Residents at Ōtaki’s only rest home are “adapting well”, according to Ocean View Residential Care.
“They’re all certainly well aware of what’s happening with Covid-19, but they’re taking it in their stride,” says office manager Janice Taranchokov. “They are relaxed and doing
The rest home has kept residents informed about the need for safety, with key messages about regular hand washing and physical distancing where possible. Those who are able are still going for a short walk in the neighbourhood or directly across the road to the beach.
“Getting fresh air and exercise is always important, so unless we have community transmission of Covid-19 locally, we’ll continue to encourage the short walks.”
Residents are encouraged to eat well and keep up fluid consumption, too.
Janice says residents’ biggest concern is the cessation of visits, especially from family members.
“As you can imagine, visits have always been important. Now we can’t allow anyone to visit. The safety of our residents and staff is paramount. It would be devastating for the virus to enter Ocean View.”
There are two exceptional cases where a family member is allowed to visit, but these are based on the resident’s medical condition, and advice from the clinical nurse manager and the DHB.
Those visitors need to liaise with staff as to when they visit, and Ocean View is following DHB guidelines about infection control. They will be isolated with the resident during their visit and have to produce an authorising letter from Ocean View.
Family members can still contact their loved ones through the Ocean View landline number.
Other essential deliveries of food and supplies and doctor visits are happening as normal, but these visits are monitored and hand sanitiser, gloves and masks are provided as necessary.
“Everyone wants to keep in touch, which is great,” says Janice. “Some of our staff have also been taking photos and emailing and texting family to assure them they’re well.”
Video calls can also be arranged by contacting the rest home.
Meanwhile, the staff have been innovative in stepping up activities for residents. There are more painting and craft activities, exercises and even table tennis. The recreational officer introduces new topical plans every day.
Ocean View has 20 residents and about 20 staff. All staff – from nurses, carers, kitchen and laundry staff – are considered essential workers.
“The whole team is performing remarkably well in this challenging time, and their contribution cannot be overstated,” Janice says.