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Independent Living Residents

Update 9 June 2020

Alert Level 1 update for independent living residents, family and friends

Updated 9 June 2020

Further to the move to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 as a result of there being no known active cases in the country, we’re pleased to advise that we’re implementing a number of changes to our visiting protocols with immediate effect.

Whilst visitors will still be required to check in using the Visitor Management System, there’s no longer any need for them to be temperature-checked or to wear a surgical mask. Please would residents ensure that their visitors either sign in via this system or that they fill in a Health Declaration Form each time they come to the villages. Residents should retain each completed form, as this will help with contact tracing if needed at some time in the future. 

The move to Level 1 also enables us to welcome back our volunteers and external activity providers, such as visiting entertainers and guest speakers. In addition, we’re looking forward to resuming any remaining group activities that had to be temporarily suspended during the higher Alert Levels, and have developed specific cleaning protocols to cater for this. All external providers and contractors will need to check in via our Visitor Management System and will be required to provide notification of their intended visit to the Village Manager in advance. We’ll also be reminding them that they should continue to observe the main infection prevention control measures, such as good hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette – all the precautions that we’ve become used to and which should form part of our new way of life from now on.

We’ll now be able to gather together in larger numbers for Sunday worship, with communion using previously intincted bread (but not a common cup). There will be extra cleaning protocols in the chapels for worship and for funerals, and physical distancing will continue to be encouraged; however, we’ll be able to sing in worship again. Staying away if experiencing symptoms of colds or flu will be very important, as will keeping a record of contacts.

In our care homes, we’ve also lifted many of the restrictions on visiting that were in place, including the limitations on visiting hours and on the numbers of visitors per resident. Visitors can now take residents out and off the village site, but will be given a contact tracing form to complete and will be required to hand this back on return. Despite this easing of restrictions, we’ll continue to carefully monitor the health of our residents and will keep a close watch to ensure that residents’ condition does not change at any point.

As the nation recovers from the effects of COVID-19, we must keep in mind that the virus is still in the world, so it’s still important to observe the basic hygiene measures, including washing and drying our hands, coughing or sneezing into our elbow, staying home if sick, and getting tested for COVID-19 in the event of developing flu-like symptoms. We should all continue to maintain a diary of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen – either by scanning the various business QR codes, or noting down our movements. This will greatly assist with rapid contact tracing, should it be required.

Since the threat in New Zealand is now diminished, this will be the last of our weekly COVID-19 updates. We’d like to thank all our independent living residents for their patience and understanding throughout these challenging times, as we worked to provide safe village environments for residents and staff. If at any point you’re looking for information on COVID-19, go to www.covid19.govt.nz. This website is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information and guidance around COVID.

Let’s now look forward to ‘uniting for recovery’ and getting the country moving again.  

Update 5 June 2020

For independent living residents, family and friends

Updated 5 June 2020

We trust that you’re continuing to make the most of the hard-won freedoms and privileges under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, which have been made possible as a result of the nation’s combined efforts to eliminate the virus from our shores.

It seems that we might move into Level One more quickly than originally anticipated (possibly as early as next Thursday). The Selwyn Emergency Management Team is continuing to review how the transition to the lower Alert Level will be safely implemented with our villages. As Cabinet will decide on Monday, 8 June, about moving to Alert Level 1, we’ll write to you again shortly after that to let you know what that will mean for our villages in terms of further easing of restrictions around activities and protocols for visitors, etc.

We appreciate your ongoing assistance in helping to maintain our COVID-free environment for the benefit of all those within our village community. Whilst everyone’s looking forward to a move to a ‘new normal’, it’s important to remember that we remain in a global pandemic and there’s still a record number of cases being reported globally. As the Director-General of Health said in his briefing yesterday, this pandemic continues apace outside our borders and we can’t afford to let our guard down, but need to remain vigilant to the threat that the virus poses. 

With this in mind, therefore, we’d like to reiterate that it’s essential that residents and visitors continue to apply the fundamental hygiene and precautionary measures that have worked so well to date and to observe the various safety controls in place around the villages, regardless of whichever Alert Level we’re at. These include observing strict hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette, and being mindful of physical distancing when out and about amongst strangers (to reduce the risk of bringing any infection into the villages). Crucially, even if you feel just slightly unwell, please stay at home and do not socialise, as you could potentially pose a risk to your neighbours as well as to our staff. If you have cold, flu or any respiratory symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.

These health and safety precautions may very well form part of our new way of life from now on and will help reduce any future risk of a COVID-19 community outbreak. Enhanced contact tracing will also be important for New Zealand’s ongoing wall of defence. There are many ways that you can keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. You can simply keep a written note, or use the NZ COVID Tracer app developed by the Ministry of Health as a handy way of doing this (available at the COVID-19 website).

The Government’s COVID-19 website can also be accessed via The Selwyn Foundation’s website. We’ve previously mentioned the new ‘Be well, be kind, be safe’ section on our site, which was specifically designed to support the welfare of those aged 70+ during the lockdown period. Designed by The Selwyn Institute (the learning arm of the Foundation), the webpages offer extensive resources to strengthen wellbeing, engagement and resilience, navigational information to support services and stimulating content and articles for ‘boredom busting’ at home. As we’ve moved to a lesser Alert Level, these webpages have now been renamed ‘Looking towards a ‘new normal’ in a COVID world’ and aim to help seniors make informed decisions and choices about their wellbeing in a post-COVID-19 environment. Do have a look through the site when you have time Be-well-be-kind-be-safe – we’re sure you’ll find a lot of fascinating content.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation in helping us to keep our villages free of the virus over this transitional period. We don’t want to lose the advantage that we have and everything we’ve achieved so far, therefore it’s vital we make sure that we continue to maintain good safety measures for the sake of everyone in our community.

We look forward to writing to you again in the very near future, hopefully with some good news (pending the Cabinet decision on Monday).

Until then, stay safe.

Update 29 May 2020

Update for independent living residents

Updated 29 May 2020

We hope our residents are enjoying life under Alert Level 2 and have now been able to re-connect with family and friends. The Government’s announcement this week about the change to the maximum number of people who can attend gatherings (to be increased to 100 from today) will have a further positive impact on social activities, so we’re heading in the right direction!

As you get out and about more and start to visit cafes, restaurants, etc, please make sure that you continue to observe all the key health and safety protocols around hygiene and physical distancing – it’s best to avoid handshakes, for example, and any form of physical contact as much as possible. It’s also important to keep a record of where you’ve been, when you were there and who you were with (as well as the other persons’ contact details). To help with this, we’d like to remind you about the Ministry of Health’s new contact tracing app that’s available to download onto your smartphone. Even just registering your up-to date contact details with the Ministry of Health will be very helpful for both you and Public Health, as well as for the nation’s wider efforts to stamp out COVID-19, should the source of any community transmission need to be traced. For further information on this, please visit the COVID-19 website.

For our care home residents and families, we’re pleased to be able to introduce a further relaxation of restrictions around visiting from Tuesday, 2 June. Specifically, we’re increasing the number of nominated visitors per resident to a maximum of three and extending the duration of each visit to an hour. Visits will still be by appointment only, with the name of the nominated visitor to be provided in advance and the usual health screening and other safety precautions in place.

Cabinet will review the settings of Alert Level 2 again on 8 June 2020, and we’ll also look at any other easing of restrictions that we might be able to introduce from then. With Alert Level 1 being the next stage on our journey out of this COVID-19 situation, we’ll be working on what this might look like for our independent living and residential care services, so we can move forward on this as soon as it’s safe to do so. We want to be careful to get the balance right between easing our restrictions and ensuring that we can continue to protect our residents and those who are more frail. We’ll let you know about this once we’re sure we can do it in a way that will safeguard everyone’s health.

Whilst people over the age of 70 still need to be careful when visiting public places, we’d like to reiterate the advice of the Director-General of Health in his briefing earlier this week and encourage you to continue to get outside for a walk and some fresh air. It’s important that we build in physical activity into our days, despite the colder weather, as it will help us to stay well over winter.

The Government has agreed that they will consider a move to Alert Level 1 no later than 22 June 2020, so we can look forward to a move to a ‘new normal’ at some point after that.

Thank you all again for your cooperation and support at this time. We hope you have a great long weekend, and stay safe.

Update 22 May 2020

Update for independent living residents

Updated 22 May 2020

We trust everyone’s been enjoying their new-found freedoms since the introduction of Alert Level 2 last week and that you’re now looking forward to hearing how quickly we can move to the next and final level. We had a flurry of activity and lots of comings and goings in the first few days, as families were reunited and were welcomed back into the villages, but now things are settling down and we’re getting back to our normal routines again (as much as we can within the Level 2 conditions).

As of last Thursday, we’ve been able to reconnect with friends and family, but gatherings are limited to up to 10 people. We can go in-store at local businesses and travel between regions. Venues such as museums, cinemas, libraries and markets are also open again. We can attend gatherings in controlled settings outside of the home, such as weddings, funerals, religious services and birthdays (but these are limited to up to 10 people in any one group and for up to two hours). As of 21 May, bars have been able to re-open. In the villages, residents can now form groups of up to 10 people for socialising, but it’s important to keep different groups at least a metre’s distance apart, if possible, and not stay longer than two hours.

Our ORA refurbishments and sales are continuing during Level 2.  All tradespeople and new residents will have been issued with guidelines to follow to keep everyone safe, and contractors and other service providers also need to undergo our mandatory health screening and temperature checks each time they attend a village.

Under Level 2 the aim is to reduce – whilst the disease is contained, the risk of community transmission remains, with possible single or isolated cluster outbreaks. People over the age of 70 are still being advised to stay at home and take measures to stay safe and well. Therefore, there are still a number of precautions that you should continue to observe for your own personal health and safety, such as good hand hygiene practices, avoiding crowded spaces and physical distancing. The most important things you can do to stay safe at Alert Level 2 are:

  • Keep at least a two metre distance from other people when you’re out and about in the community (physical distancing also applies on public transport, so leave the seat next to you empty if you can).
  • Take extra care if you interact with people you don’t know, as it won’t be easy to do contact tracing if needed. This means making the space when you’re in places like parks, retail businesses, shopping malls or walking along the street.
  • In the villages, keep one metre away from others, as well as in ‘controlled environments’ where contact tracing and other public health measures are possible. This includes places like cafes, church groups, gatherings, restaurants and gyms.
  • If you’re sick, stay home and don’t socialise. If you have symptoms of cold or flu, call your doctor or Healthline and get tested. If you’ve been told to self-isolate, you must do so immediately.
  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and regularly (preferably with soap and hot water), and always sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • Keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen — maintain a record of all visitors, including names, address, date and time, and contact details in case they need to be traced. We’re also keeping a record of who’s visiting and their contact details, should we need to contact trace anyone. All visitors are requested to confirm that they’re in good health and have no flu-like symptoms.
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces. Please be assured that our village staff are ensuring that a high standard of cleanliness is maintained in the communal and other areas at all times, and we are contact point cleaning and sanitising surfaces and high touch-points regularly throughout the day.

Please may we ask residents to remind their visitors that they will be required to wear a mask when moving through the village communal areas. If they have their own mask, it would be helpful if they would bring it with them, as this will prevent possible droplet transmission and so provide extra protection for our resident community.  

As regards contact tracing, there are many different apps you can use to record your movement. The Ministry of Health has created a tracing app — NZ COVID Tracer. This app works by scanning a QR code on a poster at participating businesses and it then keeps track of where you’ve scanned, so you know where you’ve been. For further information on this, visit the COVID-19 website.

We do hope that residents have been able to enjoy more activities since the relaxing of restrictions last week. However, Alert Level 2 is not a complete return to normal life, so it's up to each one of us to keep the rest of New Zealand safe from COVID-19. Let’s not undermine the great progress we’ve made so far; the principle is simple — be careful, stay safe, save lives, and this will break the chain of community transmission.

 

Update 14 May 2020

Updated 14 May 2020

For Independent Living residents, friends and family

Further to the Government’s announcement earlier this week that COVID-19 Alert Level 2 will start to come into effect from Thursday, 14 May, we’ve written to all our independent living residents to let them know how this will affect life in their village and how we’ll begin to relax the various restrictions relating to our services and amenities.

Moving into Alert Level 2 means that we can resume many of our everyday activities, but we have to do so safely – whilst the disease may be contained, there’s still a risk of community transmission. Each Village Manager has provided their residents with an overview of what will be re-opening, from when and any special precautions to be taken. 

We would be grateful if residents using the communal facilities would continue to be extremely vigilant in exercising the physical distancing rule (which is now a minimum of one metre for our village situation), and also observe the specific requirements relating to the use of each facility. Our village teams will ensure a high standard of cleanliness in the communal areas at all times, and we will be sanitising surfaces and high touch-points regularly throughout the day.

In terms of our external providers, we’ve been in discussions with them to ensure that they’ll be fully compliant with the requisite safety precautions as outlined by the Ministry of Health, such as using appropriate PPE, cleaning and physical spacing, so that we can maintain a level of protection for all our residents and staff. Contractors and other service providers will also be requested to undergo our mandatory health screening and temperature checks each time they attend the village.

Residents will be delighted to learn that family and friends will now be permitted onto the village sites – within certain health screening criteria. If those intending to visit independent living residents have their own mask, please do bring it with you to wear as you move through the communal areas and when using the lifts (this will prevent droplet transmission and so provide extra protection for our resident community). Alternatively, you might use a scarf or other appropriate means of covering your nose and mouth whilst you’re in the public areas. It would be preferable if the masks and other such coverings were then thoroughly washed and dried before visitors returned to the village again. The Director-General of Health said this week that it’s beholden on everyone to keep the over 70s and those at higher risk of contracting the virus safe, therefore your support in exercising these health and safety precautions would be a great help.

In our care homes, we’ve introduced restricted visiting times by appointment only from 14 May. One visitor only per resident will be permitted entry at any one time, and a range of other strict visitor screening measures will be in place, which will allow us to carefully manage access and so maintain our infection-free care environments.

As the Prime Minister said earlier this week, we’ll still need to be incredibly careful as we get back to a new, safer normal. We must continue to keep our distance when out and about in the community, and keep our social gatherings to a maximum of ten people (this will help with contact tracing, should it be required). We should still practise good hand hygiene, keep a track of where we’ve been and – if we start to feel unwell – get tested immediately for the virus. We all need to continue to play it safe which, in turn, will allow us to maintain a safe village environment for one and all. 

As always, sincere thanks to everyone for your continued support and cooperation in helping us to defeat COVID-19.

Update 8 May 2020

Updated 8 May 2020

Updates for Independent Living residents, friends, and family.

As the nation may be moving to COVID-19 Level 2 in the near future, we’re now reviewing how the easing of restrictions might apply across our village sites and to our range of independent living services and amenities. 

The Government’s main message yesterday was that, once the country moves to the lower alert level, we must all continue to ‘play it safe’ and proceed with caution. We don’t want to squander the gains we’ve made over the last six weeks, so it won’t exactly be a return to ‘business as usual’ or to how life was pre-COVID. Saying that, however, we’ll be able to resume some services and open up to visitors, but under certain conditions and in a way that will enable us to continue to provide a safe environment for our village community.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that people over 70 will still need to think about their personal safety under Level 2 and apply all the key COVID-19 safety principles when out and about – as will others who come into contact with those at higher risk. Moving to Level 2 will be a big decision, with the PM likening it to coming down from Everest and indicating that we might have to do it in stages – ‘the descent is even more dangerous’.

We’re still to finalise our thinking around how we can carefully relax some of the constraints we’ve had to come to terms with in order to prevent COVID-19 from wreaking havoc across our villages. It’s likely that we’ll continue with a certain amount of health screening, checks and controls – especially for visitors coming onto the site – and we’ll still have to observe particular health and safety protocols and recommendations. For our care homes, we’re looking at introducing restricted opening to a limited number of visitors per resident, with visits by appointment only so we can carefully control visitor numbers and maintain our infection-free care environment.

As the Government stressed yesterday, no decision to move to Level 2 has been made as yet – we’ll find out next Monday (the 11th). Until then, we should all continue to observe the various rules of self-isolation – staying in our household bubbles, maintaining good hygiene practices and physical/social distancing of two metres, not inviting another resident into your apartment and not entering another resident’s apartment.

We’d like to thank everyone for their continued cooperation and support in helping our community get through these extraordinary times and keep our villages free of the virus. We’ll write to you again next week, once we’ve firmed up our plans as to how village life will be under Level 2 (as and when it’s introduced). Until then, if you’ve any queries regarding any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact your Village Manager.

Finally, with Mother’s Day this Sunday, as we’ll still be operating under our current restrictions, please do continue with all your phone and video calls, WhatsApp messages and other forms of remote communication with your families. We’ll be delighted to help you set those up, if you need any assistance at all, so that residents and families can connect with one another and enjoy a catch-up with loved ones on this special day.

Update 1 May 2020

Updated 1 May 2020

Update to Independent Living residents

Now that we’ve entered COVID-19 Alert Level 3, we would like to reiterate the Government's advice that the transition to this lower level is to allow the economy to get underway again – it’s not to improve our social life! There are still very firm restrictions in force nationally which are designed to reduce the possibility of the virus getting a stronger foothold within our communities, and we will continue to observe these in our villages.

Whilst the Government has lifted some of the strict isolation policies for 70+ year olds and modified their guidelines to reflect that approach, at Selwyn there’s very little change in practical terms for residents and families. As the Prime Minister has said, the recommendations around maintaining physical distance, practising good hygiene and adhering to restrictions on social contact remain the same. 

Whilst there may be fewer cases of COVID-19, it hasn’t been eradicated completely, and we’ll now see what the virus will do within the wider community under Level 3. We’re of the belief that this is the danger period – more so than ever – and this is why we’re asking our residents to maintain their Level 4 precautions for the next two weeks. The Foundation has a duty of care to all its independent living and care home residents, as well as to its staff, and the thought of the virus entering our safe environments and spreading through our vulnerable community is too awful to contemplate. We have everything to lose by letting our guard down prematurely, therefore we would appreciate your continued cooperation, support and assistance under the circumstances.

The Selwyn Emergency Management team is currently working towards what Level 2 will look like for our independent living residents. We envisage that there’ll be some extension to a person’s ‘bubble’, but we’ve not determined as yet how exactly that will operate. We’ll keep everyone fully informed of any relaxations and easing of restrictions, as soon as we’re certain that we’ll be able to protect people’s health and safety to the best of our ability.

In the meantime, our village management and resident services teams are here to help make the lockdown easier for you in whatever way we can. If you have a concern of any kind, would like to order food or grocery supplies, or have a maintenance/repair issue of some type, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

In terms of getting all the essential items you need whilst everyone’s house-bound, we’ve received an offer of help from the Student Volunteer Army who are able to assist residents in two ways – with safe and secure grocery supplies and pharmaceutical deliveries. You can contact them via their website at https://shop.sva.org.nz/ or telephone them on 0800 005 902 – their volunteers can take orders over the phone. A volunteer will shop for your order at the nearest New World and then deliver it to the village. It’s all very easy and delivery of your order will be within 24-48 hours. This is a professionally managed and monitored service that’s highly regarded, and all the volunteers are trained, vetted and cognisant of the need to use personal protective equipment. Please see some further information and FAQs attached. If you’d like us to facilitate this for you, let us know.

We also wanted to inform you of a new TVNZ One series starting on Saturday, 2 May at 9.00 am, which you might be interested in. ‘Healthy for Life’ is designed to help older people work on their strength and balance. Hosted by former Silver Fern, Bernice Mene, it includes a home exercise programme and also provides tips on staying safe in the home and keeping your brain active, plus advice about healthy eating, social links and sleep. A collaboration with TVNZ, ACC and partners across the health sector, it will also be available on TVNZ OnDemand. So do tune in and see what you think. 

We realise that people may be feeling rather glum at the prospect of further time in lockdown. If you would like to have chat at any time, please give us a call or we can arrange for your village chaplain to ring you. Alternatively, if you need help with setting up virtual contact with your loved ones through Zoom or Facetime, we can assist with that. The Government is also making further support available for Kiwis wanting to look after their mental wellbeing as a result of change and uncertainty from COVID-19, and more information is available on the Ministry of Health website at: www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/.

Until next time, stay safe and let’s not jeopardise all the good work that’s been done up to now.

 

Update 24 April 2020

Updated: 24 April 2020

Update to Independent Living residents

Following the Government’s announcement regarding the decision to come out of the Level 4 lockdown next week, we would like to clarify that we’re not intending to relax the restrictions that are currently in place as regards visitors’ access to the village. We’ll be continuing with the same controls, checking and screening practices as per our Level 4 precautions for another two weeks, so we can be certain that we’re doing everything we can to protect residents whilst there’s still a risk of community transmission.

The strict measures that we have in force have been very successful to date, in terms of protecting all our residents from the virus and preventing the infection from entering our villages and care homes. Therefore, as a responsible provider of services to a demographic that’s regarded universally to be the most vulnerable to COVID-19, we see no reason to lift our controls prematurely or to expose our residents unnecessarily to any threat that exists in the wider community.

Consequently, our communal amenities will not be re-opening (with perhaps just a few exceptions across some sites) and organised activities will remain temporarily suspended. Our care homes will also remain closed and will continue with the same controls as per our Level 4 precautions for the foreseeable future.

As regards the slight easing of restrictions nationwide that will come into force when the country moves to Level 3 on Tuesday, the Foundation’s Emergency Management team has been reviewing the health and safety practicalities of permitting specific external contractors or providers on site, such as DHB-approved in-home support workers and construction contractors. Planned maintenance and refurbishment of units will start in a phased and controlled manner over the next few weeks (as will construction activities at Selwyn Village). This will be carefully managed by the Foundation’s Risk Director and Director of Assets and Development. Each contractor will prepare a Health Work Plan for their operations which will be reviewed and approved by the Foundation prior to any work starting. These plans will be in line with the agreed national plans as required by the Ministry of Health to ensure safe worker distancing, work practices and the use of Personal Protective Equipment. Our strict processes for health checking/screening and close contact tracing of workers will apply, and there will be a particular focus on induction of staff, sign-in procedures when entering the site, maintaining physical distancing from village residents and good hygiene practices. 

Please will everyone continue to observe the key principles of our Level 4 safety precautions:

  • self-isolate within your unit as much as possible
  • put into practice the various physical distancing processes and protocols for your own safety and that of our other villagers
  • stay within your immediate bubble at all times and refrain from socialising with your neighbours in the communal areas – even if at a distance
  • don’t expand your self-isolation ‘bubble’ in any way or invite family members or any other visitors to the village
  • please remind your families and friends that they will not be permitted onto the site at this time
  • stay in touch with family on the phone or through Facetime, video conferencing, etc – we can help with ‘how-to’ advice, should you need
  • shopping should continue to be left by families for our team to onward deliver to residents’ units
  • if you wish to go for a walk, please remain within the bounds of the village site
  • restrict any expeditions out into the wider community to the most essential only, in case you run the risk of bringing the infection back in with you on your return.

If we can ease the task of self-isolation for you in any way, please do let us know. Whether you need us to organise shopping, deliver a hot meal, help with urgent maintenance or just have a friendly chat on the phone, do give us a ring. If you’ve internet access, have a look at our new ‘Be well, be kind, be safe’ pages on The Selwyn Foundation website and on the COVID-19 page. Our chaplaincy team also have their daily video reflections on our YouTube channel.

We understand that these restrictions are taxing and that it’s difficult to be apart from loved ones for such a prolonged period. Please know, however, that they’re intended to protect each one of us who lives or works in the village. If we all play our part in helping to eliminate the virus from our communities – and get it right first time – it reduces the likelihood of the virus reappearing and everyone having to go through the whole lockdown scenario all over again at some point in the near future. Be buoyed by the fact that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but we just need to keep up the effort for a few more weeks for the sake of one and all.

Finally, we would like to thank all our amazing teams for everything they’re doing to help everyone through the lockdown. We know that residents and our care families greatly appreciate them, too, judging from the wonderful comments and messages of praise and support we’ve received in the past few days.   

The nation’s 2020 ANZAC Day commemorations will be very different this year, but we’re certain that the following Ode (the fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon's poem ‘For the Fallen’) will be part of everyone’s reflections and prayers on Saturday for those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

E kore rātou e kaumātuatia

Pēnei i a tātou kua mahue nei

E kore hoki rātou e ngoikore

Ahakoa pēhea i ngā āhuatanga o te wā

I te hekenga atu o te rā

Tae noa ki te aranga mai i te ata

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou.

 

They shall grow not old

As we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them

Nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun

And in the morning

We will remember them

We will remember them.

 

Stay safe.

Update 9 April 2020

 Updated 9 April 2020

Update for Independent Living residents

As we enter week three of the Alert 4 lockdown period, we’re pleased to report that we continue to remain free of the COVID-19 virus, and our efforts to keep the infection out of our villages have proved successful to date. Long may it continue!

We’d like to thank our wonderful teams for all their hard work and for everything they’re doing to make residents feel safe and secure, so that the task of self-isolation is just that little bit easier. The kind acknowledgements and messages of thanks that have been received from residents and family members alike have been greatly appreciated by us all. 

As the nation endeavours to rid itself of this virus, please may we remind everyone of the need to stay within the bounds of your village site and to restrict any expeditions out into the wider community to the most essential only. Whilst our Selwyn communities may be free of COVID-19, others are not, and we need to reduce the likelihood of our inadvertently coming into contact with it and bringing it into our safe haven. 

For the remainder of our time in lockdown, residents are requested to stay within your unit as much as you can, but by all means go for a walk around the village to get some exercise. Social gatherings, however – no matter how small or seemingly harmless, even whilst complying with the physical distancing rule – are best avoided for your own health and safety, and we need to remain ‘in splendid isolation’ within our particular bubble until the Ministry of Health tells us otherwise. Please remind your families and friends that we’ll not be able to grant them access into the village for that reason, and that arrangements are in place for them to deliver any shopping or supplies at a safe distance, which we’ll then bring to you. We realise that it’s difficult to be apart from loved ones in such trying circumstances, but the restrictions are intended to protect each one of us who lives or works in the village.

That’s not to say that you have to be completely ‘incommunicado’, however, and you can continue to stay in touch with family, friends and neighbours through the wonders of modern technology. Do let your Village Reception or Resident Services team know if we can help you with anything in this regard. Similarly, if you need any shopping or other supplies organised, please let us know and we can arrange that for you. We’ve had some kind offers from families and other volunteers who’ve offered to assist with such errands, so please tell us what you need – it’s a much better option than you having to venture out to the supermarket. We’re seeing a good take-up of our meal delivery service, so that’s another option for you, and we’d like to thank our catering staff for stepping up to the challenge and responding to the increased demand so admirably.

You may be used to having so much more spare time on your hands by now. For those with internet access, there are many videos, tutorials, webinars, podcasts and other tips and advice on how to use the time productively. Whether it’s exercising in close confines, re-discovering creative skills and talents, trying new recipes, de-cluttering and getting things ready for the op shop once lockdown is lifted, listening to audiobooks, sorting your photographs, re-reading a favourite book or reflecting on a favourite Bible verse, there are many and diverse ways to keep oneself occupied.  

There are also plenty of other suggestions and resources on the ‘Be well, be kind, be safe’ pages of The Selwyn Foundation website which you can explore click here and on our dedicated Coronavirus webpages. Your family and friends might be interested to have a look, too. 

If you wish to keep up-to-date with how New Zealand is battling the virus at any stage, the Government websites are the best sources of information, as other sites might not be accurate or may engage in scaremongering. You can read the latest at: https://covid19.govt.nz/ and at www.health.govt.nz.

With the limitations placed on gatherings, the opportunity for prayers and worship has also been severely curtailed. Our Chaplaincy team across all the Selwyn villages have therefore commenced a new initiative, bringing comforting words and messages into our homes each day through a brief video message. Holy Week and Easter are the themes of this week’s reflections and, thereafter, they’ll focus on some broader ideas and aspects of life experience for us to think about. The reflections are available click here, as well as on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The chaplains hope that both residents and staff find some refreshment and encouragement in each ‘thought for the day’. If you’d like to chat to a chaplain at any time, or to a member of staff or other support person, please don’t hesitate to tell us and we can organise that. We’ll also be continuing our regular phone calls to make sure everyone’s well, and look forward to catching up with you all then.    

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very safe and stress-free Easter period. It will certainly be very different this year. Please be reassured that you’re not alone, but part of a wider caring community, and our village teams are always on hand to help and support you in whatever way you may need.

Stay safe and well, and be kind to one and all.

                                                                                                               

Update 3 April 2020

 Update 3 April 2020

Update to independent living residents

We would like to thank everyone again for your consideration of, and adherence to, the protection measures that we’ve taken to try to ensure that no-one contracts the COVID-19 virus. Residents generally appear to have adapted well to having to self-isolate and are mindful of all the things they need to do to stay out of harm’s way.

Everyone should be self-sustainable now, with all they need to stay safely at home for the remainder of the lockdown. We will continue to keep in touch with everyone by phone to ensure that all’s well.   

Below is a reminder of everyone’s obligations to maintain safety under the Alert Level 4:

  • Social gatherings involving people outside your ‘bubble’ are not permitted and, under the Government’s powers, are reportable and may be subject to penalties, such as fines. This is the case even in situations where physical distancing is being used.
  • Use of vehicles is permitted for essential travel only, which includes attendance at medical appointments and collecting prescriptions and groceries.
  • Exercise is permitted in your locality, but people are not permitted to use their car to travel to a place of exercise.
  • The Government is urging those over the age of 70 to stay in their bubble and not have non-essential visitors. For everyone’s safety, we also endorse this, but acknowledge that community support services have ceased for some people who had help with household tasks. This is likely to remain in place for some time. If you are struggling with things like changing your bed or sanitising hard surfaces, please let the village team know. We can work with you to come up with a SAFE solution.

The four do’s of safety:

  1. Physical distancing
  2. Use of hand sanitiser and good hand washing
  3. Minimising the time spent away from your home and only going out for essentials
  4. Reducing your contact with hard surfaces in public places.

As always, residents shouldn’t hesitate to phone the Village Manager or Reception if you have any queries or need any help whatsoever. We can deliver meals or order in whatever you might need. Please be assured that we are here to help in whatever way we can.

Update 1 April 2020

Update 1 April 2020

Update for independent living residents

We are now in the second week of our lockdown period and are coming to terms with the restrictions that are necessary as the nation tries to curtail COVID-19 / Coronavirus. Our residents are generally in good spirits, and we would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and consideration of their fellow villagers as we continue to get used to this new way of living.

We would like to reassure residents that our village management and resident services teams are on hand to help, if anyone encounters any difficulties as they self-isolate.  Please don’t hesitate to call us, if you need any assistance at all.  Keeping in mind the two metre physical distancing rule, it’s best if you phone or email us rather than coming to Reception in person. 

Whatever you need, we’ll do our best to make it happen.  Whether it’s assistance with using technology or your IT devices to stay in touch with family, or if you would like us to order in any particular item for purchase, we’ll get right on to it for you.  Should you wish to use our meal delivery service from the restaurant or village kitchen, do please try to think ahead and give us a couple of days’ notice if possible.

We know that some of our independent living residents may be particularly vulnerable, therefore we’re phoning them often to check how they’re doing and providing whatever support they may need. This week, our chaplains are also being equipped with the capability to connect virtually with residents via tablets and FaceTime or Jabber, which will enhance the level of support they provide beyond that of an ordinary phone call. Working closely with our independent living residents and the residential care teams, the chaplains have been part of ensuring that phone trees and conversation has been extended to all our residents, tenants and regular chapel attendees, and are tailoring further congregational support as we approach Holy Week and Easter.  In the care homes across our village sites, they’re also continuing with regular services for groups of ten residents or fewer, and are resourcing interested people to continue with some form of music and prayers.

As regards maintaining contact, we would like to remind everyone about the need to physically distance ourselves from others at all times.  The Government is urging people over the age of 70 to stay at home and self-isolate as much as possible – for their own safety.  It’s important that everyone practises these health and safety precautions – whilst you may not have the virus, others you come in contact with might have or might be developing the infection, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

However, you can still go for a walk to enjoy the lovely autumn sunshine and a change of scene, but please ‘keep yourself to yourself’ and refrain from inviting visitors into the village or into your unit.  Unfortunately, this also applies to family members; we would be grateful if families did not continue to visit during this lockdown period or break the ‘bubble’ of residents’ self-isolation.  We understand that this is difficult, but we’re all having to make changes to our routine at the moment for the sake of the greater good.  If residents are expecting any deliveries of food or other items from family, they need to be left at reception and we will then deliver everything to you.

Finally, just a reminder about getting the flu vaccine as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so.  Free vaccinations are now available for older people; GPs, pharmacies and other providers are using different ways to vaccinate people that suit them and their practice, to ensure that everyone stays healthy and free of COVID-19 / Coronavirus.  Although the influenza vaccination won’t protect you from COVID-19, it will help protect against a serious disease that kills hundreds of New Zealanders every winter.

We hope that everyone continues to stay safe and well, as we get used to our new way of life in the fight to eradicate this virus from New Zealand.  As always, if you have a particular query or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact your village management team at any time.

 

Update 26 March 2020

26 March 2020

Uniting against COVID-19/Coronavirus

Now that we’ve entered the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown period, the Government advises that everyone must stay at home to prevent spreading the virus. It’s important that residents limit their physical contact with family, friends and others who live in the wider community as much as possible over the next four weeks, in order to protect themselves, their fellow residents and our staff from any risk of getting the infection.

That said, however, there are various things that you are still able to do, whilst keeping a safe distance from everyone and helping in our national effort to eradicate this virus from our shores.

  • You can go for a walk around the village outside. You can walk in the park or along the streets. If you meet someone and want to have a chat, then by all means do so – but keep at least two metres away from one another. When returning to your apartment, think about being in the lift with just one other person – or preferably on your own.
  • If you want to meet up with another resident, do so in the spacious common areas. The village ground floor lounges and café areas are places where you can sit a couple of metres away from each other. Or you can meet outside, where we have seats around the village.
  • You can go to the supermarket, but do limit the number of trips you make and their duration – you don’t want to come into close contact with people outside your immediate ‘bubble’ (those you’re living with during your time in self-isolation). Keep well away from other shoppers and be very careful about your hand hygiene in relation to the trundler and the check-out counter – use hand sanitiser when you return to your car and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
  • We’d rather you didn’t go shopping, however, as that increases the risk of you picking up the virus and bringing it back. We suggest that someone does the shopping for you – they’ll have to leave it at reception and we’ll then deliver it straight to your door.
  • Now’s the time to keep in touch with family and friends by phone or email. Use the speaker function on your grey Cisco phone, if you have one. For those with an iPhone, consider using FaceTime which lets you see the person you’re talking to; similarly, you might have Skype or be able to use Zoom on your computer.  Or why not message your contacts using WhatsApp, for example.  The possibilities are endless!  So make the most of all that innovative technology we’re always hearing about.

Staying safe and sound

Our villages are currently virus-free. The risk is not amongst us, but someone from outside might bring it into the villages. That’s why we’re restricting all non-essential visitors coming in – we only want visits that are essential in terms of providing supplies, health-related support services or repairs/maintenance.  In each case, those coming into the village will be screened and their temperature checked, to make sure they’re not bringing the virus in with them.    

If you do need help with something, please ring resident services or reception.  Our teams are ready to help if you need food, supplies, something fixed or medical assistance. All our staff wear name badges, including our Bureau employees, so you’ll be able to identify them as being members of our village community.  

Our staff are all working to the Selwyn pandemic management plan, and we’ve introduced a wide range of precautions and protective measures as regards our practices and procedures.  We’re providing our staff with every support possible – both on a professional and personal level – and we’re also implementing key initiatives such as employing our trusted casual Bureau staff on a longer, fixed-term basis to support staffing needs as necessary. The Foundation is continuing to look at ways and means of supporting the health and welfare of staff as they deal with the stresses and strains of the current situation, like everyone else in New Zealand, whilst coming to work to provide essential services for our residents.  

In addition, as an organisation, we’re following all Government advice and legislation, as well as that of our industry bodies – the NZ Aged Care Association and Retirement Villages Association.  We’re sharing knowledge and best practice with other providers within the sector and keeping abreast of developments overseas. So you can be sure we’re doing everything that can be done to keep this infection out of our village and away from our residents. 

If you’ve any queries about anything mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to contact your Village Manager. 

Let’s unite against COVID-19 and each play our part in keeping everyone at our village safe and sound.

Update 7.00pm, 23 March 2020

COVID-19 update to independent living residents, 7.00pm, 23 March 2020

Following this afternoon’s announcement by the Government advising that New Zealand has now moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and, in the next 48 hours to Level 4 for a minimum of four weeks, in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, we have taken a range of stringent measures to protect our village communities.

Over the weekend, we closed our care homes to all visitors and also stood-down those members of staff who are aged 70+. Independent living residents were recommended to stay at home to reduce their risk of contact with the virus; many external services and externally led activities were suspended and we restricted all non-essential movements into the villages.

The following is a summary of our latest decisions and how we intend to protect our residents further:

  • We have closed our cafés to residents and the public. Independent living residents wishing to order a meal from the kitchen should pre-order this the day before, and Resident Hospitality will deliver it to your unit.
  • The mini-marts are also closed (where available). Milk, bread and frozen meals will be available for purchase at reception from tomorrow morning.
  • The medical centre remains open (where available); GPs are continuing to provide a service into the care homes and will be offering phone consultations to independent living residents.
  • All shopping trips are now suspended.
  • The pool and gym (including the Strength and Wellness studios, where available) are closed.
  • The hair dressing service is suspended.
  • Any building projects and works have been suspended for four weeks.
  • We are restricting all non-essential visitors into the villages, with the exception of those delivering food (which is to be left at reception for Resident Hospitality to deliver to residents) and those who provide an approved care or health service (eg, DHB-registered home care support personnel).
  • A sign at the main entrance will inform visitors that the village is closed for all non-essential visits; any urgent/essential visitors will be asked the precise nature of their visit and will be required to sign in at reception (for tracing purposes).
  • Only essential repairs and maintenance will now be carried out.

Alert Level 4 means that it is likely that the virus is not contained, therefore a wide range of public health and social measures have now been enacted nationally to reduce the risk of a widespread outbreak.  People are instructed to stay at home, businesses will be closed except for essential services (eg, supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities, travel will be severely limited and educational facilities will be closed.  Mass gatherings have already been cancelled, and public venues closed (eg, libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools and amusement parks).

Due to the heightened alert level, it is important that independent living residents now limit their contact with ‘the outside world’ as much as possible in order to protect themselves from any risk of contracting the infection.  

We would ask that residents do not go out shopping and that you reduce all unnecessary visits to the village.  Please do not encourage anyone to visit you in your apartment or villa.  If residents choose to continue meeting with family at the village, you should follow the social distancing rules, staying at least 2m away and keeping any essential visits very brief. Shopping deliveries can be dropped off at reception and we will deliver it to you.  

Information on how to self-isolate to slow the spread of the virus is available on the Government website: covid19.govt.nz

We will do all we can to keep this infection at bay and to support residents during this uncertain time. But everyone has a part to play in this national effort. Please help us to protect you, your fellow residents, our staff and New Zealand from the devastating effects of this virus. 

If you need particular support or assistance as a result of this latest announcement, please do not hesitate to speak to the village management team.  

Update 2.30pm, 21 March 2020

Following the latest update by the Government advising that New Zealand has now moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 - Reduce Contact - in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, we would now encourage our independent living residents to self-isolate at home as much as possible.

The Government is recommending that people over 70 and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems should stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus.

With this in mind, if independent living residents do have to leave their unit, please be aware of the importance of exercising physical distancing from others, as much as is practical. The Government is also advising everyone to limit all non-essential domestic travel and to significantly reduce the number of interactions they have at this time.

Further information on how to self-isolate to slow the spread of the virus is available on the new Government website: covid19.govt.nz

We will be issuing further updates on how this latest advice will impact on village life and how our normal routines may have to change in response to the health risk posed by COVID-19.

We have closed our care homes to all visitors with immediate effect – with the exception of close family whose loved ones may be approaching end-of-life.  If this affects any independent living resident whose loved one is living in residential care, and you would like to discuss how this applies in your particular situation, please contact the relevant facility Care Manager.

We realise that this will be an anxious time for everyone.  If any residents require particular support or help as a result of this latest announcement, please contact the village management team and we will provide every possible assistance.

Update 19 March 2020

Update 18 March 2020

Advice for independent living residents

Over and above the self-isolation requirements for travellers coming from countries or areas of concern (category 1a and 1b), we also recommend that independent living residents returning from any other international destination observe the same requirements and also avoid contact with our care home residents for 14 days from the date of their arrival back into New Zealand.

Residents are also requested to manage their family and visitor contacts by asking them not to visit, if they have any cold- or flu-like symptoms or have travelled internationally and have not been back in New Zealand for 14 calendar days from the date of their return to New Zealand. 

Should residents be suffering with cold or flu-like symptoms, we recommend that they self-isolate until they are clear of the symptoms, as it is difficult to distinguish these symptoms from those of COVID-19 in the beginning. Residents are encouraged to stay home, avoid public gatherings and events, and practice good hygiene etiquette.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Anyone who is suffering with cold or flu-like symptoms and who is concerned can phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 or contact their GP, phoning ahead of their visit. Further information is available here or you can visit the new Government website https://covid19.govt.nz/