With the global health pandemic putting countless lives on pause, Waratah Lodge, a senior living facility in Australia has been keeping their residents busy providing words of wisdom on social media. The commentary has ranged from relationship advice to money-saving tips, often served with a dash of wit.
In the photos shared on social media, seniors at the home in Orbost, Victoria can be seen holding up dry erase boards that show the topic, their name, age and the advice they have decided to share. In one photo, Tom, 88, offers this financial tidbit: “You can’t take your money with you, so spend it at the pub.”
In another photo, Aileen, 90, offers marriage advice: “Try before you buy.” Meanwhile, 89-year-old Lora warns, “Don’t do it.”
Jo Marshall, the director of clinical and aged care services at Orbost Regional Health, tells Yahoo Life that the project started off as a one-off opportunity for seniors to impart words of wisdom for younger generations. But with their first post on June 16 getting thousands of shares and comments, they decided to make it a weekly activity.
“The residents have loved the activity and get very excited when shown the comments that they have received,” Marshall says. “They have a sense of pride that they are contributing to some positivity in an otherwise fairly stressful time. [And] the reactions have been wonderful, with comments such as ‘please keep these coming, they are the only brightness in a dull world,’ and ‘these guys are so inspiring.’”
Marshall says that they have had to put restrictions into play at Waratah Lodge, along with their other senior care facility, Lochiel House. Some of these restrictions include only allowing residents to leave for essential reasons and limiting access to visitors. Employees have also been required to wear masks and have been vaccinated for influenza.
“The care needs of the elderly in each facility are different and this means that the activities they do are tailored to their needs, interests and abilities,” Marshall says. “We have tried to discuss the pandemic but not constantly. Our staff have worked with family members to connect with residents in other ways including Skype and FaceTime.”
In the meantime, Marshall says that they hope to continue the weekly words of wisdom project until the residents no longer enjoy doing it, or they run out of questions. She adds that the “very resilient” seniors even have inspiring words about the current state of the world: “They comment that this pandemic isn’t so bad, they have lived through worse!”
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
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