How staff at three Northamptonshire care homes are helping residents celebrate Christmas this year
From FaceTiming loved ones, to turkey and all the trimmings, care home staff are pulling out all the stops to make the festive period special for residents
This year has been difficult for everyone, especially those living in and working in care homes.
During the pandemic, care home staff have had to do everything they can to protect the residents who are often vulnerable, which has meant sacrifices for the older people too.
Now, as the virus remains a threat and restrictions remain in place, residents could be facing a difficult Christmas.
However, care workers have activities and festivities planned to make sure residents still feel the Christmas joy and can speak to their loved ones.
Below is how staff at three Northamptonshire care homes will help residents celebrate this Christmas.
Christmas celebrations have been in full swing for a while at the Chapel Brampton home where residents have been taking part in festive craft activities since November, making cards, decorations and Christmas cakes.
Two festive parties have been held complete with buffets and choir songs from staff and on Christmas Eve Santa will visit with a personally chosen present for every resident.
In preparation for the big day Brampton View has also welcomed back its hairdresser, Sarah, who has been following strict Covid-safe protocols and working flat out for two weeks to make sure everyone is looking and feeling their best for Christmas.
General manager of the home Kerry Angeloni said: “The whole Brampton View team is doing everything possible to make Christmas and New Year wonderful here, but we know it is incredibly important that residents can also have a festive visit from their relatives.
“We have created a comfortable indoor visiting lounge with a Covid-secure partition, a large window and speakers.
“The visiting lounge is accessed by families via a garden door and we now also have an extra visiting pod to double the number of family visits we can book in.
“We are confident we will make Christmas 2020 one to remember, for all the right reasons.
“Our care and activities teams have made the run up to Christmas exciting and we have all shared so many treats.”
The residents are also looking forward to a festive feast on Christmas too.
Head Chef, Ian, added: “This is the most important meal of the year and I want to make it special for everyone.
“I will make sure there are alternatives for people who don’t want a full turkey roast - everyone’s nutritional needs and food preferences will be catered for.”
The care home in Harlestone Road organised a trip to Silverstone’s Lapland light show for all the residents, as well bubble-specific Christmas parties with singing, dancing and festive food.
For the big day itself, a full Christmas dinner complete with pigs in blankets will be served and staff will help residents connect with their loved ones.
Care home manager, Teresa Warren, said: “Staff will support telephone calls, WhatsApp calls and FaceTime.
“We have allocated each area of the home a visiting day of 15 minute slots for every relative to have the opportunity to have a visit over this time.
“In our two visiting areas one is outside enclosed with a heater and the other is indoors with Perspex screens between them.
“Staff will support the visits on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
“We usually do four 30-minute visits a day but we were unable to choose who should visit on these special days.
“Relatives also have nominated days to drop presents for their loved ones so we can isolate them and take to the area for staff to open with the residents lots of photos to be taken.”
Prior to Christmas week, staff and residents at the Earls Barton care home made cards, baked and enjoyed a Christmas party, when the home was full of ‘laughter and cheer’.
For the Christmas Day itself, staff will make sure residents are able to virtually chat to loved ones and ensure they are all happy.
A spokesman for the care home said: “We have a very fun and lively staff team.
“They are often making TikTok videos with our residents. In fact we have got a bit of a following on social media for the videos we post.
“As a home we try extremely hard to make our residents happy, as do so many other good homes in our county.
“As well as keeping a cheery and joyful atmosphere in our home, we are also very proud to say that not one of our residents has had Covid-19.
“To make sure our residents remain in contact with their families we have been arranging video calls and phone calls.
“This has worked really well for us and our residents are able to speak with various members of their family.
“We have a resident whose daughter is in Australia and he regularly uses his iPad to make video calls to her.”
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