Residents celebrated their first year at a care home with a 1940s themed party.
Bowfell House staff pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone could enjoy it, with relatives joining the party via Teams and Zoom. A singer came to the garden to croon some classic hits, while a number of residents danced along.
One resident Joyce Austin had to remain in isolation after a trip to hospital so staff took the party to her, setting her up with a computer so she could watch all the action, and supplying her with sherry and prosecco for the toast.
It’s wonderful to have a second family to look after me. The way I have been looked after hasn’t felt at all like nursing care – I feel that I have really been cared for by people who really care.”
It’s been a demanding 12 months for the care home since it opened its doors in October 2019. But Sue Waldron, support manager at Bowfell, said staff, managers and directors had all done their utmost to keep residents protected and entertained during lockdown.
She said: “Having to tell the residents and their families that they couldn’t visit has probably been one of the hardest things we’ve had to do.
“There was a point, during early April which was probably our most difficult time, we had a number of very poorly residents, also a number of staff either poorly or isolating, but those staff who were here just pulled together and we did what needed to be done. Directors cooking and cleaning was a common occurrence.
“During this most difficult time Trafford Council were there for us, calling daily to see how we all were. They also made sure that we had all the up to date guidance and sufficient PPE.”
Cllr Jo Harding, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Adult Services, said:
It’s been a really tough time for everyone but particularly our care home residents.
“I’m so grateful at how staff have gone above and beyond to support them and be there for them. As a Council, we are just happy to help and support them in any way we can.”
Sue also was delighted at the support from the community, as well as the Council.
She said: “We received so many kind gifts from families, friends, even strangers and local businesses bringing flowers, chocolates, cakes, Easter eggs hampers – all these really helped us to get through.
“We had local people who would stand and wave at the railings, and come and clap outside on Thursdays, even a young girl came one day and did some Irish dancing on the pavement which the residents loved.
“We support residents to keep in touch with families the best way we can, with WhatsApp, Zoom and telephone calls.
“A great memory was when we were able to introduce safe garden visits after lockdown restrictions had eased temporarily during the summer. I can’t tell you how lovely it was to see the reactions of residents and their families. Unfortunately though, this was short-lived and we are now back to using technology to keep in touch.
“The weeks of lockdown were tough but as a team we pulled together, we were there for each other, we laughed and cried together, we phoned each other outside of work if we needed to and together we got through it.”
Staff, directors and residents and now planning for the next 12 months, with Christmas the next big event on the calendar.
Posted on Friday 23rd October 2020