Show of love brings joy

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Clarence Estate resident Cyril Webb chats with executive director of care Jen Cooper.
Camera IconClarence Estate resident Cyril Webb chats with executive director of care Jen Cooper. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

For those living in aged care facilities such as Albany’s Clarence Estate, visitors can be one of the greatest reasons to smile.

But amid the COVID-19 crisis, many of these facilities are in lockdown, with residents forced to go without catch-ups with loved ones.

Clarence Estate has been in lockdown since March 18, meaning all non-essential visitors and staff have been restricted to protect the elderly residents.

Knowing how hard this is for many of them, facility managers have come up with innovative ways to keep spirits high.

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Clarence Estate has created a Window of Love to give residents a chance to connect with their loved ones in a safe way.

The Window of Love has been booked out since opening.

Executive manager Kristi Holloway said the facility had also partnered with local primary school students, from ages 4-10.

She said there was much to be gained from intergenerational relationships, especially in tough times like these. “In response to limiting visitors to residential care facilities and older people, Mt Lockyer Primary and Yakamia Primary School students have written cards, letters and made artwork for the residents and staff at Clarence Estate,” she said. “We already have a strong intergenerational program which connects young and older people — it is a mutually beneficial relationship.

“These works were so lovely to receive ... some residents even cried with joy about the kindness of the gesture. They put smiles on everyone’s faces.”

Residents and staff are now in the process of writing back to the students.

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