TDHS Social Support Group Jean English June 2020

COVID-19 no barrier for Social Support Group activities

Instead of looking forward to meeting up with her friends at Social Support Group twice a week, Jean English now looks forward to the weekly arrival of her yellow envelope.

Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) has had to hit pause on its Social Support Group (SSG) gatherings in Cobden and Timboon during the COVID-19 restrictions. Instead the TDHS team now drops off activity packs to SSG participants.

Jean, 81, attends the Cobden group and said over the past few months she had found herself looking forward to the pack’s arrival.

“I get one large yellow envelope a week from the girls and it has all sorts of things in it. I get puzzles and different sheets with stories about Australians…there’s lots of jokes which I love and different craft activities,” she said.

“Sometimes there’s a bag of lollies, a chocolate frog or some chips – they do a great job making sure there’s things for me to enjoy and it’s always changing.

“They also deliver three meals for me, all at the same time, which is wonderful and they call every week to have a chat about things.”

The Social Support Groups at Timboon and Cobden assist in maintaining an individual’s ability to live at home and in the community by providing a planned program of activities that enhance the skills required for daily living and provide physical, intellectual, emotional and social stimulation.

Jean said she was grateful that group activities were still running in some form, but she was looking forward to getting back to proper group catch ups when it was allowed.

“I had been going to the senior citizens building for Social Support Group for 18 months and I always looked forward to it. I’ve been living on my own for eight years,” she said.

“The whole Coronavirus thing seemed to happen so quickly…it was a big change all of a sudden and we had to stay at home instead.

“Usually, we’d start with a cuppa and something nice to eat, then we have a talk and get stuck into some exercise. We’d do craft things, crosswords and have a nice lunch. Then after we’d usually do more arts and craft. It’s from 10am to 3pm and I went twice a week.

“I did look forward to it…the best part for me was having a meal put in front of me that I didn’t have to prepare and chatting with the other ladies. It will be great when we can all catch up again, but it might still be a little while before that can happen.”

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