Another month has been and gone. July has presented us with a heat wave and we have had some very hot days. It has been too hot for some of residents and for staff wearing masks and PPE it has been unbearable at times.
We have made the most out of our lovely garden and Patricia, John and Sylvia have spent many afternoons outside playing dominoes and cards. We have played skittles in the garden and ball games. We have had regular BBQ’s, lots of ice creams and also a garden show. Graham entertained us with some new songs. He sang Elvis through the window to Roger which was a very kind gesture. Jan was elevated that Graham blew a kiss at her! She had even put her lipstick on for the occasion. Vera and Jill were dancing and tapping their feet. Les, Jan and Jill were singing along. It was a lovely afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Staff have been taking residents for walks to the duck pond and around the village green. It has been wonderful for residents to be back in the community and very heartwarming when locals stopped staff and residents to say that they have been thinking of us and what a great job we are doing (from a safe distance of course!) Patricia also arranged to meet her daughter on the green when out with staff and another resident. They had a catch up and this made her day. Little things really do make a difference.
The Almac Bisley brass band did a ‘Brass on the grass’ performance on the green. Some residents listened to this from the car park so that they weren’t exposed to large crowds. The performance was wonderful and brought back a feeling of normality which has been missed.
We have enjoyed some movie afternoons with popcorn and snacks to accompany the film.
On 23rd July, Michael Gove, one of our local MP’s, and his assistant Toby, came to Elmfield House to fulfil his promise to do so once restrictions were lifted. Niccii has had frequent contact with Michael during the pandemic raising awareness of the many challenges care homes have encountered throughout the pandemic. Michael was very helpful in helping us access the covid vaccinations earlier this year, and has also forwarded details of the difficulties we encountered to Matt Hancock and Helen Whately who were senior political aides.
Michael and Toby spent time listening to resident’s experiences of how the past eighteen months have affected them. Patricia spoke honestly about how hard it was emotionally to lose her dear friends, Jean and Brenda and how lonely she was with visiting restrictions.
Jan talked about how restrictions impacted her mental health. She praised all the staff for not just being carers, but for becoming family. Sylvia also shared her experience of living at home and the loneliness caused her to develop severe anxiety. She also caught covid and asked why hospital staff were unable to administer the covid vaccinations.
Yvonne, Jan and Patricia opened up about how they felt when they were covid positive and the fear of not seeing loved ones again or making a recovery.
Niccii shared the fear of weekly testing in case of positive test results, the unsafe hospital discharge which brought covid into Elmfield House in January, the bravery and courage shown by staff during the outbreak, the pressures managers face trying to keep residents and staff safe, whilst ensuring relatives and friends are kept informed.
Michael presented some certificates to staff who had been nominated for awards from colleagues and residents.
Jade H has brought one of her Dalmatians, Coco, to Elmfield to visit our residents. Coco loved the attention she received and residents loved stroking her and giving her treats. Some of our residents were reminded of pets that they have had in their lifestyles and the memories shared. Audrey has now been inspired to bring Hector, her great Dane fur- baby to see the residents.
It has been confirmed that our friends from Bisley church will be back to Elmfield in August. As a visitor, they will conduct an LFD test prior to coming in. It will be wonderful to have Pauleene and Alison back with us. It is hoped that Rector Fiona Simon will pay us a visit in due course, as she took over the role during the pandemic so we have been unable to formally meet.
Audrey Evans is coming back for respite in August. She enjoyed her previous stay with us, and her husband David cheekily said that Audrey is better behaved when she stays at Elmfield!
Staff and resident changes:
On 2nd July, we welcomed Barbara Turner to Elmfield House. Barbara has settled in very quickly and has made friends with some of our residents. Barbara’s family live locally and she has enjoyed going for walks with them, and having Sunday roast at her daughter’s house.
Sadly, on 18th July, we said goodbye to our dear Roger who very sadly passed away at Elmfield House. Poor Roger had been very poorly in hospital and was transferred to Woking and Sam Beare hospice. Roger wanted to return to Elmfield House and he got his wish. Roger was loved by everyone at Elmfield House and it is very strange without him.
We have Lottie Lakeman join our house-keeping team. Lottie primarily works weekends, but has been helping out in the week and doing her induction shifts with the two Jade’s.
We will have some more new faces in August as we have recruited Shannon Stokes who will work full-time nights from August, Lucy Jeeves who will work as our weekend kitchen assistant and Kerry Ridgeway, who will be the replacement for Jade H’s housekeeping hours when she moves away mid- August.
John Notley has celebrated his 92nd birthday on 28th July. John spent some time with his son who travelled several hours to see his Dad on his special day. John also had a visit from his partner, Ruth. John often tells people that he is 100 years old and didn’t believe that he was ‘only’ 92 years old.
We had our unannounced Environmental Health kitchen inspection on 16th July. Dawn, Joanna and Tasha have done us proud and we have maintained our 5* food hygiene rating. Well done girls! This is a big achievement.
There have been a series of meetings recently with Darren, and these have been extremely productive. He works in a similar way to what we are used to and is very resident- focused. We are looking forward to working collaboratively to take Elmfield further and have a shared vision for the future.
Our new staff have settled in and are progressing well. Training has been completed and they have adapted well to their new roles.
The vaccination team have been in contact to inform Niccii that a booster for the Covid vaccination will be available in the not too distant future. The team will attend onsite and are likely to administer flu vaccinations at the same time.