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Happy, safe and contented at Kiri Te Kanawa

Written by Margot Boock
on June 19, 2020
For Emily, the move to Gisborne’s Kiri Te Kanawa Village care centre last October has been a wonderful experience. She needed the extra support of the care in the village which she now calls her home. 
Before she moved in, Emily was quite familiar with the village as she belonged to a group of songsters who regularly visited to sing to residents. She had lived in Gisborne for many years and was active in the community.

Not long before the lockdown Emily enjoyed a trip to Auckland for a family wedding and was pleased to have caught up with her relatives during this time.

Only weeks later the country was in Level 4 lockdown and Emily was back in the safety of the Kiri Te Kanawa Village care centre.

Growing up on a farm, although they had neighbours, she was used to a certain amount of isolation. She never feels alone and said she felt very secure in her new home. “I wasn’t bothered at all.”

In fact, she said she felt there was very little change for her during lockdown. “I knew what was happening, but it didn’t affect my day to day life in the village.”

However, behind the scenes there were a lot of changes throughout the village as they strived to do everything possible to keep their residents safe, and Covid-19 out.

Kiri Te Kanawa’s management, caregivers and staff were vigilant in ensuring residents were protected, by creating a secure care centre ‘bubble’ and maintaining social distancing.

Security was necessary to keep the village a safe haven for all residents and it meant family and friends could deliver essentials and treats for their loved ones safely.

Meals were delivered to each resident in their room along with their own personal happy hour drinks and nibbles. Puzzles, quizzes and crafts were also offered and even village library books were delivered, which delighted Emily. “I’ve always got a book on the go,” she said.

The energetic activities team danced and entertained the residents and lifted their spirits. They did exercises to music in the courtyard and for those who wanted some ‘one on one’ comfort, they spent more time talking with residents in their rooms.

Although residents were not able to meet with their family and friends in the community, the village set up Zoom sessions, so residents could continue to see and talk with family online, and celebrate birthdays, Mother’s Day and other special occasions.

Emily wasn’t concerned. She knew her family were safe. “I knew I could communicate with them if I needed to.” She’s a person who likes to “get on with things” and doesn’t let much get in her way.

The lovely weather during lockdown made things easier in Gisborne and meant Emily could continue with her daily walk after lunch in the village’s award-winning gardens. “I’ve always been a walker.”

“I’m very happy with the staff and I like meeting up with other residents, although we couldn’t do that during lockdown.”

She’s also looking forward to the return of outings in the village van.

Emily is contented, safe and pleased with her move to the village. “I enjoy the company and the food – I can’t fault it.”

Village operator, Ryman Healthcare put the restrictions in place early to ensure all residents were safe from Covid-19.

For many residents, village life has allowed them to stay independent and safe, with the knowledge they always receive the best of care.

And in times of emergency such as the recent pandemic, Ryman has ensured its number one priority is the care and safety of all the residents who call it home.

At Level 1, with most restrictions lifted, the village is once again operating as usual. If you would like to arrange a tour of the care centre, Village Manager, Jenny Wood would be delighted to take your call and arrange an appointment to tour this beautiful retirement village in the heart of Gisborne.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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