A HAPPY New Year to all of you. It was a wonderful moment on Christmas Day when Steve, our activities coordinator at Springview arrived in the guise of Santa. The smile on people’s faces was a pleasure to behold. It was one of the highlights of the recent festivities, which were many and joyous, crowned with delicious Christmas lunch with all the trimmings.
Manager Lori organised a splendid party at Spring Lane, and we reported in our last newsletter on the grand celebration at Springview, with the Salvation Army’s carols around the fire-pit. You can see some of the pictures of folk having fun on our social media feeds, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – which you can access through our new website www.springdene.co.uk.
New Year was a delight, with parties in the homes and Buck’s Fizz all round, followed by one of Steve’s wonderful horse-racing sessions on New Year’s Day. The winner was the delightful Doreen, who reported that she was chuffed with her victory
Unfortunately, the shadow of Omicron has hung over us, as it has for everyone else throughout the UK. At each of our homes a small number of staff have contracted the illness and have had to be off work isolating. There has been an outbreak among the residents at Spring Lane, which luckily is mild and mostly limited to a few sniffles so far.
Inevitably, there are knock-on effects. In Spring Lane, residents have had to stay in their rooms to comply with official guidelines. Visiting has had to stop, too. It has been possible to continue it at Springview, using the outside gazebo, but it has had to be halted at Spring Grove, since the layout of the building means the gazebo cannot be accessed without passing through the interior of the home.
At all three homes it is possible to make face-to-face calls with loved ones, using the digital tablets that are provided. We know is not much compensation, but the facility is there. Rest assured that meanwhile every effort is being made with infection control. All our staff are vaccinated and have to take a daily test before entering the home. The same applies to essential contractors, who must also show their vaccination status and take a test before entering.
Like all of you, we hate having to close the homes to visitors. However, the good news is that we are studying a new plan, which would allow each resident to have a designated “essential care giver”. This would allow the possibility for one nominated member of the family (or friend) to have much wider access to their loved ones, including visiting in their rooms for much of the day. Tests would have to be taken and full PPE would have to be worn. We can’t promise at the moment that this will happen, but our Group Operations Manager is carrying out a risk assessment and we will let you know the outcome as soon as possible.
Meanwhile we are celebrating our lovely residents of the week who are presented with flowers and chocolates and the chance to make their wishes come true. At Springview, our chosen resident is the fantastic Mrs Gladys Gathergood – 108 years old and still going strong. With a fantastic smile and a lovely laugh, Gladys is one of the oldest people in the country. Born in Stratford, east London, Gladys is the heart and soul of Springview. She loves the Salvation Army, with which she was brought up and tells us that her favourite food is steak and kidney pudding. We’ll try and oblige you, Gladys.
Over at Spring Lane is another national treasure, the veteran peace campaigner Pat Arrowsmith. Pat is famously the co-founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She is a writer and a poet and a legendary campaigner for women’s rights. As those who know her observe, there’s plenty of fight in Pat yet! A slightly ascetic lady, Pat has no particular wishes for celebrating being resident of the week, but we’ll make sure she is thoroughly pampered.
Eve Upton at Spring Grove is a very private lady who likes peace and quiet and enjoys studying nature. She describes herself as an observer rather than a participator. A former secretary before she got married, she takes pleasure in her three children and three grandchildren. Eve is especially fond of her daughter’s dog Hermes and is partial to cottage pie, spinach and carrots.
We’re also celebrating our “Three Musketeers” – three wonderful ladies (above) at Springview, who are marking their centenaries and more in 2022. Glady Gathergood (centre), who has been with us since 2015 is 109 on April 21, while Violet Stone (right), who joined us in 2018, will be 101 in June. Kathleen Taylor, with us since 2019, will also be 101. Her birthday is September 30. Congratulations, ladies, and long may you thrive!
The excellence of care at Springdene is a major factor in longevity and we’ve just received some lovely testimonials to the quality of what we do. Felicity Moir writes of her sister’s life at Spring Grove: “The home provides excellent care with a friendly and homely environment. Some of the care team have been there for a long time and have gotten to know the residents well. They provide lots of activities that keep the residents stimulated – something so necessary as visiting has been restricted and visits away curtailed with Covid. I am very happy with the care my sister receives. In the same home,” Ola U. writes: My father was at Spring Grove for some months of rehabilitation, and I was very happy with the care he received. The staff are so friendly and caring. They ensured he was comfortable, and it was so nice to see him laughing and joking with the carers whenever I came to visit him. They knew members of the family by name and always had time for a chat.
“It was such a pleasant atmosphere, and I could see that my father was well taken care of. The receptionist was amazing and would always do his best to ensure that he could work out a convenient visiting time slot, taking into account the Government Covid visiting guidelines. The activities timetable has a variety of things to suit a wide range of hobbies and interests. I was happy that the staff encouraged my father to join in, and he loved going for activities. Having the activity schedule sent to relatives was helpful, as I could let the staff know the sort of things my father would like. A brilliant home-away-from-home care home!”
Thank you to everybody who has endorsed us. If you feel you could do the same, we’d be delighted to hear from you. On a final note, we know how many of you are interested in the progress of our sponsored Medical Detection Dog puppy, Spring. Well, there’s a lot of tail wagging going on and we’re happy to report that Spring’s sniffing skills for illnesses such as Covid are getting better by the day.
We’re very touched by the generosity of the family of Springview resident Harriet Cullen who were so impressed by the work of the Medical Detection Dogs that they nominated the charity for donations, instead of flowers at Mum’s funeral. The charity was Harriet’s favourite. As a result a cheque for £620 has been sent off today and Spring will be the beneficiary. Thank you one and all!