Residents at Kaloma Home for the Aged will stay connected with family and friends using technology, thanks to a $6,906 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.
Strict social distancing rules have resulted in many aged care facilities minimising visitors to stop the spread of COVID-19, forcing elderly residents into isolation with limited access to families and friends.
In a bid to help these elderly residents to stay socially connected, McIntyre Freemasons Lodge nominated Kaloma Home for the Aged for the grant.
McIntyre Freemasons Lodge Secretary George Sloss said the funds would be used to purchase additional iPads, accessories and trolleys so that residents can keep in touch with family and friends, particularly during COVID-19.
“Social isolation has been difficult for many people, but it is our most vulnerable who are suffering the most, as many of them are not well-versed in using social media and technology,” Mr Sloss said.
“This grant will allow Kaloma Home for the Aged to bring social connection and fun into the facility without risking the health of residents.”
Kaloma Home for the Aged Chief Executive Officer Penni Roberts said loneliness was harmful to residents’ mental health.
“Social isolation is key to minimising the spread of COVID-19 but stress, loneliness and poor mental health can lead to a weakened immune system, which is the last thing vulnerable residents need,” Ms Roberts said.
“This technology unlocks the world for our residents and brings much-needed connection to their families who are missing them.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided more than $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.
“Kaloma Home for the Aged provides an essential service for the region, and we are glad we could provide this extra support to its residents at a time when they needed it the most.”
Photo: More residents will soon be able to stay in touch with family and friends with the donation of additional iPads to Kaloma Home for the Aged.