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Showing posts from April, 2020

Part of the Community

We have always felt like part of the community, but during lockdown many of the community based activities have had to stop; weekly school children visiting, monthly coffee mornings, hymns and prayers, holy communion, trips to the coffee shop.  Sadly they have had to stop to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. But in the last few weeks we have been so grateful for the wonderful messages, and gifts.  Co-op have sent pastries and Costa sent drinks for the staff, laundry bags have been made for staff.  We received extra visors donated by a local company.  Children have written to residents or sent pictures.  And we have been visited by a fancy dress bumble bee, T-Rex and a cowboy.  But last night was something else...   The photo is what appeared outside yesterday afternoon.   And then our wonderful local neighbours gave us a round of applause at 8pm, a video was sent to me which I forwarded to all staff.  The boost to morale, and the overwhelming gratitude from the staff was

Robots???

This morning I watched BBC "Click" which had an article about "Assistive Technology" in care homes, particularly in relation to the current crisis. The clip was about the use of small robots (think a cross between R2D2 and K9) which rolled around a care home with a screen that could talk to residents.  Assistive Technology is recently something which we are asked about by our regulators (Care Quality Commission) a few months ago I had to answer a question about our use of Assistive Technology.  There are some things that have helped no end;  We now have movement mats which plug into the call bell system which can alert us if someone who is unsteady on their feet, gets up at night.  We have pressure sensors in some residents beds.  All care records are recorded in realtime and accessed by all staff (with alerts and incident reports automatically sent to myself and S 24/7). Assistive Technology has helped no end in recent weeks bringing you all closer to your love

Matt Hancock’s new guidelines

For the last couple of hours I have been reeling from Matt Hancock’s announcement that “ Close Family should be allowed to say their final Goodbye’s” End of Life care is the hardest part of our job, but one that all carers take with the upmost respect.  We have experienced the terribly sad situation when a resident has died without their loved one with them.  For this to happen is terribly upsetting for everyone involved. This evening Matt Hancock has said close family members are able to see dying relatives “wherever possible”.  We have not yet seen the guidelines. When a resident is provided with end of life care, and we follow end of life protocols end of life may come in a few hours, 8 hours, 72 hours or weeks.  What does Mr Hancock actually mean when he speaks about “dying”? So where does this leave us? Can I allow one family member in, two, three? For just one visit? What about the risks to other residents? Who will provide the PPE (and most visitors are unlikely to be

Easter Weekend - it was a busy one

I sat watching the news last night, and the current statistics are that more than 13% of care homes in the UK have a Covid19 outbreak (which is defined as two or more residents with confirmed cases). I am pleased to say that everyone at LTC is well and we have no suspected cases.   We continue to follow stringent infection control processes and have PPE.  All staff, and any critical visitors (eg. district nurses) have their temperature checked at the start of every shift. In terms of the last four days, we have kept everyone busy.  The glorious sunshine helped no end and many residents enjoyed the garden.  We were all excited to report that we have blue tits nesting in the bird box at the end of the garden. We have had Zoom calls with families - Name that Tune and an Easter Quiz (sadly the residents lost 23-21 to the families, but we will look forward to another competition soon)... Many of you face-timed and sent video messages which of course the residents loved.  On Easter S

Feeling like a duck

Today's blog is going to be a story of two halves.  I feel rather duck like at the moment.  For the residents we are having a lovely time, everyone is busy, the sun is shining and we have lots of plans for Easter.  Under the surface I am paddling away furiously, and will continue to do so. S and I speak often throughout the day, regardless of whether we are actually at LTC.  In the last few weeks we probably speak or message each other 20/30 times a day.  This morning our messages started at 5.45am, planning Easter activities, discussing residents and planning PPE.   The responsibility of looking after 20 residents and 22 staff members literally keeps me awake at night, but I am following all the guidance we are provided with.  I know that thousands of care home owners and managers are doing exactly the same thing. The last few days have been busy for the residents.  S&S have done an amazing job cutting and styling hair.  I have promised J I will colour her hair when we ge

Guidance and Preparation

Saturday was a glorious day at LTC.  The sun shone all weekend and many of the residents made the most of the garden. Our residents have been loving all the FaceTime and phone calls. However, over the weekend new guidance in relation to Covid19 has been bombarding us, Public Health England, NHS, 111, Bucks Council, all were updating us.  Process changes have not always been communicated clearly but I am confident and I am up to date with ever changing guidance. We also learnt that Covid 19 has hit many local care homes and with that news, new guidance came out regarding End of Life care.   Care at end of life is something which is not always talked about, but I can guarantee at all times the individual is treated with care, love, dignity and compassion.  They are never alone and have all the support they need. We have to prepare for the worst even though we hope for the best and do everything in our power to keep our residents safe and well.  End of Life care plans are not some

What I hope ....

When I tell people I own a care home, one of the first thing people often ask is "Is it difficult to find good staff?" At this point I wax lyrical about the amazing team of carers and staff that work alongside me. I talk about my relationship with S and the rest of the staff, the fact that staff are often messaging me to ask about a particular resident, how they will send suggestions about things we can do with residents.  I am aware that in the last two years I have changed a lot and asked masses from the team (just ask them what the response was when I said we were going to move to online care notes...), if I am not there I am on the phone constantly and I notice when I say "I've had an idea" the staff raise their eyebrows, wondering what I am about suggest.... I tell people about the staff; how we are like a family (and often are infact family as there are quite a few mother and daughter combinations who work together) and how the team support ea

Zoom... it worked!

This week has been all about “Zoom”.  In the last 48 hours I have had a crash course in how to use video conferencing.  After Mother’s Day I saw how much joy our residents got from seeing their family members on the big screen, and was determined to build on that.  Our residents may not be able to see their loved ones in person but I am committed to ensuring we find as many possible ways for our residents to see their family members - even if that is on a screen. This week I decided to give “Zoom” a go.  With a handy cable which connects an Ipad to the TV I was able to project the iPad screen on the large TV. Thank you to all of you, most of you I know were new to Zoom.  Yesterday the residents enjoyed a chair based exercise class which was joined by two family members.   Today everyone enjoyed a nursery rhyme competition, a couple of jokes and a good old sing song, made so much more enjoyable by having nine different sets of people joining in, and all our residents bein