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Vaccinated and Fake News!

I am delighted to report that all residents and all staff were vaccinated this week.  Other than the one staff member who tested positive for Covid19 and remains asymptomatic, we have remained Covid free. We are testing regularly and all is well and calm.  Today every resident had a manicure and we have been enjoying singing along to the Sound of Music.  I was able to sit and chat with every single resident today one on one, they are happy, content and as safe as we can possibly keep them all. As I type this the ITV news is on in the background in one of the lounge areas in our care home. There is a “ special program “ about the challenges experienced by those living with dementia in care homes.  The headlines talk about how the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on residents with dementia due to the lack of visits from family and friends.   Apparently ITV did an exclusive survey of over 100 care homes to ask whether the physical and mental health of residents had been Impacted, nin
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The result we didn't want....

On Monday morning a member of staff tested positive when they were tested with the daily Lateral Flow Test.  They were immediately sent home with a confirmatory PCR Test, that subsequently confirmed the positive result.   It was what we had feared for the last 10 months; our first positive test.  The staff member is asymptomatic and took no risks, she did everything right.  She feels dreadful, when she has done nothing wrong, but being a carer by nature means that her thoughts are of the residents and other staff. We had planned for this, the next steps have been ingrained for months.  We were ready.  Enhanced Infection Protection Control protocols were implemented, residents were quarantined, in their rooms or in the public areas for those who would not understand the restrictions.  We started testing daily.    All residents were tested.  Alongside that we reassured residents and staff and communicated with families.  Health Protection team were notified. It is now Friday, all of the

Testing, Testing and more testing

 Our residents had a wonderful Christmas.  We would have loved the home to be full of visitors but sadly that was not to be. On 22nd December I received a call to put all staff on standby for vaccinations to take place on either 23rd or 24th December.  Sadly these did not transpire, but with the news about the Oxford vaccine I am hopeful that our residents and staff will be first in line from next week. However, we did get a Christmas message from the Department of Health to advise that Lateral Flow Tests should be performed on all staff twice a week in addition to the weekly PCR tests.  This email was received late on 23rd December.   This is an enormous logistical challenge, but of course we support anything that can be done to minimise the risk of an outbreak coming into the home.  Testing is key to this,  however, the administration that is required alongside this in terms of recording results has not been thought out.  To explain I have made this video.   Yesterday the Department

So much to say....

  It has been a while since I have updated this blog, I have been trying to work out what to write, where to start, what to share.   Everyone is safe, we have remained Covid free.  Our home is full of laughter, fun, dancing, singing, and pets.  What has been a great success since September is our three times a week zoom calls with a handful of teenagers who are volunteering to speak with our residents and it shows how great it is for young and old to connect with each other.  Some lovely relationships have been built and the residents really look forward to the calls (and so do the teenagers too).  They have also sent some of the most beautiful letters and delicious cakes, which we have all enjoyed reading and eating.  On the quiz front, so far, our residents are winning in the general knowledge stakes, however, the teenagers seem to have the edge on the maths based questions.  Our home is full of Christmas cheers, with fairy lights twinkling everywhere. Behind the scenes, the analogy

Care Home Visitors

As anyone who works in a care home will testify, it has been a challenging seven months. As the pandemic developed care homes became at the forefront of news reports. Within LTC the families of our residents have been wonderfully supportive.  I have tried to communicate honestly and regularly.  They understand the rationale for the decisions we take, and I am grateful for the support they have given us all.  We have tried to involve the families of our residents with life in the home.  They may not be physically with us, but we make sure that they are aware of everything that is going on, not just with phone calls and emails, but with weekly videos of all that has happened .   Over the last few weeks however one of the most challenging things to deal with from a staff morale point of view has been the news reports about visiting restrictions in care homes.   Dementia charities and mental health campaigners have been pushing for loved ones of residents in care homes to allow more freque

Written by one of our carers....

Real stories Working in a care home during coronavirus: ‘We’re keeping our residents safe and busy’ Blog Ellie is a care home worker and has been providing crucial support for their residents, including people living with dementia. Ellie hopes that sharing her experience will reassure people who are unable to visit their loved ones in care while there are visiting restrictions in place. 17 September 2020 long read 1 comment Share this story       Coronavirus has made some things difficult when working as a carer. However, it has also pulled us all together and has shown us, even more, that loving and caring for other people can also give yourself a sense of joy. The carers I work with agree that the most enjoyable thing about working in a care home is seeing the smiles on the resident’s faces.  ‘To see happiness and laughter in those you care for is the most rewarding thing about being a carer.’  As carers, our main goal is to make the residents lives happy and keep them safe. Care hom