Messages of kindness reach Gisborne Oaks
1st May 2020
To help beat COVID blue, Gisborne Oaks has received a steady delivery of letters, cards and parcels from the community, including pupils from Macedon Primary School. First published in the local Macedon Ranges paper, Star Weekly.
Letters, artwork, cards and flowers from the community are helping brighten the day for residents of Gisborne Oaks aged care.
Coinciding the Victorian Government's State of Emergency, Benetas introduced restricted access across its residential aged care homes to protect the health and safety of residents and employees during March and April. During this time, Gisborne Oaks has received a steady delivery of letters, cards and parcels from the community, including pupils from Macedon Primary School.
Residential manager Sheena Mannion said the support from the community had been “unbelievable”.
“Before COVID-19 we were a busy home with visitors and volunteers coming through our doors every day,” she said.
“We thought that with the new measures in place that we’d start to feel isolated, but in fact, our phones have been ringing off the hook and we’ve had some of the most heart-warming gifts and packages sent to us.”
“We also had a granddaughter arrange with a florist to have enough flowers delivered for each and every resident. They absolutely loved it!"
Ms Mannion said the acts of kindness had helped remind residents they were still part of the community.
“When we get any of these packages and handwritten letters, I can’t tell you the impact it has on our residents. It just picks them up and lightens their day,” she said.
“As staff here, we’re also reminded of how much love and care those in Gisborne have for our residents, and our work. It’s wonderful to be reminded that while visiting is currently restricted, our connection with the wider community doesn’t have to change. In fact, in some ways, it’s got even stronger.”
The facility's connection with the local community wasn't the only relationship she saw be strengthened during this time.
Ms Mannion said that one of the unexpected consequences has also been the new relationships that we’re seeing form between residents. "They’re now spending a lot more time with each-other and we’re seeing very strong and deep connections between residents, which is lovely to see," she said.
“We’re also getting an influx of handwritten letters, which I haven’t seen in years. So there are definitely some silver-linings that have been wonderful to witness.”
For more acts of kindness during COVID-19 visit: www.benetas.com.au/covid-19-updates/spreadkindness