24
March
2020
|
09:11
Australia/Melbourne

Help keep our aged care residents connected with ‘Visits by mail’

Summary

With new visitor restrictions in our aged care homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we want to help our residents feel connected and spread a little joy in their days.

How can you help?

If you’re looking for activities for your kids to do at home – here’s an idea for you. Ask your children to write a letter and/or draw a picture for one of our aged care residents. Then post it to one of our 72 homes (addresses available here).

The World Health Organisation has advised it’s safe to receive letters and packages with coronavirus dying on most dry surfaces within a few hours,1 so writing letters is a great way to keep older Australians connected without needing to be physically with them.

What could you include in your letter?

  • Tell them about you and your family. Where do you live? Where do you go to school or kinder? What’s your favourite thing to do? How about your favourite colour? Do you have grandparents of your own?
  • Let them know why you wanted to write to them.
  • Send them your best wishes: Take care, Wishing you well, Hope you’re feeling healthy and happy.
  • Include a drawing of whatever makes you happy!
  • If you wish, include your name and return address so our residents can respond to you if they’d like to.

Take some photos of your child’s creations and share them on social media with #VisitsByMail to encourage others to get involved!

Want to know how else you can help?

Don’t have kids? Ask your niece, nephew, neighbour, or go ahead and write a letter yourself!

Why not ask your child’s school or day care to get involved?

We’re also asking our care homes to share pictures when they receive their letters, so keep an eye out on the hashtag to see your masterpieces putting a smile on someone’s face.

What will this mean to our residents?

Suzanne Dvorak, Managing Director, Bupa Villages & Aged Care, Australia said it’s important to keep people connected at this time.

“This could be a friendship that lasts for a very long time. It might be started in difficulty but end up being a very meaningful and worthwhile relationship.

“Our residents are remarkable, they’re a generation of people with grace and resilience. This is an opportunity for them also to teach some of the younger generation ways of manages through time’s they haven’t experienced before,” Ms Dvorak said.

Here’s how this is already working at Bupa Maroubra:

Students from our Seniors and Teens Empathy Program, a program run by Social Enterprises Heart and Soul Story, at Bupa Maroubra were so disappointed when their intergenerational meetings with residents were cancelled. Not to be discouraged, the students took matters into their own hands and started sending pictures and letters to stay connected to the residents of Bupa Maroubra.

Christine Gannon, GM at Bupa Maroubra, said receiving the pictures and letters have helped the residents still feel connected to the broader community. “It’s a difficult time for residents in all our homes at the moment, but this has been a really lovely way to remind them that everyone is thinking of them. I’d encourage everyone with kids at home, or at school, to get involved and help keep our residents smiling!”