Choosing a care home during the Coronavirus pandemic

Care homes have been at the top of the news agenda over the last year, as the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the UK.

Despite the many negative headlines, lots of people are still living positive, healthy and fulfilling lives in the safety of care homes. Here at Crouched Friars Residential home, the wellbeing and happiness of our residents is our main priority and with this in mind, we thought we would provide some comforting tips for families whose loved ones may be looking to move into a care home.

Planning in advance

We recommend giving your loved one a phone or video call if you aren’t able to be together, to help choose what possessions your loved may take with them. Here at Crouched Friars Residential Home, we recommend thinking about ways you can enhance your loved one’s bedroom environment by bringing along different items that represent their life story, as it helps our staff to get to know your loved one better, and usually brings them great happiness to talk about the different items they brought with them.

You can always check with staff about the types of items you can bring in. You could always label everything with your loved one’s name, so that it doesn’t get misplaced.

Comforting your loved one

Moving into a care home is a life-changing event for anyone, especially during a pandemic, which has made it even more concerning for families.

However, most care homes, including us at Crouched Friars, have implemented strict procedures to keep our residents and staff safe and well. In addition to this, we now have access to different methods of extra support that were originally only available to the NHS, including more personal protective equipment (PPE) and advanced COVID-19 testing for residents and staff.

At Crouched Friars, we are proud to say all of our staff and residents have had their first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine and have all received negative results from COVID-19 tests since the vaccine.

We advise you to support your loved one by checking in regularly and asking them how they are feeling, even if you can only do this in a socially distanced way or via video or phone calls. Try and work together to decipher what your loved one will take with them. Sometimes, reassurance is all that is needed to ensure your loved one is comfortable about the move.

Keeping in touch with your loved one

In November, we introduced a new Covid-secure visiting area to enable residents to meet their loved ones face-to-face in a warmer, safer and Covid secure environment. As an alternative to garden visits throughout the winter months, this was a much-welcomed development in unprecedented times, and we were very happy to be able to give the gift of time and space for our residents and their loved ones.

However, while the country is in its third national lockdown, for now these visits are postponed, but staff are working really hard to ensure that our residents are having regular contact with their families by phone or video call.

Of course, once the pandemic is under-control and all vaccines have been rolled out, restrictions will hopefully continue to be eased.

Stay involved with your loved one’s care

At Crouched Friars, we are trying to be as creative as possible to ensure family members can contact and support their loved ones when they come to us. Aside from video or phone calls, we recommend writing letters to your loved one, sharing photos with the team, having ‘tea’ together during video calls, sending care packages filled with your loved one’s favourite things, that you know will help to support your loved one’s comfort and wellbeing or even sending links to things you think they might enjoy watching, like virtual tours of favourite galleries or reminders for staff to put sports on that they love to watch.

Based in Colchester, Essex, we provide specialist support including dementia care, creating a safe environment for individuals to meet new friends and form wonderful, lifelong connections.

If you are interested in finding out more about Crouched Friars Residential Home, our friendly team would be happy to talk to you via 01359 230773 or if you fill out our contact form a member of our team will get in touch.

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