Diane Taylor is one of VMCH’s most technology-savvy residents. She loves making video calls and using social media to stay connected with friends and family. You will regularly see Diane commenting on VMCH’s Facebook posts.
The Bundoora Aged Care resident is one of many who are currently isolated from their families and friends. Apart from the usual ‘aches and pains’, Diane is fine, but says things have been very different lately.
“That is to be expected. [Bundoora Residential Services Manager] Louise and the staff have been doing a marvellous job keeping us all safe.”
Diane has been keeping herself busy, with the activities the Lifestyle team coordinates every day, including weekends.
“We have bingo, memory club, family feud, exercises, punters club, movies and footy tipping. I myself make greeting cards and am getting my stocks ready for Christmas. The Lifestyle people are doing a wonderful job making sure that we are busy.
“Unfortunately, we can’t mix with people in other units but of course that is to limit our contact with people which is very important right now. I want to tell other families that their loved ones are in the best care and are being wonderfully looked after.”
Diane says the activities and talking to other residents and staff has been part of how she takes care of her mental, emotional and physical health. She has her own laptop, so she also spends her days playing games online and listening to music. However, it has been a challenge not seeing her friends and family in person, or to go out for a coffee. She is also waiting for a hip replacement which has been postponed.
“I talk with my family on the telephone and Facebook regularly, and have FaceTime on Sundays. I enjoy it very much as I have family and friends from all over the world.”
Diane’s son, Aaron echoes her wishes to spend more time with family, but is understanding of the need to remain apart.
“Although difficult, the restrictions are so very necessary. Especially considering the health risk to and needs of many residents. Truly and genuinely, I can’t thank the staff at Bundoora enough. I wish there were more ways I could show my appreciation, apart from leaving chocolates for my mother to hand out to the amazing staff!
“I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to balance such a high level of careful attention and care for residents, while also living their own personal lives outside of work. They are all beautiful souls.
“My mother is not one to mix her words, she will be very open and honest with me about the level of care she receives. She always has positive things to say, especially during this pandemic.
“It’s been a tough time. As far as coping goes, contact is key. Whether it be via video or phone call. I’m speaking with my mother every second day. I’m so fortunate that I’m able to speak with her most nights. Utilising technology in this crisis has been such an important, useful and reassuring tool.
“The hardest part has been not being able to see her in person. For me, there is no hug that has ever existed in this world, that is better than the one from my mother. We are all in this together though, so it’s hard to complain.”