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!