Kilmore District Health’s aged care residents were delighted to see their families for the first time since lockdown began in August. Pictured is Annette Brumby and daughter Margaret.

AFTER more than 260 days of lockdown at varying times since March 2020, aged care facilities welcomed back visitors on Friday, October 29.

With the most recent lockdown beginning in August, residents at Kilmore District Health’s Caladenia and Dianella aged care facilities were delighted to see loved ones.

Dianella resident Elizabeth, Betty, Bowdern said it was so nice to see her family.

“It had been a long time, I missed them dearly,” she said.

Dianella manager Bernie Lavars and Caladenia acting nurse unit manager Jamie Duffy acknowledged the dedicated work of staff to ensure residents were kept busy and in touch with family and friends.

“Our staff continually looked ‘outside the box’ to keep our residents in contact with those that couldn’t visit, through phone calls, video chats and window visits,” Ms Lavars said.

“Daily activities increased to ensure residents stayed engaged and active and milestones and events were celebrated, on top of the health care the staff provide day in and day out,” Mr Duffy said.

Elizabeth Bowdern and her daughter Ellen were one of many families reunited at Kilmore District Health’s aged care facilities earlier this month.

To ensure resident’s and staff are kept as safe as possible, Kilmore District Health is asking all visitors to undergo a rapid antigen test before they enter the building, as well as wearing a surgical mask when in common areas.

“We encourage small numbers of visitors at a time and where possible, time is spent with residents in their room or in the beautiful outdoor courtyard areas,” Ms Lavars said.

Caladenia and Dianella are now able to again offer inspections for potential residents and a support person.

Mr Duffy said taking a guided tour was the perfect way to commence the transition into aged care or a short-term respite stay.

“It is a chance to view the facilities, meet the team and ask any questions you may have,” he said.

For more information on Kilmore District Health’s aged care facilities, visit www.kilmoredistricthealth.org.au/aged-care.

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