Teamwork Makes the Dream Work at Gravesend Care Home
By working together and lifting one another up, the team at Edward Moore House Residential Care Home, have managed to keep their residents safe and staff morale good.
“At the outbreak of Covid-19, I knew it was going to be a difficult few months, but I felt positive and assured, as we’ve always worked so well as a team here. I knew we would all rally around and just do what we needed to do.” Says Melanie Martin, Deputy Manager at the Trinity Road residential care home.
“At the beginning of lockdown, I was in on a Saturday shift and we thought one of the residents may have the virus, as she was showing symptoms. Understandably the team were worried and anxious as this was all new, but I was amazed by how well we all supported one another.” Adds Christine Boswell, Activity Coordinator at the home. “Our kitchen staff made everyone hot chocolates and we all talked it through, really helping one another to calm down. Thankfully, the resident didn’t have the virus and it ended up being a really lovely day. I think lockdown has definitely made us appreciate each other more, we’re like one big family and we really mean a lot to one another.”
Mel agrees, “I’m so proud of us all, we’ve really kept it ‘business as usual’, despite some staff really suffering with anxiety, they’ve carried on and done a great job, as they know the residents need them. The majority of staff agreed that they felt safer at work than once they left for the day, we’re in our bubble here and we have some normality, as the residents need us no matter what is going on outside, so nothing has really changed too much.
“I felt totally safe at work.” Christine concurs, “I have to get the bus in and that does worry me but once I’m here, I’m so relaxed. We’re singing as we’re working and checking in on one another, I’ve definitely realised how precious my team are.”
“The morale has improved a lot from the first few weeks, everyone was naturally a bit frazzled at the beginning, but slowly we’ve built them back up.” Continues Mel, “I struggle with the masks because the residents can’t see us smiling, so one day I printed off lots of red smiling lips and stuck them on the masks. Little things like that cheer us up and keep us going.
“Personally, I avoid watching or reading the news now because it’s so discouraging and not a reflection of our experience at Edward Moore House. I think many people believe care homes are unsafe at the moment, but for us, we had just one case the whole time, a resident who didn’t show any symptoms and was tested in hospital.
“I think It’ll take time for the public to trust that our homes are safe, but more than anything, I’m looking forward to getting back to normal. We’re resuming visits with relatives from the end of the month, so they’ll be able to see loved ones, 2m apart in the garden and that will be really special after such a long time apart.”
Left: Christine. Right: Mel