Well summer is officially over! The weather in August has been very mixed with a heatwave to storms and torrential rain.
We have made the most of the garden when the weather permitted with outdoor games, ice creams in the sunshine, BBQ and we had a garden show from the wonderful Graham.
Graham came to Elmfield on 4th August which corresponded to Pat’s birthday. He sang a varied selection of popular songs throughout the decades and as usual, he had residents singing and dancing: from a safe social distance of course.
Graham also sang through the window to Dorothy who is bed-bound. Thankfully, it was sunny for the garden show which was a relief for Graham and his equipment.
Our sunflowers are eventually growing tall and one has started flowering. The others aren’t far behind although they seem quite late but the saying “better late than never” springs to mind……The poor sunflowers have regularly blown over during the recent storms.
On 15th August, Niccii and Mel represented the home by attending the VJ service at Bisley cenotaph. One of the spectators was an ex veteran wearing his military attire and medals which was lovely to see. Despite the rain and social distancing restrictions, there was a very good turnout of people from the village. The speeches were very emotional and moving. The bugler could be heard all down Church Lane as the clock chimed 11 o clock.
We commenced our long-awaited garden visits mid-August with varying degrees of success. The weather has been up and down which obviously has a negative impact on our residents as well as visitors.
Wearing of PPE such as masks can also be a barrier to effective communication as well as the two meters social distancing.
However, it has been wonderful and quite emotional to reunite loved ones after a tough few months apart.
We had to implement a short-term lockdown at the end of August due to a resident presenting with a cough which sadly postponed our scheduled garden visits. Please be assured that these will recommence as soon as the swab test results are received.
Pauleene, one of the pastural assistant from Bisley church, has regularly been checking in on Elmfield to see how we are and to offer support. She informed us that there will be a new Vicar in post from November. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Church into a new era.
We had themed meals in August with residents having Indian and Mexican food. This was different to some of our usual meals and it was the first time some residents have tasted such cuisine, but overall, the meals went down very well. Well done Dawn! More to come in September…..
Our usual activities have been taking place daily. Vera and Phyllis have also been helping staff with everyday tasks such as wiping tables/ trays/ place mats, mixing cake ingredients, watering the sunflowers and folding laundry which is helpful and gives them a sense of purpose.
Our whole home Covid testing kits are due for delivery early September and there is now a new way of ordering, registering and couriering the test kits. Hopefully, it will be less time consuming and more efficient considering the barriers and challenges faced so far!
Unfortunately, we are planning ahead for the winter challenges faced in health and social care settings. Niccii will be in touch with relatives in due course to discuss the flu vaccinations and to gain consent for this.
The NHS and the Government are strongly encouraging 100% uptake from staff and residents in care settings this year (unless medically exempt.)
There have been several enquiries into what our winter visiting plans are; this is currently being discussed at Board level and we have several options that we are looking into, ensuring we continue to follow the best practices advised in the most up-to-date guidance. Decisions will be communicated in the frequent email updates.
Niccii has been in touch with a local historian regarding our Bisley history project. Local villagers have given guidance and advice on how to find out more about the history of the village. Valuable details and links have been provided to help us source information. There are also museums in Surrey Heath and Chobham who may be able to provide information. We will start our project in September and it may last for several months.
Staff and resident changes
There are no changes to our staffing team.
In August, we welcomed a new resident to our home. His name is Leslie Sherlock and he came to us from hospital following a fall at home. At present, anyone coming into a care home from the community or hospital, must isolate for 14 days so sadly he has not had the opportunity to interact or form friendships with our other residents.
August was our busiest month for birthdays. Our first birthday to celebrate was on 4th August when Pat Humphries celebrated her 96th birthday. She spoke to family members via telephone and video calls and received lots of cards and gifts.
We then had a double birthday celebration on 18th August with Jill Cooley celebrating her 80th birthday, and Vera Norbury turned 87 the same day.
We had a joint celebration for our birthday twins and had double cakes which went down a treat!
Alan Nurney was our final August birthday, he celebrated his 93rd birthday on the 22.nd.
We had birthday decorations, party teas and balloons for each of our birthdays. It isn’t the same having birthdays without visitors but everyone seemed to enjoy their special days.
We may be recommencing a library service. The local authorities are in the process of planning doorstep drop- off’s and pick ups of chosen books by our residents.
We are hoping to hold our annual McMillan coffee morning. At the moment, this is currently in the planning stages as Covid and visiting restrictions will alter how we do this so we will have to be creative.
On 14th August, it was Niccii’s 10-year anniversary since starting at Elmfield House.
Both Christine and Naz have also been at Elmfield for 10 years too. How things have changed in that time!
Employee of the month
Employee of the month for August has been awarded to one of our housekeeper’s Jade Gunn. Jade is always very hard- working. She has been working alternate weekends as an extra to help keep the home clean during times when infection control is essential. This has been an invaluable help. Jade has adopted a positive attitude throughout the whole pandemic and has had an increased workload which has been taken in her stride.
Well done Jade and keep up the amazing work!