During the COVID-19 pandemic, social care provider Optalis has adapted its Day Services to ensure continued support to the local community across Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead.
Westmead Day Centre supports people with physical disabilities and long-term conditions. The centre provides a warm and welcoming environment where people have the opportunity to develop their skills, meet other people and enjoy a range of activities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
Changes to the service include enhanced Infection Prevention Control measures, such as the introduction of sanitising stations, extensive cleaning regimes and PPE compliance.
David, who attends Westmead, said “I feel very safe and reassured by the measures staff have put in place at the centre. From temperature checks on arrival to using separate rooms for activities and one-way traffic lines. It all helps build confidence and relieve any tension a visitor may have.”
Optalis has been working with its council partners at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham Borough Council to ensure services remain accessible to those most in need.
In line with Government guidelines on social distancing, the number of people attending the building-based day services has had to be limited with priority places given to those living at home with relatives, enabling family carers to continue with their caring role, and individuals who may be at risk of social isolation.
Julia Harris, Head of Non-Regulated Services at Optalis, said “We recognise how important and valued our Day Services are to the people who receive them. We have been working on a plan to be able to offer a day service to people living in supported living and residential care settings. The thinking is that this will need to have a community focus. We have been talking with our customers about what community activities they would like us to offer. This second national lockdown has hindered our progress slightly, but we are still very committed to developing a community-based activities programme.
“In the meantime, we are making use of technology to stay connected to Day Service customers who are unable to attend our Day Centres at this time. We have held a number of activities over Zoom, including quizzes and exercise classes. We hope to expand our offering over the coming weeks as our experienced and creative staff get to grips with delivering sessions in a new way.”