Elmfield House Newsletter March 2020
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It seems like the world has gone crazy this month!
Corona virus has resulted in many changes to society as well as within Elmfield House.
Sadly, to protect our residents from this virus, we had to ban all visitors including family, entertainers, PAT dog, external contractors and even the owners.
Niccii did a Facebook appeal to ask local villagers if they had any unwanted games, books, cd’s/ dvd’s, arts and crafts pieces or activity things we could utilise during the lockdown.
The response was over-whelming. We had bags upon bags of donations; some things were brand new! We were very grateful and now we have so many things to do that we are spoilt for choice!
Niccii and Dawn spent four hours sorting out our activity cupboards! Patricia and Jean Wood helped by sorting out packs of cards and domino sets for us, and Vera passed puzzles and games to Niccii which was very helpful.
We have been busy writing to our pen pals this month. Niccii’s appeal for pen pals resulted in almost 100 pen pals writing to residents!
We have had lots and lots of lovely cards, letters, drawings, photos and even cuddly toys and chocolates sent to residents! Too many to count.
It has taken a week or so for staff to assist residents to write replies. Each resident has been allocated four or five pen pals.
Dannii, one of our Care staff, who is finishing her teacher training, even got her class of children to make cards for our residents which cheered them up!
The teachers from Bisley school have also asked their children to write letters to us as part of their home-school English lessons.
We have had so many treats left for residents and staff from our lovely neighbors; boxes of chocolates, boxes of biscuits, other edible goodies and even potatoes! The community spirit has been wonderful and is a definite positive in an otherwise dire situation.
We have bought new cd’s and dvd’s to keep our resident’s entertained. We have watched ‘Lady and the Tramp’, ‘Judy’ which is an account of Judy Garland’s life, ‘Rocketman’ detailing Elton John’s life story, ‘1917’ which is a War story, the modern remake of ‘Cats’: all have been enjoyed so far……
We were very lucky that Lin Humphries, Pat’s daughter-in- law has loaned us a Samsung tablet so that we can use the tablet to make video calls to relatives and friends. This has been beneficial to both residents and relatives who are missing their loved ones.
Some of our residents have been completely amazed at the advances in technology! It is reassuring to be able to see and communicate with families. In the absence of physical visits, it is the next best thing.
Sadly, we have not been able to have our Church service at Elmfield, however the Minister Richard Abbott very kindly conducted a pre- recorded service and this was accessed and viewed by those who wished to watch it. Religion is particularly important during the time of Lent coming up to Easter which is one of the most important events in the Christian calendar.
We have been buying magazines from Sainsbury’s each week which the residents are very kindly sharing amongst each other.
None of our residents have been able to go out all month, we have missed our trips to the pub but everyone understands the restrictions and it makes us look forward to it all the more.
We are also missing Nicky our hairdresser, and Rikki the chiropodist, as both provide much needed services. It is only when we don’t have the service that it is acknowledged what difference it makes!
We have continued with our pamper sessions with foot spas, manicures and facemasks.
Staff have been playing board games, cards, dominoes and doing quizzes to keep residents occupied.
Due to present circumstances in very uncertain times, we are taking things day by day and one week at a time. Please be assured, that once we get back to ‘normality’ we will make up for lost time.
Niccii and her wonderful team, are making extra efforts to ensure that residents physical health needs are met, but just as importantly, their emotional needs are also met including companionship, stimulation and laughter.
Staff and resident changes:
Sadly, we lost a resident, Margaret Horner, who passed away on her 92nd birthday in hospital. Unfortunately, Margaret had been in hospital for several weeks prior to her death and it appeared that she would have needed nursing care. RIP.
We welcomed back Heidi Van Eyssen, as a bank carer. Heidi worked for us several years ago but was posted away as her husband is in the Military. However, they are now back in the area so Heidi has chosen to come back.
Diane Findlay, our administrator has reduced her hours due to health reasons and will now work Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She is currently working at home due to Covid 19.
Lauren Watson has been promoted to senior for two days a week to take over resident’s paperwork from Diane and will work off the floor Monday and Tuesday’s to update care plans and complete resident’s paperwork alongside Chris. Lauren will also work 2.5 days on the floor as a Carer. Lauren graduated as a nurse last year so has the necessary skills and knowledge and we can learn a lot from her.
On 24th March, Jan Harrison turned 76 years old. Due to the unforeseen social circumstances, it was somewhat a bitter- sweet day for Jan as she was excited to have a birthday, open her cards and presents and have a tea party; but on the other hand it was the first birthday that she couldn’t see her family whom she is very close to due to the visiting restrictions.
Jan did have a nice day and she spoke to her Son, daughter, grandchildren and friends on the phone.
Due to Covid 19, we have had to implement some changes within the home to abide to Government recommendations. We have changed the layout of the lounge to accommodate social distancing. This means that we cannot have as many residents as usual in the lounge at the same time.
We devised a system where residents choose which time of the day they prefer to spend in the communal area (morning or afternoon) and spend the other part of their day in individual rooms. This has worked very well, particularly as some residents have bed rest in the afternoon on a regular basis.
We have been spending one- on- one time with residents in their rooms and have been encouraging residents to use the power plate daily when in communal areas to promote exercise and well- being. This is particularly important with residents not being able to exercise outside of the home at this present time.
Employee of the month:
Employee of the month for March has been extremely difficult as so many staff who were not unwell have worked extra shifts and gone above and beyond expectations with a positive attitude.
However, Natalie Goodchild deserves recognition as she made a smooth transition from night shifts to day shifts and she has also been a star covering several shifts without hesitation.