Dear residents, relatives and friends,
As we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 within our facilities and our homes, we would like to ask everyone to stop and take a moment to check in on your own health and wellbeing and that of your family, colleagues and friends.
When facing uncertain times such as these, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed and it’s therefore important to check in on each other.
AACG Management would like to thank our wonderful residents and their families for their continued patience and understanding in regards to the COVID-19 restrictions.
We understand there has been some confusion around visiting aged care facilities at the moment and we appreciate your support whilst we start working back through the stages to our normal way of operating.
However, as you are well aware this is not the time for complacency and we must remain vigilant against the threat of COVID-19.
We are committed to following the safest practical measures possible in terms of our visitor access with certain procedures being implemented throughout our facilities.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff at Australian Aged Care Group Pty Ltd for their commitment and dedication during these challenging times.
I am very proud to have a strong team working at Kew Gardens and their combined efforts have ensured that every day has been a good one.
CEO – AUSTRALIAN AGED CARE GROUP PTY LTD
In my last message I said 2020 promised to be an exciting year for Kew Gardens. Now, I say be careful what you wish for!
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, we were enjoying wonderful visits from the kindergarten children visiting on Wednesdays, there were some lovely friendships starting to blossom between our residents and the children before we had to enforce lockdown rules. The kindergarten teacher has set up Skype, so that we can continue chatting with our new friends. The Alexandra Gardens was fundamental to the kindergarten visits, as well as the residents’ walks, and we are thrilled that they have finally reopened.
It is great pleasure to advise you that that we have welcomed Karen Millar to our team as our new Lifestyle Manager. Karen has worked tirelessly to adapt the programme which includes many new activities that were not part of the lifestyle calendar before. There have been Skype concerts with musicians performing music on the large screen, our residents have thoroughly enjoyed this just as much as if they were performing live at our facility.
We have also commenced playing bridge and bingo, which the residents have enthusiastically embraced.
I have remained in constant contact with families and residents over this challenging time. Their advice has been uplifting, supportive and helpful. Many residents have said that the maintenance of their relationships with their loved ones is most important thing to help them get through isolation.
We have put supplementary arrangements in place to support families and friends including Skype calls, window visits and compassionate visitation.
Many of the residents were bewildered and a little saddened about missing Anzac Day remembrance services at Kew Gardens this year. However, we endeavoured to assist them to remember in their own special ways. We had two services one on each floor on Anzac Day and many of the residents attended these to remember all the soldiers who had fallen.
We are all looking forward to better days ahead which I, along with our very patient residents, are sure aren’t far away!
Director of Care
Josie moved from Queensland in September last year and adjusted to life living in Melbourne and Kew Gardens. To prepare, Josie brought with her some warm clothes and a passion for Bridge!
Initially, Josie was able to play Bridge at the local Kew Bowls Club. She had met a number of lovley people this way and appreciated her new community.
However, when COVID-19 struck us, Josie couldn’t participate in her new found community, as social distancing rules were enforced.
At Kew Gardens, we were concerned for Josie as she not only had to adjust to a new life in Melbourne and Kew Gardens but do it whilst in ISO – a once in a lifetime event!
Thankfully, Josie shared her love of birds with us and Management thought finding some birds as pets would help whilst in lock down. Some very kind volunteers found us two beautiful Red Factor Canaries.
The Pet Shop was the last store to close and we were able to buy a bird cage and surprise a delighted Josie!
Many Residential Aged care homes use Pet therapy because it can:
- Alleviate symptoms of depression
- Reduce fatigue
- Decrease confusion
- Increase social interaction
- Combat loneliness
- Reduced stress
Josie says, “The birds have created a community atmosphere where many residents now visit the birds and me!” Often a number of residents are seen sitting with the birds and having morning tea together.
It has created new routines for residents and provided lively discussions about the care of birds.
The beautiful birds have become a focus for many of our residents (and staff too!) giving the special gift of companionship to all.
Mother’s Day High Tea
The residents commented that the food prepared for Mother’s Day celebrations was truly amazing and they loved the High Tea event.
We were lucky to be able to celebrate Mother’s day at Kew Gardens as our residents remained in extremely good health.
The Dads were also included and everyone really enjoyed the party atmosphere.
Mother’s Day Visiting
Obviously, this special event required a lot of planning this year in an effort to keep the residents and their families safe. To do this, we had a special screening made. It consisted of 110cm x 120cm perspex, which allowed relatives to clearly see the residents and maintain social distancing. It was used in conjunction with other droplet precautions, such as hand hygiene and masks.
Many of the visitors were happy with the arrangements that assisted them to see their Mothers on such an important day.
It was wonderful to see a group of Kew Gardens Residents mingling on a social Saturday recently (whilst still keeping social distancing in mind of course) by attending our regular Coffee Club meet ups.
However, our latest event was so popular that two hours later, the coffee tranformed into something more appropriate for the Happy Hour that was scheduled for later that day!
This demonstrates just how important it is that we keep one another connected and stimulated with rousing conversation and company!