Latest Ryman news

Resilience and understanding key to peace of mind

Written by Margot Boock
on June 09, 2020

Nelson’s beautiful weather during the lockdown made a huge difference to Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village resident Mari. Mari who lives in a serviced apartment in the village said the lockdown happened quickly and signs and guidelines were put in place early to inform and protect all the residents

Mari was complimentary of the staff in the village. “They were marvellous, nothing was too much trouble for them.”

Although the lockdown was in place, and movement of residents was restricted, the village management understood the importance of residents being able to keep up their exercise regimes for their own health and fitness. They achieved this by creating staff lead, corridor exercise classes to music, with residents exercising in their apartment doorways. Creating much fun and laughter.

Getting outside for some fresh air was also encouraged with walks around the village and its many social areas including the bowling green, atrium, dining room, spa and indoor swimming pool and village centre.

They were also kept updated with newsletters delivered along with puzzles to stretch the grey matter and lifestyle and wellness tips were shared through Hibernate, Ryman’s own wellbeing focused magazine.

For those who wanted online activities there were loads of virtual tours to delve into and for those who appreciate the arts, the Royal New Zealand Ballet had live streaming of the Ryman Season of the favourite ballet - Hansel and Gretel.

A very popular delivery was Happy Hour in A Bag – delivered to residents’ once a week along with some special treats. Even this turned into an amusing time with staff lifting the spirits of residents by wearing costumes and funny hats on their rounds.

The village provided residents with meals, morning and afternoon tea and daily essentials like fresh milk, bread and biscuits.

Zoom sessions were made available for residents and Mari was able to keep in contact with her family including her son in America. Ryman rolled out more than 3,800 devices connecting thousands of families in this way. They also delivered 70 new devices to each village to be used by serviced apartment residents.

One of the highlights for Mari was a mobile band, who set up from a truck in the village grounds and played well-known songs to the residents. “It was such a wonderful surprise concert,” she said

Like many residents in Ryman Healthcare villages, Mari has shown resilience and understanding during this challenging period.

At a time when residents in aged care were most vulnerable Ryman Healthcare responded quickly.

Ryman Healthcare’s response began in late January with restricted visits to villages for people who had travelled to affected areas overseas.

The aim was to keep COVID-19 out and protect all residents, creating safe havens for residents by making sure they could stay put without having to leave while the Level 4 lockdown was in place.

The Company delivered 9,000 Bidfood grocery orders and 56,000 ‘Happy Hour in a Bag’ packages over seven weeks.

As well as caring for the residents’ physical needs Ryman conducted welfare check calls and arranged counselling for anyone struggling.

As the restrictions ease, the community is buzzing: new residents who have waited patiently to move into the village are now able to do so and others, who have found this time particularly trying, have decided to join the village to experience the care Mari speaks of so highly.

We welcome you to tour the village and view your prospective new home. Sales advisor Debbie Edwards says now is a great time to for prospective residents to come into the village to get a feel for the caring community at Ernest Rutherford.

There is also a raft of information available on the website at

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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