The Chiswick has been featured on both the ITV and BBC News programmes this week because of its approach towards being Covid-safe and secure, including a new testing regime that will, hopefully, allow Residents to have family visitors in time for Christmas.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, has been chosen as the first of 25 London councils to roll out ‘lateral flow’ tests. These are simple swab tests that return results within 30 minutes. This means that visitors, as well as residents and staff, can be tested and assessed quickly, as a means of rapidly preventing the risk of transmission to others.
At the moment, it takes anything up to two days to obtain results from existing Covid tests which are sent to an external lab for processing. ‘Lateral flow’ kits will enable visitors to be tested when they arrive for pre booked visits with our Residents. Staff at The Chiswick are amongst the first to have already taken the tests and Operations Director – Steve Winter, welcomes the move:
“At the moment, visitors have to be separated from our Residents with a plastic screen. That will be dispensed with because if we know the two parties are negative, we can get rid of the plastic screens and have a much more normal ‘family’ visit.”
The Chiswick is also working to keep one step ahead of the virus with the installation of an innovative £12,000 ‘fog tunnel’. This sprays electrolysed water / fog on all visitors, including staff, as they enter the premises to neutralise all viruses. The Centre has also invested in other innovative Infection, Prevention and Control measures; including Virucidal ‘Smoke Bombs’ which also help to minimise the overall risks prevented by Covid-19.
Board games have seen a resurgence in popularity during lockdown as a fun and stimulating way to pass a few enjoyable hours.
Here at the Chiswick, they have been a boon as the Covid rules allow us to play in our designated bubbles. We see smiles appear as the games come out but we also detect a distinct competitive edge.
Our games sessions are a great way to have a bit of fun but they can also play a useful role in keeping the mind active – especially for those residents who have a degree of memory loss. Familiar games can be a useful reminder of times when they played with their families and friends in the past. They frequently surprise us with what they remember.
If you haven’t played board games in a while, now is the time to retrieve them from the loft or cupboard and dust them off. You may be surprised at how much fun they can be and how they bring families and generations together – even if you live under the same roof.
We have a large scrabble board and tiles here to make it easier for players to see and handle. Searching for a word in Scrabble has obvious mind-stimulating benefits but keeping score is also a good way to challenge the brain.
Snakes & Ladders
The ups and downs are fun, handling the counters is good for dexterity and counting the squares is beneficial for the brain in those who may be living with dementia.
Draughts stimulates the mind as you keep tabs on your opponent and work out your own strategy. On a simpler level, just counting the squares and moving the pieces can be a useful memory prompt. Our tough, high-quality wooden draughts set has lovely, chunky pieces that are easy to grip and manoeuvre around the board.
Many elderly people like to play traditional card games such as whist or rummy. Normal playing cards can be difficult to see, so we have large print cards available. They have clear, bold print, are easy to handle, durable and wipe-clean. They enable residents who have some degree of sight loss to play, with favourite games being twist, rummy and patience.
We all recognise the benefits of healthy eating and here, at the Chiswick Nursing Centre, we take great pride in making sure that all of our meals and menu choices offer a full range of nutritionally balanced ingredients which will promote living well.
Many of our residents are frail and require as much ‘boost’ as a healthy balanced diet can provide. This is particularly true in the winter months when our immune systems may be at slightly more reduced levels than they are during the spring and summer.
Our professionally qualified and experienced chef ensures that everyone receives the correct balance of nutrients to encourage good health. In addition we are supported by a professional nutritionist who ensures that our wide variety of menu options all offer the best nutritional content to Residents. Foods containing Vitamins A (spinach, carrots, butternut squash, tuna) C (broccoli, peppers, citrus fruits) D (oily fish), and E (nuts, avocado, spinach) are known to help boost immunity and we include these in our meal offerings.
All of us, however, no matter what our age, can benefit by incorporating some of the following foods in our diets.
Broccoli and spinach. Our catering team includes them in daily made, fresh soups made in our kitchen.
Citrus fruits, including oranges, which are packed full of immune system-boosting vitamin C. We have a range of fruit juices or whole fruits available at breakfast. Bananas offer improved Potasium levels which improve brain processing capacity.
Eggs. These protein-rich foods are served at breakfast. Scrambled is always popular – or our evening omellete menu provides fresh made choices.
Yogurt & probiotics – contain a range of ‘good’ bacteria that aid digestion and the gut ‘biome’. They can also be beneficial to some mental health conditions, the heart and some allergies.
Chiswick residents who have a particular health and dietary need, will have meals specially tailored and prepared for them by our catering manager to ensure that all their requirements are met.
We also work hard to keep our staff as fit and healthy as possible. Our ongoing partnership with “The Fruitful Office” (www.fruitfuloffice.co.uk) – helps us to ensure that our staff get their vitamins and nutritional content, as well as giving them a healthy snack that boosts their energy.
Coronavirus (COVID 19) - our guidance to service users and families. We are using this link to keep all service users and families as up to date as possible on this fast developing and rapidly changing situation.Please click here for our latest guidance.