Happy Christmas and a look back over a Covid year

Over the last unprecedented year, like all care homes, we have had to adapt to two national lockdowns which have meant we have sadly been unable to allow friends and family to visit their loved ones who are residing with us.

We have also been unable to welcome all those lovely people who regularly come into the home to provide activities and entertainment for our residents. However, during the summer’s good weather, they were able to provide some entertainment outdoors. But we did carry on with celebrating birthdays, Easter, St Georges Day, May Day and VE Day albeit in a different way to what was planned.

In the early stages of the pandemic, there were issues with the supply of PPE but our fantastic local community here in Fingringhoe and surrounding areas have helped us with much needed supplies. In addition, many individuals dropped off items for our staff and residents, including goodies and pick-me-ups to show our residents and staff they were being thought about. Several generous people also came to our aid by making ear protectors, hair coverings and bags for our staff to keep them safe and comfortable while carrying out their duties. Fruit baskets, flowers, chocolates, afternoon teas and beauty gifts along with many cards have been sent to us to thank us for our hard work and keeping the residents safe and extremely well cared for.

During the summer, we carried out a survey of staff, residents and relatives to get feedback on how we handled the pandemic and for suggestions going forward. As a result, we have installed, or are in the process of installing, the following:

  • A specific Fogging Machine now regularly used, to thoroughly deep clean, sterilise and decontaminate all rooms.
  • A temperature body scanner at the front door in the reception area. This will automatically scan any person wishing to enter Aveley Lodge including our staff, nurses, GP’s etc and will decline entry if someone displays a raised temperature. It also reminds people to wear a face mask.
  • A Q.R. code has been allocated to Aveley Lodge installed in reception for every person to register their details each time they visit Aveley Lodge as part of the Governments nationwide Track and Trace scheme.
  • Alexa Speakers have been purchased for the residents to use to listen to music etc around the home and new LED T’Vs have been installed in every single residents’ bedroom.
  • A tablet has been purchased to specifically accommodate Zoom calls between residents and their families and friends.
  • A new nurse call bell system.
  • A new electronic care planning system to allow us to go paperless with our record keeping, and in due course, will allow nominated persons such as family members to remotely access care plans, activities records etc.
  • New hoists, new slings and shower equipment have been purchased to help with infection control.
  • A new external staff changing area currently in use by all staff. This means staff change into their uniforms prior to entry to the building and no uniform is taken home, it is laundered on site to prevent cross-contamination.
  • A second medical grade air filtration unit has now been purchased and is due to be installed at the start of December 2020. These two units will be installed into the loft area of the home and will take air from the communal areas and filter it to remove all known pathogens before being returned on the common living areas.
  • We are also awaiting planning permission for a new all-weather outbuilding to facilitate covid restricted visits for when we move back down a tier.

Finally, we would like to wish all our residents, staff, friends, family and supporters in the local community, a very happy Christmas and our hope is that 2021 will be considerably less stressful and far brighter for everybody.