October has been and gone and it certainly feels wintery now with the cold weather and the long, dark nights since the clocks changed.
At Elmfield, we seem to have gone into hibernation mode! The heat indoors makes our residents cosy and with constant food and drinks, and getting dark early; everyone wants to go to bed early!
We have commenced indoor porch visits with loved ones and there has been positive feedback regarding this. Obviously, it is warmer, brighter and more comfortable.
We are still having the recommended one constant visitor per resident in line with guidelines.
Lots of activities have been done including quizzes, foot spas, manicures, reminiscing, karaoke sessions and sing- alongs, IT, arts and crafts, movie afternoons, jigsaw puzzles, dominoes, draughts, board games and everything else in-between!
We had an Italian themed day. We have Mexican, Greek, Spanish and German planned for the rest of the year each fortnight and activities involve learning about the country’s culture, history and quizzes.
We decorated the home in preparation for Halloween.
Residents carved pumpkins and painted them. We colored and painted Halloween pictures, did themed quizzes and shared spooky stories and poems.
We were unable to get an entertainer in-house but we had our own party with plenty of singing and dancing. Dawn and Niccii made some spooky looking buffet food and drinks.
We advertised on social media that we were preparing wrapped sweets for local children to come trick or treating within a set one-hour time frame. A group of residents were in the porch waving at the children all dressed up.
Staff and residents dressed up in masks and witches’ hats to get in the Halloween mood!
We have Eyecare opticians coming back to Elmfield in November. Usually, they come regularly and see small groups of residents at a time. However, with 2020 not being a typical year, they will see everyone on one day as they haven’t been out this year.
Our hairdresser and chiropodist continue to visit regularly.
At the beginning of November, we will be doing a ‘resident of the week’ to focus on finding out more about each individual. This will include life history, family trees, hobbies, previous employment, life experiences, likes and dislikes etc. Any photographs or memorabilia that may be in boxes anywhere, would be appreciated for this to prompt memories. Please feel free to contact Niccii with any information you feel may be useful for this.
Staff and resident changes
We have welcomed back Shabana Khan who is working full-time day shifts. Shabana used to work at Elmfield several years ago and has now returned to us. Shabana is a very experienced care assistant.
We also welcome Jessica Owen to our weekend team. Jess is a college student who is employed as a weekend kitchen assistant to help Tasha.
Thaddeus has sadly transferred from day shifts to night shifts as it fits in better with his personal life.
Holly has transferred from bank staff to full-time day shifts.
Fiona has transferred from full time nights to bank staff.
We have had two birthdays to celebrate in October.
Dorothy Snowden turned 92 years old on 21st October. Dorothy saw her family and we had our usual birthday tea. Dorothy had a trifle birthday cake and enjoyed a Baileys hot chocolate as a treat. It is well known that Dorothy loves Baileys in her hot drinks.
On 26th October, Pam celebrated her 90th birthday. Pam saw her family and had an entourage in the car park singing happy birthday and bringing gifts. Pam enjoyed a socially distanced afternoon tea with her daughter and was brought her favorite meal of fish and chips for lunch by her grand-daughter.
We have been continuing with weekly staff tests and also monthly testing of residents. Residents have all been tested twice in October due to a resident being admitted to hospital with ailments including a temperature. We have remained negative throughout the pandemic, of which we are very proud of and extremely grateful for.
We have offered to make food donations to the food bank at Bisley school to help the vulnerable families in our community.
We have always been proud to be part of the local community and are more than happy to support the school. Staff have very kindly made food donations: THANK YOU.
The kitchen staff have changed their working hours from 8am -4pm to 9am-5am which has had many benefits: teatime is much more organised and efficient. Care staff have much more time to spend with residents and there are three hours allocated for activities in the afternoon.
The time is spent more productively because several residents now have medication 30 minutes before food in the morning which often delays breakfast time.
Residents who generally go to their rooms in the afternoons, are invited to join in activities in the dining room. Activities are also done with individuals within their bedrooms and in the lounge.
Winter planning is well under way! Staff will be vaccinated onsite for the flu vaccination by a local pharmacy when they receive their next supply of the vaccination.
We are also hoping to recruit some more bank staff to help with staff potentially isolating over the winter months as Covid doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
In the middle of October, we welcomed the lead matron from care home support, into Elmfield. This was a very productive meeting and Louise is willing to train our staff to enhance clinical skills and knowledge. Has also signposted us to different specialists such as care home nutritional team, pharmacists and medication coordinators who will work with us to provide training and information sharing.
Louise was very impressed with Elmfield and gave some excellent feedback which was lovely to hear from such an individual person.
Louise’s colleague helped to source the pharmacy who will provide the staff with the flu vaccination and have been very supportive throughout the whole of the pandemic.
Employee of the month
Employee of the month for October has been awarded to Jane Presswell. Well done!
Jane consistently works hard and is a very reliable carer and is a valuable asset to our team at Elmfield.
Jane has had a difficult time recently but still comes to work with a smile on her face and puts the needs of the residents first.
Jane has adapted well to the many on-going changes we continue to make in adaption to the on-going pandemic and has done so with a positive attitude.