It has been a wee while since our last Newsletter so there is much to catch up on. It is now Autumn and the weather is getting colder. Make yourself a nice hot drink, sit in a comfy chair and we hope you enjoy our Omokoroa Country Estate update.
Please remember to like our Facebook page which provides up to date information about the happenings in our Village. We even have a Mother’s Day competition to acknowledge wonderful Mother’s we know – click to view.
There is a local website which provides information and support to the people of Omokoroa through lockdown. There are links to a local business directory and all important takeaway menus! – click here to go to the website
The Silver Lining on the COVID Cloud
As management and residents of Omokoroa Country Estate met the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown they discovered many silver linings.
Their strong sense of community was demonstrated in banding together to isolate effectively. The management of OCE has, in providing for and guiding the residents through this time, discovered the resilience of their residents and that there is joy to be derived from almost any circumstance. Some of the services that OCE management put in place to assist residents during lockdown have been so successful they will be incorporated into OCE’s modus operandi.
The residents discovered a new sense of camaraderie and connectedness with friendships cemented and new ones made as they joined to support each other to combat COVID-19.
The Omokoroa Country Estate management have also been gratified by the way local community services have come to the party in facilitating flu vaccinations and deliveries of groceries so residents did not have to venture out.
Keeping Residents Informed
During lockdown OCE ramped up its website and updated it regularly with newsletters outlining procedures, offering assistance, encouragement and suggestions to help pass the time. The newsletter was also the vehicle for information on grocery deliveries, flu vaccinations and other services provided to ensure lockdown was as positive an experience as possible.
OCE staff also ensured they were informed about residents’ needs and concerns via regular phone calls to check wellbeing and offer help and advice where necessary.
“The Daily Blurb” by resident, Chris Cole, provided entertainment, information and a lighter look at life in the village.
Boredom busters stretched minds with an increased awareness of online platforms and connections which opened up a world of culture and new experiences.
Birthdays were celebrated when Kevin, the Manager, ably assisted by staff ‘songbirds’ and musicians, became entertainers as they visited residents to sing to them from afar.
On Easter Sunday staff members transformed into Easter bunnies for deliveries of Easter Eggs. It was so much fun it seems the bunnies may rise again another Easter!
Groceries and Essential Supplies
The strong message that older people should not go supermarket shopping posed a particular challenge to OCE management. They met the most urgent need for basic daily supplies by installing fridges in the lobby and stocking them with general essentials and those specific to individuals – like soy milk. Deborah at OCE coordinated with the local Fresh Choice supermarket to have residents’ grocery orders delivered to OCE and there was facility to order groceries online, an option many residents took up and will likely continue now they see how easy it is.
OCE management also arranged for the local pharmacy to deliver prescriptions free of charge.
We would like to recognise the many years of voluntary service that the residents of Omokoroa Country Estate have provided at reception. Since the outset of the village ladies (and the occasional gentleman) have been the ever smiling and welcoming faces of the village reception. Amongst other things our wonderful volunteers have been sorting the mail, welcoming guests, selling stamps & cards and making wellness phone calls to residents.
The village has now employed Deborah Donovan as Director of First Impressions who, amongst other tasks, will take over the role so honourably undertaken by our willing volunteers. We would like to honour these volunteers at a morning tea once we are able to mix and mingle again. Until then we thank you (too many names to list here) for your valuable contribution over the years. We are so grateful for your generous contribution to the success of Omokoroa Country Estate.
Graeme has been a volunteer driver of the Omokoroa Country Estate minibus for many years. As with all good things that eventually come to an end, Graeme has chosen to step down as a volunteer driver. On behalf of management and staff we would like to thank Graeme for your smile and assistance to those who have utilised this wonderful service over the years. You will be missed from the driving ranks.
It was a different ANZAC Day this year, as COVID-19 prevented being able to hold the local ANZAC service in the nearby Omokoroa School grounds. So instead, Chris Cole, Secretary of the Residents’ Committee, arranged a small service on the bowling green at 11am, with a wreath and some poppies made by two of our residents. While this service was held it was suggested for residents to stand outside their homes while a service was broadcast on RNZ. Chris even managed to find some resident bakers willing to make Anzac biscuits as a treat.
Flu Vaccinations Made Easy
Residents received their flu vaccinations on-site in a mammoth display of organisation between management and the local Unichem Pharmacy. This was so well received by residents that it will become an annual fixture.
Lockdown a Breeze
Bob and Diane Jones have lived in OCE since November last year. Diane shares their experience of lockdown and life at OCE:
“Lockdown here has been a breeze! A lovely setting to walk around if we wanted to, lovely neighbours stopping to talk when we are out in the garden (always two metres apart!), and so quiet and peaceful, only the tuis scrapping over who gets first turn at the water and sugar we put out for them and fantails flitting in and out of the birdbath.
“It has also been good to see that some of the gardeners have carried on working during the lockdown, and we welcomed Emma back on Tuesday, always good to have her here to have a catch up if we have any problems or questions.
“We had a phone call from one of the management ladies too, just to check we are okay, so that was nice.
“We absolutely love living here at OCE, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking at a retirement village. It is like living in a botanical garden really, just fabulous. As well as my sister and brother-in-law, we also have good friends from Auckland who moved here in August last year.”