The Manager of Withernsea care home Tamarix Lodge has revealed how staff and residents have been coping with the coronavirus lockdown despite the obvious difficulties.
Alison Bedford has managed the home for the HICA Group for the last 5 years but worked there for 23. Alison is a firm believer in ensuring there is a variety of initiatives to help keep residents active at all times.
When the coronavirus scare struck, Tamarix Lodge was ready to meet the challenge of enforced isolation, no matter what came their way.
“We’ve tried to be as proactive as we can to safeguard the residents and team members, so that we don’t have stress or worry about staffing or supplies.
“As a home we have always practiced good infection control and before lockdown we put firm measures in place for visiting. But when lockdown happened we moved quickly to counteract the isolation effects. We obtained tablets to allow residents could to Skype their family and friends which lessons the impact of not being able to see them. We also encouraged letter writing.
“To try to allay any fears, we have tried to keep everything as normal as possible. I have discussed the situation with the residents and to their credit they were very accepting of it but they were keen to carry on with our activities where possible.
“Unfortunately, some residents have passed due to the virus which has been a sad time for everyone. However, while we mourn our departed friends we have to ensure that residents continue to have a good quality of life, so we’ve been doing numerous things to take everyone’s mind off the situation and to keep morale high.”
Some of the ways the Tamarix Lodge team has been keeping morale high is through crafting, gardening and reminiscence projects. They even had a visit from long-time friend, entertainer Elvis G. Elvis was unable to enter the home but performed a set from outside the home where residents could watch from the comfort of their rooms. The staff team have been instrumental in making sure that the residents continue to enjoy life at Tamarix Lodge.
“We have such a wonderful care team who are so dedicated. Staff have stayed longer at work just to chat to residents as family visits aren’t happening at the moment. It’s all about balance – ensuring people are safe and also ensuring they have a good quality of life.”
Alison also commented on how the larger community have played a part in keeping spirits high. “It is heart-warming to see the community come together to make life better. We have received donations of Easter Eggs from local charity Shores and Tescos and Waxholme Trading Park donated a lot of honey to us so that residents can continue to enjoy their favourite honey and lemon drink. We were also delighted to receive some donations of PPE from Shores and Matthews Enterprises. The residents have likened today’s spirit to wartime which saw huge community efforts.
“We would all like to thank the people working so hard to keep our supplies coming in and also those in the health and social sectors working tirelessly to make sure everyone is safe and well at this time.
“We take part in the Clap for Our Carers every Thursday, and it was so nice recently to be joined by the local police for the Clap and hear the appreciation for those making a difference at this difficult time. We are very proud of our care team, local community and of all the key workers working so hard for us all.”