Christmas in a care home
Christmas is a time where many families come together to celebrate. However, it can be a challenging experience, especially for newly arrived residents who may not be used to spending the festive season in a care setting.
More than 400,000 people live in care homes in the UK, with just over 750,000 people working in the sector.
Care home assistants provide emotional and physical support to residents and help to enrich their experiences by offering daily companionship. They continue to support their residents throughout their stay, making sure to provide consistently person-centred care and comfort during the festive period.
In this article, we are exploring what a day may look like for a care home assistant, and how they can utilise digital solutions when supporting their residents.
It’s around 7:30am and Sara has started her 12-hour shift. She checks in with the Senior Carer working today and can immediately see on her digital device which residents she has been assigned. Sara reviews each of their care plans so she can provide personalised support to each of their individual needs throughout the day, and can also see the handover notes which outline all of the updates from the previous shift.
Looking at the different care plans, Sara knows which of her residents need to be given their medication before breakfast, so she makes her first visit to these service users. For each resident in her care, Sara checks to see how they are, if they slept well and what they would like for breakfast.
Sara helps take some of her residents to the dining room and supports those who prefer to eat in their own room, seating them comfortably with food and drink, making sure to record all her interactions on each care plan.
After breakfast is done, Sara and her colleagues help the residents with washing and dressing. She asks each person what they would like to do today and tells them of the planned festive activities.
By utilising a digital care solution, Sara is able to quickly see what her morning will include, allowing her to effectively prepare for her residents’ immediate needs. Without this, obtaining, reviewing and updating paper-based notes could take much longer, using up time that Sara could spend caring for her residents.
Sara is the Activities Champion, so it’s her responsibility to organise different forms of entertainment for the residents to join in with if they would like to. Since it’s the lead up to Christmas, Sara has festive music playing in the day room and a Christmas themed quiz for the residents to enjoy. Some family members are spending time this morning with their loved ones in the care home, displaying cards and passing on festive messages.
Sara also uses this time to observe residents to see if there are any changes that need to be noted or reported to other care professionals. She talks with the residents and their family members, asking if there are any amendments to their care plan that they can do to make the holiday special.
One of their residents, Betty, is spending her first Christmas in the care home this year. On today’s visit, Betty’s son mentions to Sara that they used to cook mince pies every Christmas and asks whether he could bring the recipe for the residents to take part in preparing.
Sara thinks this would be a great way to support Betty (as well as being a fun activity for the other residents) so makes a note on Betty’s care plan and goes to speak with their chefs to see how they can help to make this happen.
Because Sara is supported by digital tools for her daily tasks, she is able to update resident care plans, such as any changes she notices in the service users, at the point of care. This accessibility ensures that individual needs can be quickly recorded and actioned. Furthermore, the enhanced efficiency that comes with seamless access to care systems means that Sara is able to spend time pursuing her Activities Champion role, so she can provide social support for the residents, alongside physical care.
After the morning’s activities, lunch is prepared, and medication organised. Some of the residents are attending appointments or enjoying some in-house hair and beauty services.
Many of the residents have chosen to return to their rooms to relax before dinner. Sara takes this time to complete administration tasks, update the care assessments on the care management software and report some weekly checks to the Senior Carer who reviews the information on the central system. She also helps to tidy the home, taking used bedding and clothes to the laundry room.
It’s time for dinner, and residents have been given a choice between salmon or beef with apple crumble for dessert. Hot and cold drinks are given and noted on each resident’s fluid and food charts. Any required medication is provided again and is also recorded.
For the residents who wish to stay in the communal space, Sara has chosen to play the ‘White Christmas’ movie. For others, they are helped to their room, dressed and prepared for bed.
Sara comes to the end of her shift, making sure to review her notes and record any changes from the day on the care management system before completing a handover to the night staff.
Sara and her colleagues (like the Senior Carer and chefs mentioned in this blog) are supported in providing person-centred care to all of their residents’ by having digital tools that show them client care plans at the point of care. Residents like Betty receive person-centred care in a residential home, but the same care management can be adhered to in any setting.
Using a digital tool to ensure complete care management, no matter when or where that care is delivered, can transform staff’s ability to deliver a higher level of personalised care in the social care sector during the festive period or any other time of year.
Advanced Care Cloud is our flexible, Cloud-based, care business management solution, designed for any type of care provider.
No matter the size of your care organisation, or whether you provide domiciliary, residential, supported living, retirement living or extra care, Advanced Care Cloud will meet your needs.
Get in touch with us today to discuss how Advanced Care Cloud can benefit your organisation.