Coping with the coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, but it presents particular difficulties for those living with a dementia.
We caught up with Stuart Wright, Brunelcare’s Dementia Care Lead, to find out more about the steps being taken within our care homes:
“The most important thing is that our staff know our residents extremely well and are passionate about providing the highest levels of care. They know that they are often standing in for friends and family and that this is crucial for resident wellbeing.
We provide therapeutic, person-centred care, which means that we maintain appropriate levels of physical contact with residents. We are in a protective care bubble so can still hold a resident’s hand, or give them a hug when needed - something that is so important with dementia care. The difference is that we now stick to a strict hand washing routine and wear appropriate PPE.
Ultimately, our aim is to make our care homes feel as homely as possible and so we do everything we can to create a positive environment. Our homemakers and activity coordinators put on regular events, such as singing and dancing, and a wide range of other things, which have been shown to increase all those ‘feel-good’ endorphins. Such a high level of thought goes into the activities and meaningful occupation provided for our residents, with all staff getting involved. I really can’t thank them enough.
We’ve been able to maintain external visiting throughout the summer months, but this is obviously going to become more challenging as winter approaches. Internal visiting trials have gone extremely well and we will look to extend this as much as we possibly can through autumn and winter.
We’re keeping a close eye on government guidelines and have a dynamic risk assessment plan in place where visiting is concerned, so we are able to respond to any changes related to COVID-19. We’re also trialling personal risk assessments as we understand that every resident has their own specific needs. The challenge for us is to strike the right balance between wellbeing and protection and it is something we’re constantly monitoring.
I want to express my gratitude to the relatives of our residents for their patience, understanding and respect during the pandemic. We have regular relatives meetings and there has been such a positive response to the hard work and dedication of our staff - including an appreciation that they are often working in difficult personal circumstances themselves.
I also want to extend my thanks to all our staff for showing such resilience and commitment over the past few months. I am so proud of everyone.”
You can find out more about our dementia care services here.
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