From birthday celebrations to enjoying days in the sunshine: Oakview Lodge isn’t letting the pandemic get in the way of fun
PUBLISHED: 11:50 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:55 08 July 2020
While the majority of the UK has been granted more freedom, vulnerable people, such as those in care homes, are still advised to self-isolate to a certain extent. However, a local care home refuses to let the pandemic get them down.
We spoke to Andrew Stoner, Manager of Oakview Lodge in Welwyn Garden City, who tells us how the home is working to keep its residents safe and sane.
Q: How are you keeping residents’ spirits up?
A: Oakview Lodge is blessed with incredible carers who have maintained a positive outlook. Without them, the residents wouldn’t be as happy and comfortable as they have been throughout the pandemic.
I often think that Oakview Lodge is less like a care home and more like a hotel; we are very lucky to offer our residents amazing facilities, including an on-site pub, teashop, gym, beauty salon and cinema - our residents certainly don’t get bored!
As usual, we are organising fun, stimulating daily activities to keep residents occupied and moving. The lovely sunshine we’ve been having recently has meant that our residents are enjoying spending time outdoors, whether they’re gardening, soaking up the sun or simply having a cup of tea and a chat. Check out our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with what’s happening at the home.
In response to the pandemic, we have introduced tablets for the residents to use to keep in touch with family over video chat and established a ‘Pen Pal Scheme’ for the residents to send out postcards.
We are also privileged to have talented in-house chefs providing tasty, nutritious meals to our residents daily. A healthy diet is instrumental in achieving a healthy mind and body, and we must do all we can to help residents maintain this.
Q: What measures have you put in place to ensure the safety of your staff and residents?
A: We’ve worked hard to keep the virus out of our home. We have tested every staff member and resident, both for historical and current infection.
While we discovered a handful of historical cases, I’m pleased to say we have kept everyone fit and well and are currently infection-free, which we have been for some time. This has been achieved through the hard work of our staff, diligence, sensible working practices and rigorous infection control.
We have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which our staff use whenever necessary and have a guaranteed supply for future months.
Staff members completed Infection Control Training and COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) and have a thorough understanding of the correct procedures to follow to ensure the residents and other employee’s safety.
Families of the residents are updated regularly about their loved ones and we have a 24-hour dedicated COVID-19 telephone helpline and email address for family members and staff assistance.
Q: Is a care home a safe place for elderly people at the moment?
A: I think, in some cases, care homes are the best place for elderly people during COVID-19.
For a lot of elderly people living alone, not being able to leave their home or see their families properly will be very difficult - they may feel lonely and as if they’ve lost their independence.
As a resident in a home, there are opportunities to socialise with like-minded people – and of course the staff – daily. With the addition of a varied activities schedule, people in a care home are encouraged to keep occupied and ultimately enjoy themselves. With facilities like the ones at Oakview Lodge, residents have plenty to do, and can even get their hair done – unlike a lot of people outside of the home!
Visit www.countrycourtcare.co for more information or contact them on 01707 375345.
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