The White House Care Home, in Teignmouth, part of Centrum Group, is a specialist care home for people with dementia. The staff who work there have temporarily moved into the home to protect the residents from the Coronavirus.
The Care Assistants at the White House Care Home realised that they could not guarantee social distancing as the residents all have dementia. They wanted to move into the home in order to minimise the risk to the residents, they have now been living at the home for a month.
Demelza Lamport Coles, Registered Manager said that it was the Care Assistants who fronted the idea of moving into the care home:
“A lot of the staff came to me collectively and said I think this is something we should consider.”
This incredible sacrifice by the staff at the White House Care Home has meant they are unable to go home and see their own families. Many of them have had to make arrangements for other family members to take care of their children in order to do this.
Katie Smith has only started working as a Care Assistant at the home recently. She was nervous about the lockdown, but she is remaining very positive:
“The positive of us all being here is the residents all seem a lot calmer. Seeing the same faces each day has made a massive difference.
“The thing that keeps me going is the staff and the residents, because it’s just like one big family living together.”
Sorelle Martin, Domestic and Maintenance Co-ordinator at the White House Care Home echoed this, she said:
“We all try and keep each other’s morale up- the residents have fun with us as well. They seem very calm, the majority of them are eating better.”
The team at the White House Care Home have organised video calls to connect residents with their families. The Care Assistants are still working their regular shifts to ensure they all have well-deserved breaks from work.
Tushar Shah, Director of Centrum Group, which runs The White House Care Home in Teignmouth, said:
“During this crisis, it has been heart-warming to see our staff put the needs of our residents ahead of their own and moving into the care home to self-isolate.
“The crisis is a challenge for all of us, however those living with Dementia will not be able to understand the concept of social distancing and self-isolation. The only way the staff could protect and care for our residents was to move in with them. What has been really positive is how the lock-in to the home has allowed the residents and carers to develop a stronger bond.
“We always knew that care staff were superheroes, but this pandemic has brought the best out of all key workers in society. For this, our residents, their families and local community are really grateful for their sacrifice and dedication.”
The White House Care Home made a Youtube video on the whole experience, to watch visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlFV5WNoyU0&feature=youtu.be.