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The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on us all. Our specialist mental health services have all had to find creative ways to adapt, but today we would like to put our older people’s services in the spotlight!

At one point, nearly 30 colleagues in our older people’s teams had to self-isolate and were therefore unable to work. However, our colleagues have demonstrated time and time again how they can pull together and adapt to the ever-changing circumstances, to continue to deliver excellent care to our residents.

The senior team of our older people’s services would like to say a huge, heart-felt thank you to all our colleagues in these services for their hard work and resilience.

We have been chatting to Wendy, David, Louise and Deborah to hear more about how their teams at Pinetree Lodge, Alderwood, Briarwood Meadows, and our Community Behaviour Support service have risen to the challenge.

Wendy explains that:

Our colleagues have been under a lot of pressure, from covering extra shifts for team members who are isolating or ill, to continuing to wear PPE on a daily basis. However, despite these many challenges, people continue to smile and remain positive for the residents, because we are working in their home and must continue to deliver an excellent level of care.

In our older people’s services, everyone has a part to play. We all come together when we need to, and pull it out of the bag. Our colleagues have gone above and beyond to keep families up to date with both the challenges and the nice things that we have been doing over the past months, which the families have really appreciated.

Pinetree Lodge

At Pinetree Lodge, the team have made special effort to do lovely things for both residents and colleagues, to keep spirits high.

At Pinetree, our teams also created a Covid-safe visiting area to make sure we were able to accommodate family carers over the festive period. Our colleagues worked extremely hard to safely manage visiting over Christmas, for which our residents were very grateful having been unable to visit last Christmas due to pandemic restrictions.

The team also hosted a ‘thank you’ party for colleagues over Christmas, to recognise the team’s hard work and help them to remain positive. When the entertainment for the residents’ Christmas party had to be cancelled due to government restrictions, the team were innovative and turned to their own talented team, to provide musical entertainment for the residents!

Briarwood Meadows

Similarly, at Briarwood, the team have still been able to keep residents entertained whilst also keeping them safe. Briarwood have continued to host weekly pub-themed evenings, with ‘fakeaways’ for residents, and adapted their Christmas party to make it Covid safe. David explains that some of Briarwood’s residents were even able to spend Christmas outside of Briarwood with their families, after colleagues conducted risk assessments and arranged for families to be Covid tested.

Families have been unable to visit residents during the latest restrictions, so the team have been keeping residents connected with their loved through technology, using FaceTime and Teams calls. The team has received feedback about how much families have valued this contact, with one family even buying the Briarwood team pizzas as a token of appreciation.

David says:

I’d like to say a huge thanks to our colleagues for stepping up to the challenge, putting residents first and making huge sacrifices of their own time and home life to cover shifts and make sure our residents get the quality of care that they deserve. It really shows how values-driven our team is.

Alderwood

At Alderwood, the team arranged a Christmas party for residents, complete with buffet tea and therapy ponies, which our residents absolutely loved. Many of our residents once had their own pets, so spending time with the ponies brightened up their day.

Residents at Alderwood also made Christmas decorations for the home, which looked fantastic. One resident even went shopping with one of our support workers for ingredients to make a Christmas cake for their fellow residents to enjoy. Support workers also took residents shopping for Christmas presents for their families.

To keep families updated with all the lovely goings-on at Alderwood, the team have created photobooks for relatives to look through when they come to visit, which they have thoroughly enjoyed flicking through.

Community Behaviour Support

Throughout the pandemic, our Community Behaviour Support team have continued to support people in our care homes and within their own homes, as well as their families, to help keep people out of hospital.

Thank you to all of our amazing colleagues who, despite the pandemic restrictions, are delivering excellent care to our residents.

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