Summerset in the Sun resident Frank Bryson paints a poppy. Residents of the Nelson retirement village have been keeping themselves connected and busy during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Residents of a Nelson retirement village have embraced technology to help keep themselves active and connected during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Summerset in the Sun village manager Susanne Harzer said she had been running sessions for residents via audiovisual provider Zoom “and it’s been a great way to get information out to people and to connect”.
“Our residents have been getting into the technology, it’s been amazing to see,” she said. “We started off with about 15 residents and the last Zoom call I did, I had 55 people on it.”
Due to that success, Harzer said she may look to continue the sessions after the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Activities co-ordinators at the village had also been running exercise classes over Zoom, encouraging residents to keep active.
“This has been a safe way for our residents to enjoy some activities together virtually,” Harzer said.
An afternoon tea once a week on the resident driveways was another activity that had been organised.
“It’s been so lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves on an autumn afternoon at a safe distance,” Harzer said.
The residents had also been “clapping and making noise on the doorstep” at 2.30pm daily.
“Residents and staff take part to recognise the essential services and it’s been great to get everyone out together,” Harzer said. “For our Care Centre, we open the windows so everyone can take part, too.”
Windows and gardens at the village had been decorated in the build up to Anzac Day. “They look fabulous.”
Anzac packs were handed out on Friday that included Anzac biscuits, a poppy and crosswords “with all safety precautions taken”.
“This meant they were ready for residents to enjoy in their homes on … Anzac Day.”
Despite the Covid-19 lockdown, the fallen were remembered in Nelson on Anzac Day. The Ode of Remembrance was recited and the Last Post was played at some key spots around the city including Anzac Park and outside the home of RSA patron John Beeching, 96, who flew with the Royal Air Force in World War II.
Older people look set to be given more freedom when lockdown ends on Tuesday but are being advised to be “especially careful” if they leave their bubble.
Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said the basic rules were the same – for everyone, wherever possible, to stay in their “bubble” and work from home to reduce the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19.
The over-70s and other higher-risk groups had the same rights as everyone else “to go to work, to exercise and to access essential services like supermarkets and banks. It’s just that we’re asking them to be especially careful”.