As Britain prepares to enter its fifth week in lockdown, home care workers continue to play a vital role in caring for our most vulnerable adults, many of whom are living alone and cut off from groups, services and trips out that are essential to keep their wellbeing in check.
But even with the added pressures they are facing during the pandemic, care providers are still going the extra mile to look after their clients and staff.
Here we list some of the unique things providers are doing to lift their spirits.
Care service for disabled adults keeps spirits up with ‘quirky quarantine’ activities
First Key Hereford, a service which provides support at home to disabled adults in Hereford and the surrounding area, said it is making “quarantine quirky” with creative and fun activities.
The facility, which offers support for adults with a range of physical disabilities, learning disabilities and complex health needs, has continued to provide activities and care for its service users throughout the country-wide lockdown.
To help everyone feel more at home, staff have come up with creative ideas, including outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and games to keep spirits up until restrictions on visits or outings are lifted.
Gemma Ingram, team leader at First Key Hereford, said: “COVID 19 has not spoiled our fun at all. We are having an absolute blast. Staff morale has been and is absolutely impeccable and all our service users are happy and content. As always, our days have been filled with creativity and fun, with much more to come.
“We’ve been making birds’ nests, gardening, even juggling toilet rolls and dressing up as surgeons.”
Home care provider brings Easter joy to clients in South Lakeland
One hundred and fifty elderly people living in South Lakeland received and unexpected Easter gift over the weekend.
Westmorland Homecare teamed up with grocery chain Booths, which donated 150 Easter eggs to the company, and delivered them to its clients in the area.
“We have a lot of clients who are over 70 who are self-isolating for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Westmorland Homecare director Dr Joshua Macauley.
“We are more than just a health care service and we wanted to do something a bit special for our clients. We see our staff and clients as part of one big family and this is a lovely way of doing something for that family.
“It is about providing a bit of joy during this very difficult time.”
Right at Home inspires caregivers with creative activity book
Right at Home has produced an activity book, jam-packed with creative ideas to help caregivers support clients during the lockdown.
The book is split into three sections, with ideas for baking, quizzes and games, and arts and crafts. It also includes activities tailored specifically for people living with dementia.
“Just one example from the activity book is a quiz where clients match up famous husband-and-wife duos from times gone by, for example, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert,” said Heather Keep, national people and brand development manager.
Right at Home is also encouraging its offices to link up with local schools, where children of key workers are still attending.
“Pupils at a local primary school designed cards (pictured below) and other goodies for a client of Right at Home South Liverpool, who is in isolation. The client’s daughter was so delighted, she wrote back to the pupils a couple of days later, thanking them for their kindness,” added Keep.
Colourful facemasks bring joy to carers and clients
With the shortage of PPE a major concern, many care providers are having to think on their feet to find a solution.
Better Healthcare Services, which operates home care branches in the East and South of England, recently contacted a swimwear designer for help with supplies, as she happily obliged.
The seamstress, which runs Black Lace Bikinis, had been making glittery and colourful facemasks in her spare time, using scrap material, and caught the eye of specialist case manager Jess Seymour.
“I follow her on Instagram decided to message her. I thought it would be a nice idea to cheer clients and carers up a bit during this time,” she said.
Operations director Samantha Diamond said: “The masks brought some fun and colour into this dark tough time, and really helped boost team morale and brought smiles to peoples faces.”
Care directors show gratitude to frontline staff with pamper packages
Care assistants working for Bluebird Care Cheshire West and Flintshire have been rewarded for their hard work in supporting their customers through the coronavirus crisis.
Directors Rebecca Zartarian and Simon Robinson wanted to show their gratitude to their staff, many of whom have given up their days off to help with extra shifts.
So they organised each care assistant to receive a pamper package containing hand cream, a scented candle and some chocolate.
Zartarian said: “This was just one small way we could show our team how grateful we are for the amazing job the Bluebird Care care assistants are doing. Their positive attitudes and compassion for others throughout this crisis is so inspiring. They are all working incredibly hard to make sure all our customers feel safe and cared for.”
Wellbeing teams keep spirits up in Oxfordshire
A team of care workers based in Oxfordshire have been coming up with creative ideas to keep their clients’ spirits up during the coronavirus pandemic.
With hair salons closed, one staff member at BelleVie Wellbeing Teams has become the resident hairdresser, giving blow-dries to clients in the county.
The provider is also delivering shopping to everyone it supports, ensuring they have everything they need, and gave Easter eggs to all clients over the weekend.
One team member danced to Jonny Cash songs with a person she supports, and listened to songs from the musical Top Hat with someone else, while another care worker drew a rainbow with a client and put it in her window.
Six year-old surprises Bluebird Care clients with hand-made cards
The six year-old granddaughter of Bluebird Care’s manager for West Dorset, South Somerset, Purbeck and Wareham has given some much-needed cheer to service users in the area.
Lily’s hand-made cards, featuring drawings of things that make her happy, including rainbows, flowers, butterflies and hearts, have been delivered by care assistants to delighted clients.
Janet Mearing, area manager and Lily’s Grandmother said: “Many of our customers are feeling anxious and lonely at the moment, but Lily’s cards really cheered them up. Lily is the sweetest girl; I hope she will want to do some more lovely drawings for customers in the future.”
Rosemary Conley brings wellness support to live-in carers
The Good Care Group has partnered up with online fitness and wellbeing provider Rosemary Online to offer wellness support to live-in carers who are working through the COVID-19 lockdown.
Over 12 weeks, Rosemary Online will be offering The Good Care Group’s carers free access to exercise videos and healthy eating recipes, as well as chat forums, coaching support and blogs.
Dominique Kent, managing director of The Good Care Group said: “The partnership with Rosemary Online came about because we wanted to do something to celebrate the amazing dedication of our wonderful carers, so many of whom are working for longer than usual at the sacrifice of seeing their own loved ones to ensure that our clients are safe. In addition, they are remaining inside in isolation with their clients to ensure they are not exposed to COVID-19.”
“Through maintaining the wellbeing of our staff, we’re helping them to be their best selves to support their clients through this intense and challenging time.”