It’s been a little over two years since life as we knew it changed forever and the Covid-19 pandemic hit. For the first time in Somerset Care’s history we weren’t able to welcome people freely into our homes to visit their loved ones, we had to adapt how we cared for people in their own homes, and all short term respite care had to be put on hold. We geared ourselves up, head to toe in PPE, to ensure that those who needed our help, still got the best help, while taking all precautions to keep the spread of the virus to an absolute minimum.
Today, on the National Day of Reflection, we’ve been reminding ourselves of just how far we’ve come, how efficiently we adapted, and how hard our colleagues work, all with those in our care at the forefront of everything we do.
While many of these practices became standard across the care industry, we cannot deny the heroic acts of our teams, many of whom have their own families, young and old, to consider. Despite this they stuck at the job, sometimes putting themselves at risk of catching the virus, to ensure our customers’ care needs faced little compromise. Many of our colleagues went beyond that and kept spirits high, despite the doom and gloom that surrounded us.
Here’s a few highlights we reflect on proudly:
Rowden House music video:
The staff and residents at our Rowden House care home, based in Frome, sent a home-made music video to the loved ones of residents, to let them know they had their friends and families at the forefront of their mind, all while safely enjoying themselves in lock down. The full video can be viewed here.
Verity Bridger’s fight back to care for her customers:
Verity Bridger, a carer in our Reablement Team, not only beat covid, despite suffering badly with it, but she came back to work with a smile on her face. A key and compassionate member of the Community team, Verity’s role is to ensure customers are safely discharged from hospital back to their homes, with the right levels of care and support in place.
On the 9th December 2020 Verity was hospitalised with Covid-19. A quick deterioration in her health resulted in her being taken to ICU and put on a ventilator, where she remained for two weeks. Verity stayed in hospital for a further five weeks before she returned home. Her determination to get better, combined with her commitment and passion to care, saw her return to work in April 2021. Despite this metamorphic experience, she has set the finest example to us all, whom we have great respect and admiration for.
Jane Bird sticking to her studies while being an invaluable carer
The pandemic contributed to many obstacles Jane faced in working towards her L3 Apprenticeship, whereby she set a brilliant example to us all, that with the right determination, you can perservere.
Jane caught Covid-19 on two occasions throughout the pandemic. In addition to being a highly valued member of the team at our Southlawns Care Home in Street, picking up lots of extra shifts to help out, she was able to continue to be successful in her training. So much so, that her course trainer commented on how fantastic she is at embedding her learnings into her care, while helping raise the quality of care being provided.
Of course, the pandemic brought some incredibly sad and difficult times to reflect upon too. Today we remember those we have loved and lost and pay tribute to everyone who has either been in our care, or contributed to peoples care. We will be honouring them in a minute silence at midday today. We are also taking part in numerous Marie Curie events, including lighting a candle to ‘shine a light’ this evening.
Here’s how our CEO, Gary Ridewood, has marked the occasion:
To reiterate Gary’s sentiments, we would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of our colleagues at Somerset Care, to all of those in our care and their nearest family and friends, for their support and patience throughout the pandemic.
Thankfully life is getting easier, and while some restrictions remain in place in care settings, our priority remains to ensure the safety and needs of those in our care.