Moving into a care home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Care homes have been front and centre of the news headlines over the last year, as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to grip the UK.

Despite the many scary stories, lots of people are still living positive, healthy and fulfilling lives in the safety of care homes. Here at The Beeches Residential home, the wellbeing and happiness of our residents are the forefront of what we do, and with this in mind, we thought we would provide some comforting tips for families whose loved ones may be looking to join a care home in the coming weeks.

Reassuring your loved one about the move

It can’t be denied that moving into a care home is a huge step for anyone, and the way in which care homes have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is understandably making families a lot more nervous about making the move.

However, most care homes, including us here at The Beeches, have implemented strict procedures to try and 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, which includes:

  • Provisions of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • COVID-19 testing for residents and staff.

At The Beeches, 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 decide what your loved one will take with them. Sometimes, reassurance is all that is needed to ensure your relative is comfortable about the move.

We advise asking the care home if they would facilitate a video call so that you and your loved one can ‘meet’ some of the staff and see the facilities beforehand, which is something we offer here at The Beeches.

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 The Beeches 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.

Staying in touch with your loved one

Here at The Beeches, we are continuing to follow strict safety procedures, with all visits being cancelled while the country is in its third national lockdown.

In December, we were proud to unveil our brand-new purpose-built visitor pod, which 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, due to further restrictions, 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 The Beeches, 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. You could even send 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.

Here at The Beeches Residential Care, we take the wellbeing of our residents seriously. Our carers spend time with every resident each day to discuss how they’re feeling and monitor their wellness. We also host a range of daily activities to keep them engaged, allowing residents to explore their creative side while connecting with others socially.

For more information, please visit our website www.thebeeches-ixworth.co.uk or call 01359 230773.

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