, but she soon realised that aged care was her true calling.

What do you love about nursing at Vincent Court?

Aged care is where my heart lies. I love that I can support Vincent Court residents to live their best life by providing them with tailored care, dignity and respect. We treat each resident as a unique individual, and to look after them in their home is an honour and a privilege.

How are you supported to use your clinical skills to put residents first?

At Vincent Court, I am empowered by my leadership team to case manage and coordinate resident-focused care. My clinical skills are always highly valued and it’s wonderful to work in such a collaborative team that places the residents first. The systems and processes we have in place enhance our nursing care, and our Carers are empowered to work closely with us and the allied health providers.

How do you make a positive difference to residents?

We use best-practice clinical assessments to identify any medical changes or issues as early as possible so that we can act quickly. But it’s much more than this. Every day, we balance clinical excellence with kindness and that’s a pretty amazing thing. At the end of each shift, I know I’ve made someone’s day better.

What would you say to others considering a Nursing career in aged care?

It’s a challenging and highly rewarding career. It’s our job to be there for the residents and use our compassion and empathy to make a difference. I don’t think there are that many other careers where you can honestly say you enlighten someone’s life.

At Vincent Court, we love supporting our Nurses like Paige who are passionate about making a difference to residents.

Celebrating our Coffee Shop ‘Queen’ Bea

Bea symbolises everything that makes our volunteers so wonderful.

Originally from Sydney, Bea moved to the Macleay Valley region in 1985 where she began volunteering with the Catholic Church and St Vincent de Paul. Even when she worked full-time at Telstra for 17 years, she still made time to continue her volunteering work and has been helping our Vincent Court community for the past nine years.

What do you do here? 

I come four days a week and run the Coffee Shop in the mornings and some afternoons I take residents out on shopping trips. I’m also part of the Pastoral Care team so I offer emotional support to residents and bring Mass to them if they’re unable to come to our Chapel.

How would you describe the Coffee Shop? 

It’s the pulse of Vincent Court! All of us have so much fun at the Coffee Shop – the residents, their families and the staff, too. We play music and people get up and dance, and it’s become a favourite place to connect. So many residents enjoy their morning ritual of stopping by and having a coffee or a milkshake and something delicious from the kitchen. The Coffee Shop is part of their day and part of their home.

What do you love most about Vincent Court? 

I’d have to say it’s the genuine connection and bond between the residents and the people who work here. I can’t speak highly enough of our team – they go out of their way to make sure each and every resident feels safe, happy and comfortable, just like they would at home.

Why is this role so important to you? 

The people here are like family to me. I always feel so appreciated, but I view myself as the lucky one. Just being able to help them and spend time with them is so special.