Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Our Garden...

The garden has always been a tranquil, calm oasis.  But this spring it has become even more important to our residents and staff.

Like all gardens in the UK, right now, it is at it's peak.  Nearly all the residents have been in the garden most days.  Some of the residents have helped the carers and our amazing T, who is in charge of the garden.   T is also S's Dad - you see our home really is a family affair!  One resident in particular waits for T to arrive and rushes outside to be his assistant (at 91 years old she is incredibly sprightly).  Another resident enjoys sitting with an iPad watching messages from his family.  We even had a visit of peking bantam chicks this week in the garden which all the residents loved - families you will see the pictures later this week.

We have chosen the plants, the bronze ducks on the lawn, the metal owl on the post.  T has put in place some incredible hanging baskets and the memorial bed with the rare Sorbus is surrounded by colour.  We even have a rare "Rockhampton Red" - Carpinus Betulus (which is a special tree for me as it was discovered over 20 years ago by my Father
).  We think we have Blue Tits nesting in the bird box too.

L has been plating seedlings and starting a veg patch with the residents, and earlier this week I built another set of tables and chairs, with the residents directing me and holding the tools.

Last July we had our summer party.  Families and friends filled the garden, we decorated pebbles, we sang around the piano when the son of one resident played for us, children rang amongst the residents and played with garden games.  It was a day filled with happiness and love.

This summer, I would dearly love for residents to be able to sit with their visitors in the garden.  Realistically the likelihood of family visitors within the home is low, but visits outside in the garden, socially distanced may be something we can consider later this summer.

It is not an easy decision to take.  I know that many families are desperate to see their loved ones, and what better place than in the garden.  But this is a decision that could impact all of our residents, and one that weighs heavily on me.

For the next three weeks I want to wait to see whether there is a second peak.  I need to consider the impact on every single resident individually.  Although family members are desperate to see their loved ones, the impact on the resident may actually be more unsettling.  Some residents may not be able to understand the rules of social distancing, and are likely to want to hold hands, to touch, to hug.

 PPE will need to be worn, temperatures need to be taken and any decision I take impacts all the residents and so I will consult with all the families, Public Health England, and our other advisors.

I can not write now what I will decide, I can not predict the future, but know that I speak for all the residents when I say we would love more than anything to have you with us enjoying the garden, but for now we will just dream of you and send you all our love.

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