Through the hard work and dedication of all our staff a serious outbreak in our Extra Care schemes has so far been avoided, and we’re all hoping it stays that way.
Ellie Jarvis is a Care Worker at our Chestnut Court Extra Care scheme in Stanwell, which provides extra care accommodation for older people. Ellie says everyone remains “in good spirits” despite the very difficult circumstances.
While any care home environment requires staff to be alert to cleanliness and safety at all times, it is now even more vital to stay on top of things. Additionally, staff now have to consider the people back at home and their wellbeing.
“The first thing we do when we come in is head straight to the office and make sure our hands are clean because you don’t know what you’ve touched on your way in,” Ellie explains. “We get all our protective kit ready, then read the communications books to find out what’s gone on in the previous day and night so we’re all up to speed.
People are wary
“Management speak to us regularly to keep us all up to date with the rules and regulations of Covid-19. And we’ll all meet and make sure that everyone is happy to go ahead with the work. Sometimes staff do get wary about going in to see people, which is understandable because a lot of us have young children or vulnerable people in our households.
“We have to strike a balance where everyone feels safe and comfortable but also people are taking their fair share where they can. We rotate the duties so the higher-risk work doesn’t always fall to the same people.”
It’s been a whirlwind
Despite understandable concern about their own families, our staff at Chestnut Court are confident that management are doing everything they can to keep them safe.
Ellie continues: “Everything’s gone a bit mad but we’ve got everything we need, which we’re very grateful for. And the management have been absolutely amazing at making sure we have all the right protective equipment and making sure our working conditions are safe too. So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind but we’re getting there.”
Putting people at ease
Like most Extra Care schemes, Chestnut Court provides care for older people with a wide range of needs and some are more complex than others. For residents whose conditions make understanding the current situation more difficult, our staff are doing what they can to keep them safe without trying to disrupt patterns and routines that they rely on for their mental wellbeing.
“It’s harder for some of the dementia patients because some of the them can’t remember or they get confused,” Ellie explains. “In those cases it’s mainly about trying to make sure they feel at ease and they’ve got everything they need.
“So if someone now can’t go to the shop for certain things, we’ve got a set-up in our lounge that’s a bit like a food bank where people can pick up items they need or we can pick them up for them.
“It’s mainly about trying to make sure they’re eased and calm. But they’re all in good spirits, they seem to be calm and content. And they’re all really grateful that we’re here to keep them safe and comfortable and they can’t say thank you enough for what we’re doing.”
We feel so lucky
Ellie says she feels “lucky” that so far Chestnut Court hasn’t “been badly affected like some of the places we’ve heard about”. But keeping our most vulnerable residents takes more than luck. And we are grateful for all our Care & Support team for the incredible work they do every day to keep our care homes running safely.
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