While the coronavirus safeguards have meant that Gracie Dixon Respite Centre can’t hold their usual group sessions at the Centre, there has been a wonderful solution, with Gracie Dixon staff visiting clients in their homes.
Gracie Dixon Coordinator, Lyn Frost, said the response has been amazing.
“Our clients are so proud to show off family photos on their walls and in albums, walk around the gardens and really chat about their life story,” Lyn said.
“Being given this time to have one on one conversations rather than group activities has been a real asset to the care workers to really get to know their clients.”
Lyn said the Gracie Dixon staff member will work with the client for whatever time they need – from a quick check on them, up to two hours, all the while practicing social distancing and strong health hygiene protocols.
“It’s all about engaging them in activities that will stimulate their body and mind – board games, memory games, quizzes, craft, running an exercise program and going for short walks.
“We also help with some domestic duties, organise shopping to keep clients at home and safe and lots of music and sing a longs with the guitar.
“Honestly, I think our staff enjoy it as much as the clients!”
Music, exercise and fun in their own homes
Client Ted Munro from Bargara said it was wonderful to have Gracie Dixon staff like Julia Da Silver visit.
“It’s really good – I love it,” Ted said.
“To have such friendly company in our own home is great – top effort.”
Ted’s daughter Karen Osborn agreed.
“It’s wonderful to have Julia visit,” she said.
“Dad loves music so much – it’s a real highlight of his week.”
In home social support is supplemented by phone calls, and Lyn said both will continue as long as it’s needed.
“Whilst some clients are not receiving the face to face activities, they are still receiving phone calls from staff for a chat and to make sure they are well.
“Conversations about what they are doing to keep themselves occupied and sometimes setting some goals to keep them motivated during this time.
“Staff are keeping an eye on those who seem to be withdrawing and feel very isolated and we make sure that we contact them regularly and will roster music into their weekly visits.”
Gracie Dixon Respite Centre has approximately 54 clients wishing to receive a house visit at this time.
Anyone needing assistance in the community with shopping, a home visit or simply a phone call is invited to phone the centre on 4130 4120 and staff will look at putting services in place.
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