COVID-19: Moving to a care home during the pandemic

Care homes have been all over the news headlines throughout 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 Portland Nursing Home, the wellbeing and happiness of our residents is at 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 require a care home.

Reassuring your loved one

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 and loved ones a lot more nervous about accessing this service.

However, most care homes, including us here at Portland have implemented strict procedures to 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) and COVID-19 testing for residents and staff.

At Portland, 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 decipher what your loved one will take with them. Sometimes, reassurance is all that is needed to ensure your loved one is comfortable about the move.

We also highly advise asking if the care home could facilitate a video call, so that you and your loved one can ‘meet’ some of the staff and see the facilities before the move.

Planning Ahead

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 one may take with them.

Here at Portland, 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 too!

Involvement with your loved one’s care

At Portland Nursing Home, we are trying to be creative 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 or even sending 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.

Staying in touch

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

However, In November, we were proud to unveil our brand-new Covid-secure visiting area, which enabled residents to meet their loved ones in a warm setting. This was a much-welcomed development in unprecedented times. 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, and as soon as the pandemic is under-control and vaccines have been rolled out, restrictions will hopefully continue to be eased.

Situated in Buxton, Portland Nursing Home provides specialist nursing care for a range of needs, creating a safe and supportive environment in which residents can meet and form close friendships.

If you are interested in finding out more about Portland Nursing Home, our friendly team would be happy to talk to you via 01298 23040 or if you fill out our contact form a member of our team will get in touch.

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