Guild Care is keeping spirits up in its care homes during lockdown

At Guild Care, we know how challenging it is right now during these most uncertain of times. No one knows for sure when we will be coming out of lockdown and many of us are still struggling with the new norm of having to social distance ourselves away from family and friends.

It is the social interaction between staff and the people living in a care home environment that is one of the most important elements in any older person’s health and wellbeing.

However, like many care home providers, Guild Care, has introduced some social distancing measures. It has had to self-isolate some residents and all members of staff are now routinely wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including facemasks, when providing care.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

That is why during these difficult times, staff at Guild Care make sure they are keeping up the spirits of everyone who lives in one of their homes. Whenever the sun is out, where possible, residents are still able to make the most of the good weather sitting out in landscaped gardens at any one of its homes.

Selfie frames with messages for loved ones

Last week at Caer Gwent, they even made a special Happy Birthday video message for the fantastic Colonel Tom Moore on his 100th birthday, which they shared with residents and posted on its Facebook page.

All its homes are busy planning for VE Day celebration activities on Friday.

At Haviland House, Guild Care’s specialist dementia care home, staff are continuing to occupy, stimulate and motivate their residents by doing chairobix exercise, gardening and using virtual-reality goggles.

Eileen Garbutt, health and wellbeing co-ordinator, said: “We’ve been sharing lots of loving letters and pictures sent in from relatives and schools in the community, watching memory sticks sent in from our much missed entertainers and this week I have a ‘HaviLand Army’ of happy helpers making bunting and decorations for our 75th anniversary of VE Day celebrations on May 8, so we can keep this celebrated day as it was meant to be.

Tracey Wadey, director of residential and nursing services, added: “I’m incredibly proud of the teams we have in our care homes who are just amazing and going above and beyond every day without complaint. Their only focus each and every day is to provide the best possible care to our residents in very difficult times.”

The charity continues to have some fantastic support from the community. It recently launched a You’ve Got a Friend in Me group on Facebook. It now has more than 280 members and people of all ages have been sending in video messages, paintings and letters to share with the residents in their care homes.

Guild Care would also like to say a big thank you to the pupils of Orchard Junior School, who have taken the time to make some fantastic care packages for their care homes. The letters and pictures were so thoughtful.

Guild Care has been taking part in the 2.6 challenge to support charities nationwide and has so far raised well over £6,000, to pay for bespoke counselling to help with the emotional wellbeing of its staff.

One member of staff, Bonita, took up the challenge and rode 26.2 miles on her exercise bike, raising over £500.

She said: “I’ve worked for Guild Care for 12 years and I want to make sure we are able to carry on doing the great job that we all do and keep providing the love and care we give to so many residents.”

Although coronavirus has had a major impact on the charity. Its cares homes, home care service and some outreach services do remain open and continue to help support the most vulnerable in our community, as it has done for over 87 years.

Even though these are challenging times for everyone, Guild Care is still actively recruiting for care roles. So, if you’ve recently been furloughed, made redundant or perhaps are an ex-carer, then they have a range of roles available with a variety of shifts that may suit you within its three care homes.

For more information, call the recruitment team on 01903 863154, email [email protected] or visit www.guildcare.org/current-vacancies

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.