Staying connected as an older generation

Ageing communities across Australia are learning to adapt and adopt new ways of living, keeping connected with their friends and families through technology. According to COTA Victoria, some residents of retirement villages are even hosting isolation-specific activities to help unite communities and keep up the ever-important need for socialisation.

For example, at Keilor Retirement Village, their very own TV channel station – Channel 50 – is now being utilised as a way to keep those within the community informed about COVID-19. Reported by COTA Victoria, one particular resident – Anita Smith and husband Dwight – are running the station to include other activities and interests, including musicals, movies and general entertainment.

Out of the 220 residents, a majority of them are independent. Right now, maintaining activity and keeping connected is a priority, especially as Victoria continues with strict social distancing regulations.

David Moore, manager of Keilor Retirement Village, said that the station is helping enormously with these aspects of everyday living, as well as several other shifts across the facility.

“We have morning walking groups of pairs who maintain their social distancing; assistance for residents to order groceries online or have family drop off groceries,” he told COTA. In some cases, families even chose to pre-pay for takeaway meals for loved ones as a way to give them something special over Easter.

Despite the many ways residents (and the wider population) have had to change up everyday lifestyles, Moore said the community is overall positive. From providing newsletters to families and those inhabiting the facility itself, through to keeping entertainment and connection as priorities, the village has remained an inspiring case for others to follow suit.

“We find keeping people active and busting myths about the virus stops people panicking. Many people contribute ideas – it’s creating a great sense of community.”