The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent social distancing measures have been hard on a lot of people. As care homes like ours have had to protect their residents from contracting the virus, they have had to close their doors to guests except in cases of emergency. With weeks of this social distancing already under our belts and weeks still left to go, we recognise that it’s difficult for our residents to be disconnected from their family and loved ones and we’re doing all we can to help connect people, even from a distance.
Face to face
We all know that regular phone calls with our loved ones, discussing what each has been up to and checking in on each other’s mental health is important, but face to face connection is stronger. At TLC, we have been working hard to ensure our residents are up to date with the latest technology and have all they need to see their family. Sometimes, we even connect people’s families, inviting them to digital spa nights so everyone can feel connected and involved!
We know that when we’re in the moment we think about what we’d like to share with loved ones but sometimes we can forget what we’ve done. That’s why some of our care homes have introduced the weekly update initiative, to ensure our carers help note down what residents have been doing each week so we can share this with their loved ones.
Despite social distancing, life goes on, and we are all making memories wherever we are, whoever we are social distancing with. It’s so important, even if loved ones can’t be there to share the memories first-hand, that we do take pictures and videos and share our memories with our loved ones once all of this is over. That’s why we’re encouraging all families to take photos and share them with one another, so everyone is included, and we don’t miss any big moments, or even the small ones that made us smile.
We have always welcomed the wider community into our care homes to connect with our residents and we still continue to do so, even whilst following social distancing guidelines. Local school children, as well as the children of our own team members have been sending cards, photos, drawings and letters to our residents to boost morale, lift spirits and ensure our residents still feel loved and valued in their local communities. Working with a school or nursery in this way can be especially rewarding for all involved, and our TLC family approach has played a real part in young people going over and above to bring a smile to the faces of our residents.
Keeping People in our Hearts
This time has highlighted to us all who is really important to us. Some of our care homes have been asking residents to share in an art project who they are holding in their hearts during this time. Being apart is hard but it’s a wonderful reminder to tell the people you love, ‘I’m thinking of you’ and how much they brighten your day. If we all work really hard, we know that we can all feel together even if we’re apart.