Nursing home manager discusses infection control, finding help for your loved one and choosing a care home during Covid-19
- Credit: Archant
Julie Bees, registered manager at St Georges Nursing Home in Weston, offers her advice to help you understand what has changed in care homes since Covid-19 and reassure you that help is still available.
Q: What has changed in care homes during the pandemic?
A: We appreciate this is a worrying time for families that are considering moving a loved one to a care home, which is why we are doing all we can to help keep residents safe.
Regular testing is being carried out for both staff and residents. Air sterilisation units are being used in resident’s bedrooms and communal areas to quickly clean the air, removing any bacteria and germs. Staff have been given additional training and we are carrying out regular spot checks to ensure all infection control advice is being followed.
We are well-stocked with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and have increased our household care team to ensure there is enhanced thorough cleaning in all areas of the home.
Q: Are you able to welcome new residents?
A: Yes. We are offering virtual tours for families that want to look around and are always available to answer any questions.
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We have an isolation unit for new residents when they come to stay. They will be cared for and supported in isolation for 14 days before being moved to their room in one of the households. The area is independently staffed to help minimise the risk of transmission.
Q: What facilities are available at the home?
A: Every resident has a private bedroom with an en-suite wet room. We are able to cater for couples and individuals. Some couples have converted one of their rooms into a private lounge and use the other as their bedroom.
We divide our rooms into households, which has been great during the pandemic, as it allows us to separate each household and divide residents into bubbles.
There are many communal areas for residents to enjoy – lounges, dining areas and outdoor gardens, including our internal courtyard that is a real suntrap and our beautiful rose garden.
We also have domestic kitchens within the households, where residents can prepare their own meals or enjoy delicious food made by our in-house chef. We find this helps residents feel more in control and independent.
Q: Are families able to visit residents?
A: Now more than ever, it is important to help keep families together, which is why we have continued to allow family visits.
We have an indoor secure visiting suite that visitors can book, so as the weather changes, visitations can continue. This is cleaned thoroughly between visits. We also have an outside area equipped with protective screens, where relatives can see their loved ones and spend time with them safely.
A couple at the home recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. As we could not host all their family, we set up different chats across various devices so they could all be together. Our chef made them a blue cake – in honour of their Sapphire wedding anniversary – and presented them with a bottle of fizz.
Q: How else have you helped care for residents’ wellbeing?
A: A few weeks ago, a performer came to play for us in the car park. Residents sat outside in the sun at a safe distance, danced along to the music and enjoyed ice cream. Indoor bowling and crafts days have kept staff and residents entertained, and everyone had fun at our Glamourous Grandma’s Day – everyone donned their glad rags and we pampered and spoiled our ladies over high tea.
Q: What advice do you have for families and individuals considering moving to a care home?
A: Starting a conversation about care with a loved one is not always easy. I recommend calling us - we can offer advice and guidance. Always visit a care home first – this will give you the chance to get a sense of the home. We are offering virtual tours of the home to potential residents and families that are interested in joining us.
We offer 24-hour admissions, seven days a week. Our dedicated and compassionate team are always on hand to help.
Visit stgeorgesnursing.com for more information.
Call 01934 524598 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.