Examples of care homes doing things well

Communication between care homes and friends and relatives

  • Regular phone/email update from a member of staff to family members about how their loved one is
  • A monthly E-newsletter for relatives with any changes or updates, or activities going on within the home
  • The activities worker has a work mobile phone to help residents to video call relatives and the worker can easily send them videos, messages and photos of their family member via WhatsApp
  • Regular residents and relatives forum to share ideas and updates with families and friends, and also provide an opportunity to give feedback. These have been running virtually by Zoom during the pandemic
  • Having a Facebook page where photos of residents doing activities can be shared with families (with residents’ or family consent obviously)

Digital communication between families and relatives

  • Care homes supporting with video calling relatives including taking videos of residents’ birthdays and participation in activities and sending them to relatives
  • For people not able to use smart screens or computing devices, care homes have facilitated the use of products like KOMP External link  ,designed for people with no experience of IT. Relatives have fed back how great this is for their loved one to keep in touch with family and friends independently without relying on a care worker to answer calls
  • IPads have been loaned to care homes in Leeds by 100% Digital with preloaded app to support residents in care homes keep in touch with family members (training for staff is available free to support this).

Visiting during Covid 19

(See ‘visiting care homes during covid External link   ’ for more information about what is and isn’t possible)

  • Some care homes have built an external visiting pod in order for relatives to be able to see their family members in a space that can be cleaned down after each use. There’s a great example of this here, where they turned the visiting pod into a pub External link  
  • Some homes have introduced indoor visits, with social distancing, PPE and people asked to wash or sanitise hands before and after the visit.
  • Chief Nursing Officer, Cyd Akrill M.B.E. External link   talks about how her homes are enabling essential visits for those specifically not at end of life but for whom other visits don’t meet their needs, and using testing to enable visits
  • Watch the video Healthwatch made with Andrew about his and his wife Gay's experience of being an essential care giver External link  

Meaningful activity during coronavirus

  • Care homes spending time finding out what residents are interested in and tailoring activities accordingly
  • Designated care workers to provide more 'one-to-one' time with residents for a period of time each day
  • Some care homes in Leeds have engaged with local schools and the community to start a pen pal scheme with the school children and residents
  • Social interaction e.g. through a themed dining experience (eg. Italian day)
  • Music and film events or, for people unable to participate in these, activities involving sensory stimulation

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