With lockdowns over and large numbers of people being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, life is slowly returning to some sense of normality following the pandemic. Businesses across Gloucestershire are finally welcoming people back – and so are the county’s care homes.
SoGlos talked to Edwardstow Court Care Centre in Stow-on-the-Wold about how life is returning to normal at its care homes and how family visits will take place again going forwards.
About the expert – Lynne Elliott, home manager of Edwardstow Court Care Centre, part of The Orders of St John Care Trust
One of the UK’s leading not-for-profit care organisations, The Orders of St John Care Trust works solely to provide high quality care for older people. With 17 care homes in Gloucestershire, including Edwardstow Court Care Centre in Stow-on-the-Wold, the organisation prides itself on delivering the highest standards, with tailored care and support for every single resident.
Its care team endeavour to learn as much about each individual person as possible in order to support and meet their particular needs and preferences. Home Manager, Lynne Elliott, has a vast amount of experience working in the health and social care sector, specifically working with older people.
What changes have taken place at Edwardstow Court Care Centre due to the pandemic?
Life at Edwardstow Court has changed a huge amount. There has been a focus on its gardens, making them look beautiful and using them for meeting with residents’ families and friends. Technology has been used more than ever; the staff have facilitated video calls, linked video calls to TVs and kept in touch with families through sending photos and videos via email as well as using technology within the housekeeping team at Edwardstow Court. The home uses electrostatic cleaners to ensure a high level of infection control is maintained.
The residents at the home have also been engaging with new activities; staff have been very creative with new ways to get residents taking part to keep them stimulated and happy; and scrap books are kept for each resident’s family to see what they been engaging with in the home.
What is life like at Edwardstow Court Care Centre now restrictions have been lifted?
The ‘buzz’ is back at Edwardstow Court with family and friends being safely welcomed to the home and residents and staff getting back out for day trips again. The home’s gardening club is going really well and residents were delighted to become finalists in the ‘Trust in Bloom’ competition recently.
Over the next few weeks the residents are off to Cotswold Wildlife Park, visiting the car museum, Blenheim Palace and a number of musicians are coming to entertain the residents.
Personally, I am enjoying spending time with our residents and their family and friends, booking meetings with them so we can all get to know each other well and ensure the staff are doing all they can to meet their loved one’s needs.
What can residents and families expect from Edwardstow Court Care Centre now things are returning to normal?
They can expect life to be similar to pre-pandemic life; families are welcome to meet the team and to meet me, the Home Manager, before their loved one moves in.
There is a key worker system in place, where an allocated team member keeps in regular contact with families, building relationships and updating them on special moments, finding out residents’ hobbies and interests, sending photos and ensuring we meet everyone’s needs.
There are also procedures in place so that residents can have visitors to the home to spend time with their loved ones once again.
How is Edwardstow Court Care Centre helping families in adapting to any changes?
The team are always on hand to keep families informed and ask any questions they may have. The management team also meet with families for a full review every six months.
The team work hard to support families to enjoy Covid secure visits and encourage family members to share the residents’ special moments with the team so that staff can really understand residents’ life stories.