Throughout the lockdown with Covid-19, the well-being of our residents has been of huge importance to us. They look forward to visits from family and friends, which lifts their spirits for many days. Without visits, there was concern that residents would become anxious and withdrawn. They were also having to adjust to social distancing within the home and the sudden lack of stimulation normally provided by visits from school children and outside entertainers. The mental ramifications of lockdown during Coronavirus for the elderly was a challenge we needed to address, as well as keeping our residents safe from the virus itself.
Ensuring the well-being of residents during lockdown
Our approach has been a team one, as always at Abberton. We are one big family of residents and care team and support each-other. This care for the body and the mind and for each individual has been one of the things that has helped us through.
Team work and the impact of COVID-19
Our team have kept calm and carried on throughout lockdown. Coming to work with smiles on their faces and working so hard under new infection control regimes to ensure residents can live their “normal” days. Our team are now used to wearing facemasks and our residents can see them smiling with their eyes. Keeping positive, even in the early days of Coronavirus, when everyone was scared of infection and the high risk to the elderly.
We sadly had to sad goodbye to a number of residents through Covid-19. We all felt their loss and our thoughts are with their families. When testing became available for care homes that was a huge reassurance and we were able to test every resident and staff member. By the end of May we were Covid free. We continue to work closely with NHS collegues and Public Health England and are well supported by our GP. We are working together, staying positive and making a difference: winning the challenge presented by this pandemic.
At Abberton, we have been Covid free since the end of May and this is the case through our whole Heritage Manor group. As a company, Heritage Manor independently sourced PPE from China at the outset of the pandemic, so we have always had medical grade facemasks.
Welcoming Tania, our new well-being coordinator
Shortly into lockdown, we welcomed our new activities coordinator Tania Ramsdale. Her role is more than providing activities and extends to the well-being and lifestyle of each resident: finding out what makes them happy on a day to day basis, their likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests. Ensuring they feel happy and relaxed and can do all the things they would do at home, at their Abberton home. Person centred care is central to our beliefs and ethos of “You don’t stop having fun when you get old…you get old when you stop having fun”.
Tania has a background in management and activities, but her real passion is singing and she is professional vocalist. You can imagine the delight for our residents when they discovered this! Tania hosted a sing-along in the garden and is planning lots of musical events. Music is such food for the soul and really uplifting. Just what we all need at this time.
Tania has putting together a full program of activities for our residents. She has lots of ideas up her sleeve and also welcomes your suggestions. Please do get in touch at [email protected]
Residents have been getting involved with hosting activities. Barry leads us regularly in poetry and short story afternoons, reading from his lifelong collection of poems.
Tania’s music and movement sessions start gently and invariably end up with a singalong and a bit of a boogie. Her themed events are a hit too, such as The Country and Western hoe down! Not forgetting mental stimulation we have had some fun quizzes, puzzle, crossword and games afternoons. And relaxing pampering sessions and beauty treatments – for our gents as well – a traditional shave and spruce up. Well-being for mind and body.
Keeping in touch
Proving again that “you are never too old to try new things” our residents have embraced technology. With the help of our team they have been skyping, Zooming, Face-timing and emailing their families. Now it is August we are able to welcome back families into the garden ensuring social distancing. This contact is invaluable, but still has to be by appointment and socially distanced. For the times when family aren’t there, the warmth and friendship between our care team and residents makes Abberton a happy, relaxed home and gives that invaluable support.
Garden and grounds
From relaxing in our beautiful walled garden, to walks in the grounds, to garden parties, afternoon teas and pottering in our veggie plots. We have all felt the joy of nature close to home, nurturing flowers and veggies and seeing the abundance of butterflies. One of our residents Barbara, is especially green fingered and takes a lot of pleasure in tending the tomatoes. We are on track for a bumper crop!
The value of community
We have been so thankful for the donations from local residents through lockdown. Everything from headbands to spare our ears from the elastic of the facemasks, to chocolate galore, donations of plants and tools for the garden, to an organ for our lounge! We discovered that Chris our handyman has a hidden talent as he couldn’t resist a play – and it sounds fantastic!
Through this time the messages of support for carers and pictures from school children have been such a boost. We are thankful to the families who have taken time to write testimonials about our home and have a fantastic 9.8 out of 10 rating www.carehome.co.uk
“We couldn’t have asked for better care. All your staff are amazing and deserve a medal, they were so friendly, caring and compassionate.”