Kew Gardens

CEO Message – Edward Matthies

Dear residents, relatives and friends,

Thank you to our Kew Garden’s family – to our residents, relatives and friends who have all worked with us to help keep our residents safe during this very difficult time. Our staff continue to work tirelessly around the clock in their efforts to do everything they can to protect, support and comfort our residents. I thank them for the amazing job they do every day. It is testament to how lucky we are to live and work within such a supportive community.

As we have seen, the infection numbers continue to fall across Victoria and in turn it is very pleasing that we are gradually able to move towards resumption of ‘normal’ life again. We have resumed our resident walks in the beautiful Alexandra Gardens, these new freedoms have been embraced and enjoyed by many residents, particularly now the weather is warming up.

You may have also seen our recent blog articles (kewgardens.com.au/blog), showing some of the wonderful work the Lifestyle Department has been busy doing; even holding a mini Olympics, which you can read more about in this edition.

To assist our dedicated staff in their day-to-day work and to take a step back and focus on their own physical and mental health, we have introduced a program called ‘Health Breaks’ – an initiative that encourages employees to take a short break each day to improve their mental and physical health. Staff have responded positively reporting they can already feel the benefits from the support of this fantastic program, run by the team at Enact Health.

Although this year has been a very difficult one for all of us, I am very proud of our team and how together, with the support of you all, we’ve navigated through the challenges we’ve faced. The resilience shown by everyone in 2020 has demonstrated how genuinely strong we are as an aged care community.

We are ready and looking forward to what we hope will be a very positive end to the year!

Director of Care Message – Cathrine Klomp

Hi everyone,

We are travelling very well here at Kew Gardens Aged Care. We agree that the best part of being at Kew Gardens is the wonderful sense of community. I have met with the residents on multiple occasions and their sense of fun and resilience has been very encouraging.

In this current environment, it is difficult to maintain our normal routine; we have decided to focus on what we can do and turn our thoughts to what is possible and not on what we can’t do due to COVID restrictions.

In that vein, we have created a story board of the activities that we are really enjoying. Starting with Wednesday lunches, where we all indulge in takeaway. This has exploded as residents want special treats like KFC and pizza. We have been able to beat boredom and lock down with a lot of fun!

The residents have been stepping up their walking and exercises in preparation for garden walks around Alexandra Gardens, which have resumed this week. Recently, I undertook the exercise classes with the residents and while I was complaining about how hard it was, the residents said to me to “stop whinging”!! The exercises are designed to maintain mobility and balance, which are important to limit the risk of falls, allowing the residents to resume the fun things, such as dining out and going to the park.

It has been very interesting listening to the experiences of past pandemics and hardship with residents sharing their own personal stories and highlighting some of the simple pleasures that we are still able to enjoy in our current situation. 

Playing bridge and bingo have become big favourites and scrapbooking as well. I have noticed that playing games helped include many new residents and these activities go a long way in creating new friendships.

Not many of us could foresee that restricted visiting would be in place for so long. In recognition that there are families that cannot visit and cannot travel, we have commenced a new initiative with Kew Gardens providing personal update emails to each family, and, if the resident permits, we will send a photo as well.

My wish for all the families and staff is to please stay safe and well!

Take-Away Wednesday Lunch… Italiano style!

When you can’t travel to Italy…. eat some yummy pizza instead! And that’s exactly what we did here at Kew Gardens recently.

With mozzarella smiles, we indulged in some mouthwatering gourmet pizzas with a variety of both ‘traditional’ and extra special toppings served up – but hold the anchovies!

Our team really committed to the Italiano style by splashing red, white and green decorations all over the room, creating beautiful, festive tables that would make any Nonna proud!

Yes, these may be only simple pleasures but we are making the most out of them, as well as each other’s wonderful company! We can still socialise responsibly, whilst serving up colour and flavour galore!

Bellissimo!!

Intergenerational Program – Davis Street Kindergarten

As a part of our Intergenerational Program, we previously had enjoyed the Davis Street Kindergarten visiting us here at Kew Gardens. The delightful children were involved in lots of different activities with our Residents.

Obviously, since lockdown, we haven’t been able to continue with these visits. However, to keep the new relationships flourishing, the children have been painting and making cards specifically for our Residents, which were dropped off at Reception.

In these tough times, it has given our Residents a lot of joy! Thank you Davis Street kids for keeping us company!