Pulling out all stops during lockdown

WesleyCare staff put their creativity and compassion to good use during the Covid lockdown, when family and friends were unable to visit residents. In some instances, staff took on extra roles to provide emotional support to residents.

Nurses, carers and service workers worked hard to ensure high quality and individualised care for all residents at WesleyCare, CMM Executive Director Jill Hawkey says.

“WesleyCare is very fortunate to have such skilled, committed and creative diversional therapists, activities coordinators and a resident advocate. They played a particularly important role during lockdown, providing activities and engaging residents in conversation at a time when their own families and friends were not able to visit. This support certainly contributed to the WesleyCare residents managing so well during the lockdown.”

Resident Advocate Robyn Swain was one such member of staff. She took the lockdown measures in her stride, doing her utmost to make residents feel comfortable and reassured. She also ensured that they understood why the government’s pandemic restrictions were in place.

Robyn made sure birthdays were at the very least acknowledged. For each lockdown birthday, the resident would have a birthday breakfast of their choosing, while the activities team decorated the door of that resident’s room; and Robyn would “get a crowd in”–a group of carers–to sing Happy Birthday. The daughter of one resident brought in a cake and watched proceedings through a window from outside.

Certain activities took place, such as quizzes, word games, newspaper readings and a sing-a-long in the chapel without musicians. “Without happy hour or entertainment from visitors, staff were under a little more pressure. We just tried to be very positive, very cheerful. We’d have dress-up days in which we’d wear bright clothes and wigs to lift morale. We’d do whatever we could do to try and make things better.

“Many of our residents went through the war with deprivations, and now at a very advanced age have to battle with health conditions. The ones who could understand the lockdown did, the ones who didn’t, we made sure they were aware they were still very important.”

WesleyCare recognises the invaluable role of volunteers in the life of the facility. Manager, Cath Swain, says a number of people come in regularly to assist and their services are greatly appreciated. Some help residents with their meals or escort residents to appointments, while others come in on a Sunday morning to help take residents to the chapel.

CMM thanks those who offer their services and time to help ensure the wellbeing of WesleyCare residents.