News & Events

Elaine masks up the community

May 28, 2020

 When COVID-19 closed the community, Elaine Mahoney immediately reached for her box of materials and sewing machine.

“I knew that people would want to have masks, and so I started researching how to make masks,” Elaine said.

Soon afterwards, the Braeside Park resident began to get orders for her homemade cloth masks from friends, family and some of the residents in the village.

She has refined her design over the past few months, and to date has made over a dozen masks from an assortment of patterned and coloured materials.

“I know that it is not medically necessary to wear a mask but for some people, it gives a feeling of safety and really that is what I’ve been offering: a safe, comfortable mask to put on if you are going out,” Elaine said.

Elaine, who has just turned 86, moved to Braeside Park apartments four years ago. She had left her husband and moved in with her daughter before deciding, after two years, that it was time to give her daughter some space and find a place of her own.

“It was time for me to become independent and to find me again,” she said.

She learned about Braeside Park through her local council, put her name down on the waitlist, went to have a look around before and was thrilled when an assisted living apartment was offered to her.

“My life has turned around, it is a simple as that,” Elaine said.

She loves being surrounded by the landscaped gardens through to having delicious homemade meals cooked, the knowledge that any maintenance problems will be taken care of as well as other residents around for a chat or to take part in some of the many activities organised through the residents committee.

“Life is easy which is what you want when you reach my age,” Elaine said.

She came to Australia as a 14-year-old and was the first in her family to land a job. From working in a milk bar, she eventually moved into credit control and accounts where she worked with several different companies.

“I’ve always been busy and had many interests,” Elaine said, musing that perhaps that was why the lockdown has not been too isolating for her.

For the moment, she has put away her sewing machine and she still has a stash of materials ready to make new masks when they are needed.

“I am looking forward to getting out a bit more now that the lockdown restrictions are lifting”, Elaine said.

I love the ‘magimix’ of people who make up the community and that it is a safe and happy place to live. - Jo Portlock

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