Tasked with caring for the most vulnerable in our society, care homes have undoubtedly faced difficulties throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Gracewell of Bookham have reflected upon their experience of the pandemic, as their team describe what it was like to work at a care home and how they put caring for residents first.
Vicky Radmore is Home Admissions Adviser at Gracewell of Bookham. She said:
“Covid-19 has certainly been life changing for us all. What hasn’t changed over recent months is our approach to high quality, personalised care. We have continued to support our current residents safely, while still admitting new residents who need our care and support.”
Vicky explained that over recent months, potential residents’ emotional needs seemed to have increased. She added:
“Gracewell of Bookham is able to offer a safe, sociable environment with plenty of opportunities for stimulation and a homely feel. It has been so rewarding working alongside the team supporting existing and new residents in these challenging times and adapting to our new normal way of life.”
Ann Clark is Activities Coordinator at Gracewell of Bookham. She believes that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of well thought out activities within a care setting. Ann said:
“As a team we ensured that there was something for everyone on our varied programme, so that we could also deliver in smaller numbers than normal. The activity team also led on setting up virtual catch up sessions with families and their loved ones.”
The care home also hosted a ‘Drive Through’ event for family members, where over 30 families were reunited with their loved ones from the safety of their car. Families were so grateful to the Gracewell of Bookham team for looking after their loved ones so well. Judi Willcocks, a relative of one of the residents said:
“Gracewell of Bookham has provided my mother with a wonderful and loving environment. She is a fairly new resident but, although we could see and feel how lovely it was when we chose it, we didn't realise just how incredible the staff actually were. The care in such difficult times has been exemplary.
“Everything has been handled by the staff in a caring and professional manner. Even under such stress, the staff have continued to be kind, caring, sympathetic and patient. Nothing is ever too much trouble and we cannot praise the care home enough. The home and facilities are super, but it is the staff that make it superb. Well done and thank you for your continued care.”
As resident safety was top priority, Head Housekeeper Michelle Marr and her team played a huge role. Michelle explained:
“Infection control is a key part of my team’s day to day duties. However since the pandemic began earlier this year it’s heightened and of course has become our main focus. Due to the increased cleaning schedules we found that we needed more hours to cover the additional workload. This wasn’t a problem as team members happily volunteered to cover what was needed. Our main priority was and still is keeping the home safe for our residents and other team members. I am truly grateful for their support as it’s such a worrying time for everyone, I admire their dedication to their roles.”
Nutrition also played a key part in ensuring resident’s health and well-being. The in-house dining team worked above and beyond to ensure everyone was safely able to get their freshly prepared and nutritionally balanced food. Head Chef Damien Hutchinson said:
“Covid – 19 has brought us new challenges in the dining team that we haven’t had to face before. We have had to be flexible and adaptable in changing menus at times when the supply chain of ingredients has been impacted by Covid – 19. As a team we have continued to strive to provide the very best dining experience as more than ever the dining aspect of a resident’s day is paramount.”
To celebrate the hard work of team members in the care home, Gracewell of Bookham took part in Gracewell Healthcare and Sunrise Senior Living’s #CelebrateCareHomes Campaign. This campaign was aimed at championing the heroic work of care homes. It featured TikTok videos made by residents and the team and a letter to Gracewell of Bookham’s local MP Paul Beresford.
To find out more about why we should celebrate care homes, please visit: https://www.gracewell.co.uk/celebrate-care-homes.
To learn more about Gracewell of Bookham, click here: www.gracewellbookham.co.uk.