85-Year-old Resident at Gracewell of Church Crookham Shares Their Covid-19 Story

Gracewell  |  October 29, 2020

In April, Gracewell of Church Crookham witnessed an outbreak of Covid-19 which resulted in a number of residents isolating in a separate household. Here, Douglas Burridge, an 85-year-old resident at the care home, shares his story of being one of those residents who faced this period of isolation.

Humorously named “The Dorchester Quarantine Zone”, Douglas was one of the residents who spent four weeks living in Gracewell of Church Crookham’s Covid-19 household after showing symptoms of the virus.

While in this zone, all team members who cared for these residents wore full PPE and disposed of this equipment before leaving residents’ rooms. And, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, disposable cups, plates and cutlery were used by these residents. Each of these residents’ bedrooms were also subject to an enhanced cleaning programme to protect the safety of team members and residents.

Some team members who had tested positive for the virus also went one step further to move into this quarantined zone to live with those residents who were self-isolating. By living in this secure zone, these team members were able to provide the much-needed high-quality care to vulnerable residents. These selfless acts also helped to prevent the virus from entering the wider care home by lowering the amount of team members travelling between the care home and Covid-19 zone.

And, to ensure that these residents continued to be active and stimulated, Gracewell of Church Crookham continued to provide these isolating residents with one-to-one activities. These activities helped to protect the emotional wellbeing of these residents by spending valuable time with others. For Douglas, this included playing chess, a great hobby of his, as well as reading history books and playing bridge.

Speaking of his experience in isolation, Douglas said:

“I felt Rotten! Having to isolate was tough but I fully accepted that it was something I had to do to stop the virus spreading through our home. I put my trust in Gracewell of Church Crookham and I was completely confident that they were doing the right thing for us. It was nice that I still got to play chess, even if it was at a distance.”

Since recovering from his Covid-19 symptoms, Douglas has gone on to regain an outstanding level of health. Indeed, he is currently embarking on a 1000km bike ride, equivalent of travelling from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, completing the journey one stretch at a time. This challenge is in aid of Step by Step, a youth homelessness charity working to prevent homelessness and empower young people. 

Speaking of his decision to take part in this challenge, Douglas said:

“I got together with other residents as we wanted to do something to raise money for a local Charity. When we heard about Step by Step and the fantastic work they do with young adults, we knew that this was the charity we wanted to raise money for. We wanted to really challenge ourselves so we thought as a team what could we do and decided to ride from Lands’ End to John O’Groats which is around 1000km. It’s so nice to be helping people that have not had the best start in life.

“The rest of the team were intrigued when they found out I was the oldest in the team and done the most miles so far, this is why I have been made team captain! Since we started, I now cycle once or twice a day and I can feel myself getting fitter. I have more energy and have the buzz for cycling again.”

Now back to full health, Douglas says that Gracewell of Church Crookham is helping him to live his life to the fullest, with plenty of activities to get involved with on a daily basis. He added, “I like to stay fit from cycling, Tai Chi and Armchair exercises. I also stay on the ball mentally by getting involved with the quizzes, group crosswords, board games, poetry and lots more. The food is also amazing, it’s like eating in a restaurant 3 times a day.”

For more information about Gracewell of Church Crookham click here: www.gracewellchurchcrookham.co.uk