Update from Sarah Clarke-Kuehn, Group Director – Sanctuary Care, 28 July 2021
Many of you will have seen the national data released about the number of lives lost to Coronavirus over the course of this pandemic. For me at the very heart of these numbers are people and families that are grieving - grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, partners, husbands, wives and grandchildren who will forever hold their loved ones dear.
I also want to think about our staff and thank them from the very bottom of my heart – those who have risked their lives to care for our residents, to keep them as safe as possible and do everything they can to keep them connected to their loved ones.
They have worked tirelessly to keep our residents engaged and do everything they can to shelter them from the virus and the impact it’s had on the world. To all of our staff, thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Every single day you make me feel an enormous sense of pride to be part of Sanctuary Care.
I am thankful for the innovative ways ours teams have kept our residents engaged during the last year and a half, which for me is truly inspirational.
From summer-long virtual voyages, national virtual Christmas choirs, spring-themed activities and gardening projects and of course, using technology to keep them connected to their families and local communities.
By seeing the person and not just their care needs, our teams have delivered activities that have continued to make our residents smile, keep them fulfilled and inspired, whilst promoting independence and purpose.
Our teams know the importance of a whole-home approach to delivering activities, which has been so vital during the pandemic. It’s not all on one person’s shoulders, everyone has a part to play; from chefs sharing tips in a bake-off, to care assistants transforming into cabin crew for a virtual voyage.
These events have been heart-warming to see, with a real highlight being our Sanctuary Care Cruise. Our teams transformed their homes into cruise ships, with residents enjoying the traditions, flavours and excursions from the countries ‘visited’. Every single detail was covered, from boarding passes, passports, themed menus, and entertainment, to Captain’s announcements from the home manager and postcards sent to loved ones. It was a fantastic detraction when visiting was off limits for care homes and our residents were naturally feeling out of routine.
Today I pause and reflect on how the teams have worked so tirelessly to not only protect our residents from this virus, but also to make life feel as ‘normal’ as possible. Their phenomenal care, hard work and resilience over the past year and a half, makes Sanctuary Care a provider we are all exceptionally proud to be part of.
I’m delighted to share the new update with you all, especially following the easing of restrictions announced by the Government. As always, our visiting guidance has continued to be focused around the safety and wellbeing of our residents, visitors and teams.
From last week (19 July), we will be welcoming even more loved ones and friends through our doors safely. This is a fantastic step for us, our teams and most importantly our residents.
There is now no restriction on the number of visitors our residents can receive and appointments can be given to anybody who wishes to visit them. However, all visits remain by appointment only.
Appointments remain for now on a 2-hour window. PPE must be worn (this may change early next week) and Lateral Flow Tests must be carried out prior to each visit.
For your reassurance - we will continue to review our visiting guidance across all our homes when advised by public health authorities to ensure our easing of visiting restrictions remain as safe as they possibly can be.
As before our residents are now able to spend time in their local communities again - either independently or with their nominated friends and family members, and with careful planning there will be no need to self-isolate when returning back to our homes. We know trips enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family are so important to our residents and families and we will do all we can to help you make those memories.
Residents as before are able to have visits in the comfort of their own bedrooms as well as in our outdoor pods* or if the weather is kind in the garden.
Our compassionate visiting for those on end of life care and our visiting guidance for Essential Care Givers will naturally continue.
Families and friends have always been a big part of our homes and we look forward to hearing even more chatter and fun. We will continue to review Government guidance in the coming weeks and we welcome any future easing of family contact in our homes.
If you do have any questions for your local care home manager, please find their contact details here or for those looking into care options, our friendly Enquiry Support Team advisors are only a phone call away on 0800 917 0478.
Sarah Clarke-Kuehn, Group Director Sanctuary Care
*Heated pods are available in selected homes, where outdoor space permits.