Welcoming family visits back to our care home in Dorchester

Published: Wednesday 24th June 2020

Cheriton, our residential care home in Dorchester is grateful to be COVID-free. Any resident or team member showing symptoms is tested, but there have been no new coronavirus cases for more than two weeks.

Finding new ways to have fun

During lockdown the whole team has worked hard to keep residents’ spirits up. No outside entertainers have been allowed to come into the home and visits out have been cancelled.

It’s meant the care and support teams have had to devise new ways to entertain and have fun with their residents. The teams’ singing and dancing have improved no-end as a result, and some of them have become dab-hands at creating funny videos!

They may be in lockdown at our care home in Dorchester, but residents have found alternative ways to take trips out and explore places close to home and in more exotic locations. Residents have really made the most of Cheriton’s smart TV to take virtual tours of places like Longleat, and even ‘go’ to the ballet.

Socially-distanced visits in the garden

Dorchester Care Home View to Garden

We recently blogged about how a garden is so important for care and nursing homes in Dorchester and beyond.

And Cheriton’s lovely accessible garden has been a godsend, with space to sit outside under parasols and enjoy meals. Activities such as gardening have made the most of April and May’s warm and sunny days.

Having such a spacious garden has meant that the home can now welcome pre-booked family visits again, albeit outside and at a safe distance of at least 2m, plus with a few stipulations to minimise the risk.

New guidelines for safe visits at all Agincare care homes include limiting the number of visitors to two and not allowing children under 13 at the moment.

We can’t have as many visits happening simultaneously as before lockdown, and want as many of our residents as possible to be able to welcome a loved one. So we’re also limiting the length of each visit to an hour.

These visits are proving a real success, giving residents – and their family members – a much-needed chance to see each other in person. You never know, you might even catch a glimpse of the Cheriton garden’s summer resident, Trot the tortoise, as he munches his way round the garden.

Please call your loved one’s care home to arrange to see them – all visits must be booked in advance. Please don’t just turn up hoping to ‘pop in’ and see someone.

Thankful for such heartfelt support

Karen Wilson is the registered manager of Cheriton Care Home:

Throughout the pandemic the team, residents and relatives have been fantastic, despite the restrictions and our strict hygiene and PPE procedures.

We’ve found lots of new ways for our residents to keep in touch with family and friends. There have been many cards and letters, and we’ve helped our residents make video calls on our tablets. They’ve really embraced new technology and it’s made such a difference.

A particular highlight was a delivery of handmade pictures, cards and letters from the pupils and key worker teachers at Bincombe Valley School. We’re so grateful for the support of families, friends and our local community. We’ve been sent messages, cakes, toiletries, PPE and even sacks of potatoes as a sign of their appreciation!

We feel we’re now able to start bringing a level of normality back to the home. We’ve learnt to use our voices and body language to make sure our smiles extend beyond our facemasks, to show our residents how much they mean to us.

To arrange a visit to Cheriton Care Home in Dorchester, please call us on 01305 262 192