Dear Residents, Consumers, Families and Friends,
We have been very lucky with our situation in Tasmania over the past several months, as we’ve been able to welcome visitors into our facilities, following COVID safety rules. Also, under current restrictions, our residents can enjoy regular outings to local attractions and parks. However, during the height of the COVID pandemic we had to close our facilities to visitors for the safety of our residents, and residents could not attend activities outside the facility. This brought with it many challenges, with the risk of residents experiencing feelings of isolation while dealing with a drastic change of routine. Our amazing Leisure & Lifestyle teams worked incredibly hard during this time to ensure that residents had plenty of activities, support and opportunities to connect with their loved ones.
Connecting Through Technology
Here at OneCare, technology has provided an invaluable tool in helping our residents remain connected with friends, family, community and their hobbies. We used Zoom and other video conferencing technology to help our residents make regular calls to their families. We used video conferencing to run virtual clubs and allow volunteers to continue interacting with our residents!
Residents of The Manor, Betty and Norma, participate in a virtual knitting club run by volunteers
Our Facebook pages proved invaluable in keeping families connected with the activities and lives of residents during the height of the pandemic. Facebook helped us document all the fantastic activities organised by our Leisure & Lifestyle team, including socially distanced birthday parties, gardening and even setting up “shops” inside the facilities to replace the days out our residents would normally take to do some shopping.
Our Rubicon Grove facility helped their residents to make a special video for their families, which was posted on their Facebook page.
In the event of another COVID outbreak in Tasmania, our facilities may once again need to limit access to visitors, but we will be guided by the Department of Health on this. If this happens, we will not only have all the support of our leisure & lifestyle teams and the connections provided by Facebook & video conferencing services, we have also invested in further technology to facilitate easier communication. We have new ipads in each facility, which will provide even more capacity for those families who prefer to use Facetime to connect with eachother.
Maintaining Community Connections
Most of our facilities have strong relationships with nearby schools and daycare centres. Our residents have grown to love the regular visits with children, which provide joy and enrichment for young and elderly participants. Due to the high risk during COVID, these in-person connections are now no longer possible. However, we have endeavored to continue to foster these relationships, with displays of letters from schoolchildren and the presentation of videos made by classes. Also we have many individual ‘penpals’ established, which bring smiles and joy to the lives of residents.
Our Moove & Groove program offers residents the use of wireless headphones integrated with easy to use technology, giving them access to a immense catalogue of music, poetry, podcasts, religious services and more. In addition to audio content, the residents can also experience “armchair travel” videos which take them on an exciting tour of a distant land. When paired with themed food and activities, this provides a virtual travel experience for residents.
At OneCare, we believe in holistic health for our residents and we have worked very hard to minimise any sense of isolation they may feel due to the pressures of COVID. We have a variety of plans, technologies and ideas in place to ensure our residents need for connection would be fulfilled in the unfortunate event of another COVID crisis in Tasmania.