Saturday, April 18, 2020


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 loved ones.  FaceTime, Whats app videos, Zoom - quizzes, exercise classes, singing.  And we often call on Alexa to help with a crossword clue, or answer a question.

But Robots??  Human interaction can not be replaced by a robot, ever.  Earlier this week I was watching the staff, it was a calm day and carers were sitting quietly just chatting one to one with each resident.  I know how many of you are missing your loved ones, we are keeping them busy, we are keeping everyone entertained, and we doing everything we can to keep you connected.  But rest assured that all our residents have one on one quality time with the staff throughout the day, not scheduled, not planned, just chatting calmly and quietly.

In other news, in the last 48 hours we have had over 100 pages of further guidelines and policy papers following Matt Hancock's update a few days ago.  To be honest there are few changes, we continue to have enough PPE, we are prepared for any outbreak.  I review every single policy document and communicate constantly to the team.    The update a few days ago had two specific updates in relation to care homes.  Firstly that residents should be able to say goodbye's to their loved ones if the situation arose and secondly that residents and social care workers should be able to get tested if they have Covid 19 symptoms.

Within the 150 pages there was no guidance specific to visitor access in terms of end of life care.  Testing for residents would take place and we believe swabs would be taken at the home, and testing for staff........  Yes, that is available.  Lime Tree Court staff, if showing symptoms can get tested at our nearest testing centre.  Our nearest testing centre?  that is Ikea in Wembley.....

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