Elmstead is 41-bed care home based in Chislehurst in Kent and provides residential care for those living with or without dementia. The past few weeks have been very different and the entire team at Elmstead has had to adapt quickly to an unprecedented and fast-moving situation to continue to provide exceptional care for their residents, as well as support to loved ones who can’t visit their relatives, and to each other.
To keep their residents as safe as possible and following conversations with relatives, the home took the decision to lock the home down before the official announcement was made by the government that this was compulsory. The team of 60 also agreed that they would only go between the care home and their own homes and the local Sainsbury’s opens early for them to shop to limit movement and contact. Two carers have since made the decision to temporarily move out of their family homes and into the care home.
To ensure the home continues to run as smoothly and as safely as possible, the whole team are being flexible in the shifts that they work and the responsibilities that they take on – the home manager and the administrator both work at the weekends to cover additional housekeeping shifts and many have also cancelled annual leave and taken on extra shifts.
As relatives and friends are unable to visit their loved ones at the moment, the team is making sure that they are still in touch via Skype and telephone and the home posts regular updates and photos on their Facebook page, which relatives and friends love to see. To ensure residents continue to feel happy, supported and socially engaged the home is holding lots of activities and pass times, including arranging for one of the residents’ favourite signers to do a live concert virtually.
Elmstead also has some multi-talented team members who are putting their different skills into practice. One of kitchen assistants is a beautician so she’s doing massages, nails and general beauty treatments for the residents and carers, another team member is a trained hairdresser and one of the male carers has successfully turned his hand to barbering!
Residents’ relatives and the local community, including school children, have all been really supportive of the efforts of everyone at Elmstead and have been showing their appreciation by sending gifts, messages, letters and drawings.
The entire Elmstead team really has gone above and beyond during a difficult time, to ensure the residents continue to be safe and well.