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Yet another month in lock down has been and gone. It has been challenging in many ways with our residents missing family and friends. It is strange having Elmfield free from visitors as we get used to seeing everyone as part of our extended Elmfield family.
Once again, we have had beautiful weather which really is a bonus in difficult times.
We have made the most of the lovely weather by sitting in the garden, having weekly BBQ’s and playing outdoor games. Some residents have opted to spend the afternoon in the garden, reading or chatting to others instead of being in their bedrooms.
Sadly, we have not been out for walks recently because the green is so busy with people having picnics and sat in groups. It is too risky for our residents to be exposed to such large groups which is a shame.
We have continued with our themed days and have had Chinese and Italian days. For Chinese day we had Chinese curry, sweet and sour chicken, chicken balls and stir fry noodles with spring rolls. This was very popular!
Our Italian day consisted of meatballs in tomato sauce, spinach callononi and lasagna with garlic bread. Both were thoroughly enjoyed!
We continue to receive pen pal letters and have been responding as a group to our new friends. We have received lots of pictures and photographs and a huge volume of letters. One of John’s pen pals even gave him a CD of war time songs in remembrance of VE day, Jane very kindly added it to his playlist on his music player and he whistles to the tunes of his favorite war time songs. Residents love receiving their pen pal letters and to hear what their new friends have been doing during lock down and hearing their hobbies and interests.
We have some new additions at Elmfield…… four little knitted bears are in the porch. One bear is a carer, one is a cook, one is a housekeeper and one bear is the manager. They have brought delight to our residents and it has been a great talking point. Even passers- by have commented on the bears in the window!
We have been using our ‘Alexa’ and residents are amazed that they can shout out any artist and their songs will play! Each resident has been requesting their favorite singers and their choices have been very interesting ranging from Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Nat King Cole, Beethoven to Bob Marley. We have been taking resident’s requests and Alexa has become a much- loved item in the lounge.
We have planted sun flowers in the garden and are having a competition to see who’s grows the tallest!
We have been doing some arts and crafts coloring and painting pictures for the key workers. We have painted our hand prints and made some sour dough prints.
We have done lots of quizzes and games. Colin has come in a few times to do short activities mid- morning with residents which residents have enjoyed.
Last Thursday, a group of staff and Jan, Jean, Helen and Patricia ‘Clapped for Carers’ which was lovely. Some of our neighbors came to clap with us and it was quite emotional. A video was posted onto Facebook and to date it has had over 1,300 likes which is amazing!
We have done our annual Quality Assurance Questionnaires with residents, staff and relatives. Results will be collaborated in June. Thank you to everyone for their feedback, it is always appreciated.
The cook and kitchen assistant have also done some nutritional questionnaires with residents, the results of which have helped create the new menu.
On VE Day, we celebrated at Elmfield by having themed activities such as a quiz, reminiscing and sharing experiences and memories. John and Alan served as Soldiers, Pat was a nurse in London, Patricia and Vera were both evacuated to the countryside, Helen has memories of the troops being in Knaphill and local bombings.
Bisley Village had organised lots of VE day celebrations within the Village, but due to lock down these were cancelled. However, lots of people on Church Lane sat out their front gardens and had afternoon tea so we joined in.
We moved the tables outside and everyone sat outside for afternoon tea.
We raised a glass of bubbly at 3pm and on the Cenotaph, a local gentleman dressed in a kilt played ‘The Last Post’ on his bugle trumpet. This was wonderful and brought back memories for some of our residents. He has offered to come and play in Elmfield in the future once lockdown is over.
It was lovely to see some relatives who came to say hello, from a safe social distance of course. Michele came to see her Mum Pam, Nigel and Lin said hello and joined us for cake whilst seeing Pat, and Jackie and James raised a glass to their Mum Patricia.
Unfortunately, it was too hot out the front for some residents to stay out too long so we carried on the party indoors and in the back garden which is more sheltered.
Tracy, who is a friend of Dawn’s, made some delicious cupcakes for us. Jade also made a lovely white chocolate cheesecake and a sponge cake, and Dawn made scones with jam and cream. All went down a treat! We watched a DVD about the end of the war and this provided a great opportunity for discussion and reminiscing. It is so difficult to imagine the feelings of joy when it was announced the War in Europe was over, after such frightening and uncertain times.
Thankfully, in early June, we will be able to have our chiropodist, Rikki back. Prior to coming into Elmfield, Rikki will have been tested for Covid 19 and is only allowed in with a negative test result. This service has been greatly missed and some of our residents are experiencing discomfort with long toe nails.
Niccii has ordered Covid 19 tests and will be authorized to test all staff and residents shortly when they are delivered. This test will only identify if someone has the virus at the time of testing. This may identify anyone who is asymptomatic and relevant action will be taken accordingly.
It is expected that testing for anti-bodies will be available in the next month or two which will show if an individual has antibodies indicating previously having had the virus or immunity.
The hairdresser will also be tested, and if negative, will be able to come into the home to give residents much needed TLC and help to boost their morale. Its amazing what a good hair cut can do in terms of confidence!
There are new syatems in place for the district nurses, instead of telephone requests for visits, we will now have to do a video call so they can triage assess a resident and decide if they need a visit or if they can wait for our weekly visits which will now be on a Wednesday.
We will also be re-commencing weekly phone calls with the GP, we have been chosen by Dr Carty who is fond of Elmfield and specifically asked to be allocated us. The purpose is to discuss any non- urgent issues or concerns which may not be necessary for a home visit but ensures all needs are met.
From June, we have a new activities agenda to ensure that we are providing a range of activities daily. Niccii has sourced lots of new quizzes, games and activity idea. The power plate has now been fixed so can be used daily again.
Residents have been asked what they enjoy doing and what their preferences are to ensure the activities agenda reflects the preferences of the residents. Recently, it has been difficult to motivate residents to want to join in with activities. It is important more than ever to keep residents stimulated and occupied and in the absence of our usual entertainers and activity people we need to offer more. Niccii has changed the carer’s routine so that someone morning and afternoon is allocated time off the floor to spend time with residents.
Staff and resident changes
We have not had any new staff this month, and nobody has left Elmfield either. Our new staff who started employment in April have really settled in well and are a real asset to our team.
Sadly, Dorothy Herkes, passed away on 23rd May. She peacefully went to sleep following a decline in her health caused by cancer. Dorothy is very missed by all and our thoughts are with her two daughters.
On 3rd May, Phyllis Colclough celebrated her 92nd birthday. Phyllis missed seeing her family, but she had lots of gifts delivered by Jayne her daughter, as well as deliveries of chocolates and flowers and several cards. We had a birthday party within Elmfield and Phyllis enjoyed her special day.
Government funding means that staff will be given some free infection control and PPE training in the near future. This will be held in the garden of Elmfield.
CQC who govern care providers are currently not doing site inspections except in extreme circumstances. Instead they have introduced an ‘Emergency Support Frameworks’ to assess and support care homes who have been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. They have regularly been telephoning Niccii to see how we are and what challenges we are facing. This ensures that care homes are still providing quality care to residents during the current emergency.
It is nice to have some support and CQC as well as other organisations such as Skills for care and the Community mental health team and manager’s forums have been extremely beneficial in recent weeks and months to share resources, guidelines, good practice and ideas.
Employee of the month
Employee of the month for May has been awarded to Jade Haverty. She kindly crocheted the Elmfield bear family, made two delicious cakes for the VE day afternoon tea and has gone above and sat with Dorothy for an hour when the care staff had handover the day before she passed away. Jade also created the posters to advertise locally the room vacancy we have at Elmfield using photoshop. She also has lots of good ideas which she shares in the staff What’s app group. Jade has been working alternate weekends with our other housekeeper throughout Covid 19 pandemic to ensure excellent standards of cleanliness and hygiene are maintained at all times which is much appreciated. Jade regularly exceeds the expectations of her job role and is creative, kind and caring and shows dedication to the home and residents. Well done Jade and keep up the fantastic work!