What you should be looking for from a care home, post-COVID lockdown

The Coronavirus pandemic has been one of the greatest challenges care homes have ever faced. There’s no point downplaying it, we work with some of the most vulnerable groups to the virus, and it’s something we have had to take extremely seriously. There is nothing more important to us than keeping our residents safe, and that has been our absolute number one priority throughout these challenging times.

Health and happiness first

This whole experience has reaffirmed to us at Melrose Care Home just how vital it is to keep the health and happiness of our residents at the forefront of everything we do. If you’re looking for a care home post-COVID lockdown, we’re sure you’ll agree that those two elements are absolutely fundamental. Not only that, but they are linked with each other too.

We take a personal approach to our care service. That means we understand that all of our residents are individuals, with unique care needs. From a strictly health-based point of view, that means we offer a wide range of care options. We provide skilled care with a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, with options for everything from speech therapists to dieticians whenever needed, alongside convalescence, long-term and respite care services.

Really, it all comes down to what each of our residents needs and assuring that we are prepared whatever the situation. We can only do that through getting to know each one on a personal level. Of course, those needs go further than medical care requirements. It stretches beyond Coronavirus measures – as vital as they are – and into the quality of day-to-day care.

Staying healthy is only the beginning

When you’re looking for a care home post-lockdown, we think you should view world-class care from a health standpoint as a baseline. What we try and do beyond that is complicated and has many facets to it. Ultimately though, it comes down to a really simple premise and that is we try and provide the best possible quality of life for all of our residents. Health is just one part of this.

That’s why we provide a wide range of activities for our residents. Our activities calendar has been changed and adapted over the years to not only provide variety, but also to take into account the individual needs of our residents, because the individual approach is always on our mind.

If there is an activity a resident would like, we will do everything we can to accommodate them. We’re all different, and we like different things. Our job isn’t to tell our residents which activities to do, but rather to facilitate what they want to do, whether that’s a communal social event like our weekly choir practise or simply relaxing in our activities room.

This individual approach also extends to the kitchen, which is an area we are especially proud of at Melrose. We provide home cooked meals three times a day with a menu that is adapted to our residents’ personal tastes. We’ve even had our resident cook run workshops about the memories we have of our favourite meals.

We also help people achieve their ambitions with meaningful pursuits, wherever we possibly can. If there is something that our residents want help with, or have always wanted to learn, we work to make that a reality. It could be learning some artistic skills or how to use a computer to better stay in touch with loved ones.

Post-COVID, it’s natural for health and safety to be at the forefront of anyone’s mind when looking for a care home. Indeed, there is nothing more important to us, either. But that is only the start of what you should look for in a care home – just as it is only one part of what we provide in order to give our residents the best possible quality of life.

How well-being goes beyond medical needs

As we said, care for health and well-being are not two separate things. Everything we do to try and make the lives of our residents as happy as possible also comes with its own health benefits. The impact of loneliness on people’s health, for instance, is absolutely devastating. According to research on the NHS site, it’s as big a killer as obesity and as dangerous as heavy smoking. The World Health Organization also reports that depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide.

In other words, no good care home should overlook the smaller things, like making sure that a resident gets to enjoy their favourite meal or has plenty of opportunities to socialise, because that attention to detail and individual approach has a bigger impact on their general health than you might initially realise. So, any care home you look for after COVID-19 should have health and happiness as two key goals, not just because they are individually important, but because one has a big effect on the other.