‘Part of a big family’

Team members at Newstone House spell out their message of family support during lockdown.
Team members at Newstone House spell out their message of family support during lockdown.

Relatives praise our approach to Covid.

Residents at all our 21 homes have been continuing to enjoy care, comfort and companionship despite the challenges of physical distancing and Covid control.

Every day they have fulfilling experiences not readily available to many older people living at home in isolation.

Aside from space and time for quiet personal reflection, our homes have been staging Covid-safe get-togethers for activities such as singing, exercise, arts and crafts, games and gentle gardening.

We’ve been communicating about life during lockdown both in the Chronicle and in regular messages from our Chief Executive Mark Aitchison and newsletters from the homes themselves.

In return, we’re thrilled to have received much positive praise for our approach from relatives.

Heather Lightbody, whose mother Noreen has lived at Wellington Grange in Chichester for two years, told us: “You have done a really good job in communicating with families. It makes such a difference to have an idea of what has been going on. I know that companionship has continued. We’ve heard about lots of activities such as making lemonade, flower arranging and events such as VE Day. My mother is very happy and established with a little gang on her floor. Even when restrictions were still tight they were taken outside to enjoy the gardens, and are now able to get back to their daily lunch together. It’s comforting knowing that she has company and is seeing other people. It’s a huge reassurance.”

Heather’s sentiments are echoed by Elizabeth White whose mother-in-law Doris has lived at Avon Reach in Mudeford for seven years. “I can’t speak highly enough about the staff,” says Elizabeth.

“They treat us as part of a big family. It’s so encouraging to watch all the videos from the homes in the newsletters and to see how happily normal everything seems. Activities are still happening. Mum is reading and going down for lunch as usual. It all sounds absolutely normal.”

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