Our elderly care recipients are among the most vulnerable when it comes to the effects of the COVID-19 virus, but they also rely on visits from family and friends and outings to keep their spirits up. So when visitation and excursions at all Monash Health residential care homes and hostels were phased down recently to include only essential medical consultations, it was for the best reasons, but nonetheless a difficult decision.
The care recipients and family and friends understood and appreciated the consideration to safety behind the decision, and Facility Managers and their teams discussed and communicated the changes prior to each phase of the restrictions taking place.
Monash Health employees knew about the imminent restrictions and wanted to help lift the spirits of those affected. They put out a ‘call to arms’ to their family and friends via Facebook to pick up pens, pencils, paint, and paper. The ‘orders’ were simple; send drawings and messages of support to ‘inundate our care recipients with kindness and hope’ during this tough time.
The initial post was shared across Facebook, via email and word-of-mouth, and a small idea ‘snowballed’ into something big. Submissions poured in from the young and the young at heart in the form of drawings, paintings, videos, collages, and entertaining stories. Children, teens, local artists, and Monash Health employees banded together across the digital ether to show a united front and prove that even during a pandemic, kindness has no boundaries.
The submissions were collated and emailed to Facility Managers to be safely printed and distributed in-house. “The care recipients thank the lovely children and artists for getting behind this initiative. They want to let them know how much they appreciate their caring natures,” said Ilona Vaksman, Facility Manager at Eastwood Hostel.
“The high level of care from the clinical and clinical support employees will continue, as always, and they are on hand to assist with the technology for video and conference calls to loved ones, but receiving these messages of support from the community has provided an additional boost to morale,” said Ilona.
A visit from a photographer wasn’t possible due to the restrictions, so the team took some smartphone images of everyone enjoying the artwork. We’re sharing some of the photos here, but it’s clear you don’t need a high-resolution camera to capture the joy this has brought to our care recipients.
We thank everyone from our community for their uplifting contributions, you have made a big difference and can consider this compassion and kindness mission – accomplished.