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Kangaroo Flat residents make the most of their time during restrictions

3rd September 2020

Benetas’ aged care home in Kangaroo Flat has come together to find new and interesting ways to keep residents engaged and connected amidst adversity.

Based in Bendigo, St Laurence Court is home to 50 aged care residents, with approximately 20 employees on-site at any given time.

Community Coordinator Steve Riley says it has been very challenging to support residents and their families in the same ways as they have in the past, but emphasises how impressed he is by the team and community for stepping up to the challenge.

“St Laurence Court has arranged a number of lifestyle and wellbeing initiatives to support residents during this time,” he said.

“These range from morning exercises, a walking group, music therapy and more recently, reading Henry Lawson. And without visitors, we’re also making the most of the talent we’ve got.”

“We have a number of residents who are talented musicians who’ve taken to playing live music for Happy Hour every Friday. I’ve also started a new meditation hour which everyone’s really enjoying.”

Some of the residents have hearing difficulties or visual impairments, and the team are doing a great deal to support them in connecting regularly with family and friends. Mr Riley said the team is also supporting window visits with the family members where possible.

“We’re helping residents to record video messages or have video chats with their family members when that’s an appropriate form of communication,” he said.

“One daughter writes letters every other day, and I or my colleagues will read them to her mum in the afternoon. It’s been a big adjustment for the residents, but they’re coping incredibly well.”

Mr Riley said like any workplace, the team comes from a variety of backgrounds, but in many ways, these challenging times have brought them together, a lot like a family.

“It’s definitely the residents’ home, but many of us spend more time here than we do at our own homes as well!” he said.

“We are all adapting to a great deal of change and I have to say, I think everyone is doing a fantastic job.”