Community

Beating the Covid-boredom blues

Staff have been using their talents to keep residents entertained. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Rest home residents have been turning to technology to help keep boredom at bay during lockdown.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, residents have spent almost 15 (non-consecutive) weeks unable to leave under alert level 4.

Ashwood Park Retirement Village in Blenheim has been using Zoom to hook residents up with other rest homes to take part in shared activities.

Manager and New Zealand Aged Care Association spokesman Ross Bisset says staff have worked hard to keep residents entertained.

“The last seven months has been a real team effort and as I have said to the group ‘I’ve always been proud to lead them’ – but even more so over this period.

“Everyone has contributed to helping out and it’s been amazing to find some team members hidden abilities.

“There has been a lot of music, cooking, inter village activities via zoom and we even had a traveling professional organist on a truck play,” he says.

Alongside other Blenheim rest homes and retirement villages, Ashwood Park has been limiting visitor numbers to help lower infection risk.

Under Ministry of Health guidelines, residents can leave at level 2 and only need to be isolated on return if they display symptoms.

But keeping residents safe means curtailing outside visits until Alert Level 1.

Not being able to go out in the community has quickly become the new normal, Ross says.

Older age and underlying conditions are two big factors that make catching Covid-19 even more dangerous,

“Our residents know it’s important to do everything possible to stay safe.

“Right from the initial March lockdown, the residents have been incredibly resilient and quickly acknowledged the serious position everyone was in.”

“They have been extremely supportive and understand the realities of keeping the whole group safe, which at times has meant not going out into the community.”

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