Connecting Western Victoria’s most vulnerable

Caption: Birches Resident Phyllis Taylor enjoys the use of a new iPad donated by AGL

The AGL Community Relations team at Macarthur and Oakland Hill windfarms recently lent a helping hand to elderly Australian’s unable to see family members during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The team were approached by regional healthcare provider, Western District Health Service, to assist with the purchase of iPads for Hamilton Base Hospital and its four Aged Care Facilities in Western Victoria, to assist with connecting residents with their loved ones.

“Western District Health Service has been significantly impacted by the social distancing measures due to COVID-19. The reliance on mobile phones and other technology to allow residents and patients to talk to their loved ones has risen significantly,” said Community Relations Coordinator Lachlan Sturt. 

“Not having the opportunity for residents to see family and friends at this time in their lives has been challenging and heartbreaking.”

“After successfully applying for a $3500 community grant with AGL, Western District Health Service was able to purchase 10 iPads so residents can ‘video chat’ with their loved ones during this time.”

“Our aged care residents are categorised as vulnerable Australians and we have introduced visitor restrictions at our facilities to ensure their safety during the pandemic. Although residents are quite supportive of the restrictions, many have found it challenging and we want to do everything we can to support them to stay connected with their loved ones.

We are incredibly grateful for AGL’s assistance in purchasing these IPads to provide more ‘virtual visiting’ opportunities for residents and their families. The IPads are already in use and are making a real difference in difficult times,” said Rohan Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Western District Health Service.

“The $3500 grant from AGL to purchase these iPads will help so much with enabling our residents to connect with their loved ones.”

“We aren’t just geographically located in communities where we operate, we are part of the community,” said Lachlan.

“Being part of a community comes with the responsibility to help members within it when they ask for a helping hand. Our community grant to Western District Health Service is one of many ways we exercise our value of social licence as we endeavour to build relationships, advocacy and good will in the communities where we operate.”

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