An Aberdeen care home worker has told of the benefits personalised care has had for residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jade McGowan, activity co-ordinator at Renaissance Care’s Jesmond Care Home in Bridge of Don said that despite the challenges faced during the Covid-19 lockdown, personalised and holistic care has benefitted the residents hugely.
Since the lockdown began, residents were no longer allowed to socialise with others as normal, which was difficult for those who live there, especially for the particularly vulnerable residents with dementia.
Spending more one-on-one time with residents meant staff were able to get to know them even better, and allowed Jade to come up with fun and exciting activities to suit each resident personally.
Jade said: “Of my 18 years in care, I’ve worked at Renaissance Care’s Jesmond Care Home for the last 12. Starting as a senior care assistant set me up well for becoming activities co-ordinator in 2013 and gave me a solid foundation for understanding individual care needs, a skill which is crucial in my current role.
“As activities co-ordinator I’m focused on delivering personalised, individual care, and I’ve never seen it have such a profound and obvious benefit to the residents as it has during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Overnight, we went from group activities and regular visits from friends and family, to separating all residents into their own room with physical visits only from the staff in the home.
“Spending that amount of one-to-one time with residents meant I got to know them even better than I did before which helped me come up with fun and exciting activities I knew would spark an interest in each resident. Activities in their rooms ranged from games of dominoes to pamper days – whatever tickled their fancy really.”
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The care home was also able to use an iPad to keep in contact with families, which helped to keep them connected, and also were able to see performers through the window.
Jade added: “We were lucky enough to also have some socially distanced activities, including performers who came to give us a show from the window. These types of activities really raised the spirits of the residents as it gave them a feeling of togetherness with their friends in the home, even though they weren’t physically close.
“Keeping residents and their families in good contact was one of my most important tasks during lockdown, not just for the benefit of the residents, but also their families.
“Thankfully, our management had supplied iPads to each home at the beginning of lockdown to ensure the essential communication between residents and their loved ones was not ceased completely during what was an extremely worrying time for many.”