Have your residents and team members had the Covid-19 vaccine?
We’re pleased to confirm, as part of the national rollout, a large number of our treasured residents and team members have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. There was a definite air of excitement and anticipation for the year ahead, on the day the vaccines were administered! We are working with our health partners to support the rollout of the second dose and also to ensure those who were unable to have the first dose at the time, due to health conditions for example, have it as soon as possible.
What do you do to stop people bringing the virus into the care home?
We have a whole host of measures in place to manage the risk of someone bringing the virus into our home. Our team members remain dedicated to do all they can to keep our residents safe and, as a minimum, are tested twice a week with lateral flow devices, where we test on site and get the results back within half an hour, as well as weekly PCR tests, where a swab is taken and sent off to a lab to be tested. Visitors to our home, such as health professionals and loved ones also go through stringent checks and everyone working or visiting must wear appropriate PPE at all times, without exception. To put it simply, we don’t take any chances and if we are unsure if someone may be unwell with Covid-19 then they don’t come into the home.
What is the situation with PPE?
Our care home has, and has always had, the correct high-quality PPE for our team and visitors which is carefully put on and removed in line with national guidance. Our company has been in the care sector for over 30 years and we have multiple long-established supply chains for everything we need. We have not, and will never be caught short.
How do you ensure cleanliness and hygiene?
Hygiene is our top priority inside the home and is fundamental to everything we do. All areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day with high-quality products. Further additional cleaning measures are in place for high contact points, lounges, dining rooms and other areas where people meet. All of our team members change in and out of their uniforms at work and additional infection control training has been delivered.
How do you support new residents to settle in safely?
We work with individual families and future residents on a case by case basis to assess the risk prior to each person moving in with us. This involves carefully assessing all risk factors such as whether a person has had Covid before, if they’ve had their first or both vaccines, where they’ve been living before joining us and what level of contact they’ve had with other people. This risk assessment, coupled with a combination of PCR and LFD rapid testing could mean someone doesn’t have to complete the full 14 days isolation if they are considered to be a low risk and their test results are negative. For any period of self-isolation, our dedicated team use the knowledge we have gathered prior to the person moving in, as well as information we often glean through chats over a cuppa and a piece of cake, to ensure this time is a nice and comfortable experience. There are lots of opportunities to still take part in activities, pursue hobbies and try new things and we provide room service for their home-cooked meals and snacks throughout the day and night. We’re also there to chat to and, as family plays a huge role in our vibrant care home life, we make sure that all residents are able to remain in regular contact with their loved ones.
How do you make sure your residents don’t get bored or isolated?
We know how hard lockdown has been on families and communities. Indeed, we all face the same issues of isolation, nervousness and that feeling of being cooped up. We ensure our residents have access to both state-of-the-art technology as well as traditional pastimes and have a dedicated lifestyles team on hand to arrange a variety of activities. Whether it’s arts and crafts, a pub quiz, a sing along with a virtual entertainer, socialising over our home-baked afternoon tea, walks in our gardens, watching a film, playing games, being pampered in our salon or relaxing with a good book, life is certainly not boring for our residents. Our team are always there to provide the support, security and confidence to our residents to engage in such activities, where they can try new things or indulge in favourite hobbies. That said, if one of our beloved residents wants to have breakfast in bed and watch their favourite TV shows in their room, we understand and there is no pressure to get involved in anything. After all, we all have to admit we like doing that from time to time.
How will you support me to stay in touch with my loved one?_
We’re pleased to be supporting face-to-face visits from our residents’ loved ones, in line with local and national guidance. Currently these regular visits take place in our dedicated visiting area where we are able to work with our families and residents to minimise the risk to everyone. In addition we’ve loved regularly making use of video calls – seeing our residents’ faces light up when they realise they can see their loved one on the phone or iPad has been amazing and has meant residents with loved ones unable to make the journey to us are still able to see and chat to each other. Also, we’ve found that many of our residents love the simplicity of a traditional letter. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook then we urge you to take a look as we update it regularly with what we’ve been getting up to so it’s a great place to build a picture of what life is like here. We know that personal connection is what makes us human and even in this new era of Covid-19, we will continue to take every step we can to ensure personal connections are maintained and indeed continue to flourish.