Following the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Friends of the Elderly are doing all that we can to protect against COVID-19 within our homes and services. The charity is experienced in reducing the spread of infections, such as seasonal flu and norovirus in our homes and services, and our managers are therefore well prepared to manage the risks that COVID-19 poses.
We made significant changes to how we deliver our services, while understanding and adhering to government policies.
We continuously work incredibly hard to protect our residents, service users, staff and volunteers from the virus.
This means that we are now confident that we are COVID WISE in how we work.
Our care homes are now open for close relatives and admissions.
What have been the effects of COVID-19 across our homes?
We took the very difficult decision to close our care homes to all but essential visitors in early March 2020, before many other care homes, because we were confident that this tough measure was needed to keep people safe.
We have had a small number of cases in a couple of our homes and have been able to work through this. And those homes are now free of the virus. While we can never promise that we won’t have a case of the virus in our homes and services again, we can promise that we are confident that all our new policies and procedures are keeping people as safe as possible.
“Bradbury Court has managed to survive the outbreak of COVID-19 due to the courage and common sense shown by its manager, Elaine. She has a very detailed knowledge of all of her residents and indeed of her staff and their capabilities. I think Friends of the Elderly deserve credit too for the support they have given Elaine which has been instrumental in getting the situation under control, whilst at the same time maintaining staff morale.”
What safety measures are being taken?
We continue to strictly follow the guidance from Public Health England. Additional to this:
We have a strict policy about what PPE to wear in our homes.
We have a good central stock of essential items such as PPE across our homes and have never run out of PPE.
As a charity we have benefitted so much from the kindness of our corporate partners and from our supporters, we have also received so many donations which have really made a difference.
Currently no outside visitors are allowed into our homes and we will update you when this changes.
All members of staff have to wash their hands (observed by another member of staff) and change clothes when they enter our care homes.
All staff are provided daily facemasks, aprons and gloves, along with extra hand gel and sanitising cleaning products.
Our homes always follow strict infection control and deep cleaning guidelines that cover all surface areas, from door handles to taps, to protect our residents, service users, staff and volunteers from infection.
(Picture of our care staff member on the right)
“Although things have been tough and the days long, I feel we have come together and learnt something new everyday. We have all shown tremendous strength and determination, and for that I am proud to be part of a charity that holds the wellbeing of our residents, and staff at the forefront of their decision making.”
How have we been keeping our residents, service users, staff and volunteers connected?
We are proud to be a transparent, open and honest charity, an approach that has always served us well in our 100 years of operation.
Our main commitment to relatives and our priority has always been to keep them fully informed of the situation and what we are doing to keep people safe. Whether be it an update about the full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) our staff are wearing, or information about how we are securing testing.
We have worked to keep our care home residents in touch with their family, friends and communities with a range of measures including video technology.
Our #MessageOfSupport campaign has seen supportive messages being sent to our residents from all around the world and from a range of people, from The Royal Family to wonderful messages from local children.
We are also running a new campaign called ‘It’s the Little Things’‘It’s the Little Things’‘It’s the Little Things’ which is a creative two-way communication designed to help our residents, care home teams, families and friends to keep in touch while they are missing each other. The platform allows them to express their own ‘little things’ as a way of sharing their love and affection whilst at the same time, looking towards the future and what they are looking forward to doing – together – once the lockdown has ceased.
What can I expect if I or my family member wanted to become a resident?
Admissions are open now. We are proud to say that we have an admissions policy which puts safety first.
We have worked hard to take advice on our admissions policy for new residents working with national policy organisations such as The National Care Forum.
Any new resident will be required to isolate in their bedrooms for 14 days. However, our staff will be looking after them and continuously popping in for chats and cups of tea to ensure they receive the best care and are not alone.
From early July we will be offering safe garden visits for our residents’ family and friends again. We will be building and creating safe and comfortable outside areas to ensure that residents’ benefit from seeing their family and friends – in the safest way possible.
(Picture of our resident on the right)
"Their selfless professionalism, compassion and kindness is amazing. From our experience they have a total understanding of the very difficult position that residents' relatives are in at present and we have been completely reassured that they are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe. We are very appreciative and grateful for all they are doing.”
We are COVID-WISE. Thank you.
We are forever grateful to the people who have supported us with advice, donations and their time, allowing us the time to grow and learn and to become confident that we are COVID WISE. We can therefore continue to do what we do best, support older people to live fulfilled lives and to put people at the heart of all that we do.
Friends of the Elderly, registered charity in England and Wales (no 226064); registered company in England and Wales (no 133850).
Registered office 40-42 Ebury Street, London SW1W 0LZ. A company limited by guarantee.