Dear residents and families,
Our teams have had an extraordinarily busy week as everyone gets to grips with our new normal under the COVID-19 rules.
They’ve delivered thousands of packages of essential supplies, groceries, happy hour packs, and introduced new ways to ensure the wellbeing of our care residents.
We were pleased to deliver a box of staples to all our independent residents this week. We have had some very kind feedback which has been passed on to our teams – it is great to read how much you appreciate what they do.
Thanks to all of you who are following the stay at home rules.
These remain the same. Everyone aged over 70 is regarded as high-risk, so we want independent residents to stay in their own households and not leave the safety of the village if you need a walk or fresh air.
We have worked hard to turn our villages into safe havens for you, so please take advantage of this. And of course, anything dropped in for you will be brought to you safely.
We have introduced some new measures this week. These include a compulsory requirement for all our staff to wear masks in our care centres; new activities for care residents; new devices to help serviced apartment residents keep in touch, and flu jabs for all independent residents.
Measures in place to protect our care and serviced apartment residents
The effort continues to do everything we can to protect our care centre residents from COVID-19 and look after their wellbeing at the same time.
We have introduced face masks for all staff to wear when interacting with residents.
Our villages remain closed to all non-essential visitors as they have been since March 16.
We have full infection control and pandemic plans in place.
Our staff are screened each day to ensure they are well, and their temperatures are checked. They are not coming to work if they are unwell.
We are running Triple A exercise classes with a twist – everyone is practising social distancing while exercising in our hallways.
We have also introduced other activities including hallway bingo with residents taking part from the safety of their doorways.
We are checking our residents’ temperatures each day to detect any early signs they are unwell. We are monitoring for any health changes closely, for example, a new cough.
Our care and nursing staff are carrying out ‘intentional’ rounds – a system where they go out of their way to interact with all residents, so everyone gets regular checks and attention. The aim is to try and make up for the lack of family visits and help ensure wellbeing.
We are also keeping our residents in touch with family either by phone or video calling.
We are introducing Telehealth technology. Telehealth allows residents to consult with a doctor through video conferencing and can be used as a back-up for consultation and treatment if a doctor is not available in the weeks ahead.
Finally, we have a flu vaccination programme running at all our villages for all care residents and staff, which should be complete later this month. This is an extra safeguard.
Serviced apartment, independent apartment and townhouse resident services
Just to repeat - we ask that all our independent residents stay at home.
Everyone aged over 70 is regarded as high-risk, so we want independent residents to stay in their own households and not leave the safety of the village.
We have introduced static security at our front gates so that only essential services and staff are entering the village.
To help with this we are:
- Supplying any additional meals required by serviced apartment residents.
- Supplying bread, milk and biscuits.
- Delivering any groceries and essentials from their families directly to them from our front gate security team.
- Arranging for a twice weekly grocery shop to be delivered by Bidfood https://www.rymanhealthcare.co.nz/wellness/food-ordering-online
- Providing access to Triple A fitness classes online https://www.rymanhealthcare.co.nz/lifestyle-and-wellness/health-wellbeing/triple-a-exercises
- Supplying regular newsletters and puzzles as well as a special weekly magazine.
- Delivering Happy Hour in a Bag.
- Conducting welfare check calls and arranging counselling for anyone struggling.
- Delivering flu shots to independent residents. We hope to get to everyone who wants a vaccine by mid-April. We have done this to save a trip out of the village to GPs.
- Regularly updating our website with wellness tips – go to https://www.rymanhealthcare.co.nz/wellness
We want to supply, arrange or deliver anything our residents need during the confinement period.
The principle is simple: Stay home, save lives. This will break the chain of community transmission.
Why we are doing what we are doing
COVID-19 is a big challenge for older people. We want to do absolutely everything we can to keep it out.
We have had a few people contact us with concerns about being confined during this State of Emergency. This is understandable, but we make no excuse for following the Government’s instructions and doing the right thing.
There are now millions of people in lockdown to try and stamp out a virus that is particularly hard on older people.
The effort is disrupting lives, jobs and security and creating great stress for many people.
It is an extraordinary community effort.
Please let us help to keep you safe in your homes.
Stay safe. Be kind.
Chief Operating Officer
For queries contact 0800 588 222 (New Zealand) or email email@example.com
How to keep in touch with us:
Your first point of contact is your village team, so if your query is urgent contact your village directly.
For less urgent inquiries please contact us on 0800 588 222 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For residents who are online, you can find wellbeing advice at www.rymanhealthcare.co.nz/wellness
If you need counselling, you are welcome to call our OCP service on 0800 377 990. Just let them know you are a Ryman resident and the village you are from.