Resthaven Murray Bridge resident, Maureen Green (86), has continued her friendship with long-time pen pal, Shirley, by upgrading from traditional handwritten letters to Zoom calls.
When settling into Resthaven Murray Bridge in November 2021, Maureen’s daughter, Pam, shared information about Shirley and Maureen’s relationship with site staff.
Maureen says, ‘I have been writing to Shirley, who lives in England, from the age of 14 when it was organised through my school. Since then, we have shared a lot of our life experiences with each other.’
‘Over the years, we have sent so many letters and photographs, but, for some reason, we had never actually seen one another in person,’ said Maureen.
‘We’ve only spoken on the phone twice—once when my daughter Pam won a radio competition for the first international phone call placed from local radio station 5MU, and once again many years later.’
Eager to take Maureen and Shirley’s friendship to the next level, Pam and the site staff located Shirley in aged care home, N-Vision, in Blackpool, England.
The next three months consisted of back-and-forth communication between staff at Resthaven Murray Bridge and N-Vision to plan a Zoom call, taking into consideration time zone differences and COVID restrictions.
Excitingly, Maureen and Shirley were finally able to speak and see one another in real-time via Zoom. Needless to say, there were tears of joy from both of them.
‘It would not have been possible for me to connect with Shirley on Zoom without the wonderful assistance of my family and the staff’s dedication across both sites,’ said Maureen.
‘I look forward to regularly being able to communicate with Shirley and share stories in the future with the help of modern technology!’
Resthaven Murray Bridge is home to 96 older people at 53 Swanport Road, Murray Bridge.