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The Chiswick’s COVID Prevention Measures Featured on TV

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.”

 

Carer enters the ‘fog tunnel’ to help to neutralise viruses

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.

Not Bored with Board Games

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.

Giant Scrabble

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

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.

Cards

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.

Immune-boosting Superfoods for Winter

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.

Creating a Home from Home

If you, or a family member, are due to join us as a resident at The Chiswick Nursing Centre, you might have some understandable concerns about what awaits you and what your immediate surroundings might be like.

Your own room can become your home from home. All of our bedrooms are single occupancy with en-suite facilities and designed to care for clients in a safe and friendly environment.

We encourage everyone to personalise their rooms and make them as comfortable as possible with some little reminders of home. This is especially important for those with dementia. Having something familiar close by can bring enormous benefit and solace. For this reason, we afford space for a small piece of favourite furniture – perhaps a comfy chair, bedside table or cabinet.

Photos of relatives and friends and a few cherished ornaments can also provide reassurance. Additionally, they offer a focal point for staff to engage with the residents and encourage them to talk about their home lives and memories. Our Maintenance team have become expert ‘picture hangers’ and ‘shelf fitters’!

Some people are also soothed by a familiar piece of music or a favourite audio book. A radio or CD player can work wonders. If you have joined the ‘Brave new world’ of technology and wish to continue using your Laptop / iPad or even Alexa system – then our free WiFi service will support all of those for you.

With sight and sound addressed, how about scent? A room diffuser with a fragrance from home, or one that evokes happy memories, can enhance surroundings and create a sense of wellbeing.

All of these are simple touches but ones that can go a long way to make you feel right at home.

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Here at The Chiswick Nursing Centre, our physiotherapy team offers a range of chair-based activities, tailored to the needs of individuals. Before the Covid restrictions were introduced, we ran weekly chair-based yoga sessions which we have now reintroduced with good social distancing in place to ensure safety for all. We also continue to work with residents individually to maintain their muscle strength and mobility

Many of our exercises involve the use of resistance bands and balls. These are well suited to those who are unable to do standard weight-bearing activity such as standing up or walking short distances. Such exercises build the leg and other muscles to assist walking and balance whilst hand and arm exercise assist dexterity.

One of the most common and beneficial exercises for those who are able to get out of a chair is a simple ‘sit-to-stand’ – raising oneself out of a chair without using the hands. Repeated a number of times, it strengthens hip and leg muscles to improve mobility.

Another seated, leg muscle improving exercise is to raise the leg using a resistance band. Repeating the exercise strengthens the quadriceps (thigh) muscles. Leg muscles can also be improved by squeezing a resistance ball between the thighs.

Sometimes people have doubts or fears about exercise if they have not been mobile for a while or never been great fans of exercise. It is here that our qualified physiotherapy staff play a vital role, encouraging residents to participate by reassuring them that the session will be fun and not too vigorous.

The benefits of these workouts are wide ranging with the emphasis on helping those in our care to be as mobile as possible. Group exercise, social interaction and laughter have well documented beneficial effects on our mental wellbeing.

Our group sessions are good fun, popular and beneficial in so many ways. Our goal is to work with all of our Residents to keep them as fit as possible for as long as possible.

Dementia Care – the Six Senses

Anyone who has a relative with dementia knows how difficult and challenging it can sometimes be. Whilst, of course, this can also be the case for care home staff, our team at The Chiswick Nursing Centre are specifically trained in how best to meet the needs of people who are Living with Dementia.

To provide truly effective and Person Centred care, we recognise the importance of building strong partnerships between the resident who is Living with Dementia, their extended family and our staff. The following six ‘senses’ have been identified as integral to that partnership, although each stakeholder in the relationship may experience these senses differently, and at different times.

Security

Each party should feel safe and secure to receive or deliver competent and intuitive (knowing what is right) care.

Continuity

We should each recognise our own and another person’s life story and use the past to make sense of the present. This can be employed to help plan the future, working within a consistent team (partnership) and adopting a mutually agreed approach to care which is Person Centred.

Belonging

Each member of the partnership – resident, family members and care home staff, of all disciplines, including volunteers – should have opportunities to form meaningful relationships and to feel part of the Nursing Centre and the wider community.

Purpose

Everyone should have the chance to engage in meaningful, age appropriate, activity with built-in personal goals to aim for. At the Chiswick Nursing Centre we utilise the ‘Pool Activity Assessment’ tool to explore these issues and make everyone’s care and socialisation arrangements as appropriate to them as is personally possible.

Fulfilment

To be able to achieve one’s purposeful goals and to feel satisfied with one’s efforts.

Significance

We all need to know and feel that we count – that what we do matters and we are valued as a person of worth.

The Chiswick Nursing centre deploys a range of individuals and skill sets – including Occupational Therapists, Activity Coordinators, Care and Nursing staff and other external professionals to ensure that our overall approach to care and nursing delivery is Person Centred in its approach.

Video calling – keeping in touch with family and friends

In these difficult times when face-to-face meetings are not always possible, technology is proving the next best thing. We all know the benefits of keeping in touch with loved ones, especially if you can see their faces and hear their voices. With video calling, you can do just that.

Here, at Chiswick Nursing Centre, we have a range of devices that are readily available for residents to use both for leisure purposes and to video call. As long as friends and family also have an appropriate device to receive calls, we’re good to go with WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype or Facetime (with a little help from knowledgeable staff where required).

Our residents really appreciate seeing and hearing their loved ones. You only need to see how their faces light up as they see a familiar face. It also provides reassurance for those at the other end to see that their relatives are safe, secure, and well cared for.

There is an additional benefit – the technology enables our staff to communicate with   our residents’ family members. This is particularly important for some of our residents who are living with dementia, who may not always be able to fully communicate themselves. It allows our staff to ensure they have all the information they need to provide the best possible care and for relatives to be kept up to date and reassured about their relative’s wellbeing.

We are also exploring ways in which the devices can be used to aid remote diagnosis of illness by our GP partners. This will assist in helping to reduce GP visits to The Nursing Centre – and reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Chiswick gets a fruity boost from The Fruitful Office

The Staff at The Chiswick Nursing Centre have been kept nutritionally ‘powered’ to fight the COVID 19 virus with the kind help and support of The Fruitful Office Ltd.

The weekly donations of fruit boxes for our staff have been a real morale booster and staff now look forward to their weekly treat and energy boost.

Centre Director – Steve Winter said:

“The concept of fruit box delivery to all offices and services where staff need an extra nutritional boost to keep them going is a great idea. Our staff have enjoyed the kind donations from The Fruitful Office Ltd and we are extremely grateful for their kindness during a time that has been and continues to be difficult for our staff teams here at The Chiswick.”

If you are interested in finding out more about The Fruitful Office Ltd – you can visit their website at https://www.fruitfuloffice.co.uk/

Care staff duo set for nursing Foundation Degree

We are delighted to announce that two members of our care team have been selected for a Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme, funded by The Nursing Centre.

Apprenticeship schemes are designed to enable candidates to study towards a recognized professional qualification whilst gaining practical experience in the workplace. This means that we are able to ‘grow our own’ in house nurses from those Care Assistants who have shown remarkable performance in their own area of work. Many people would have liked the opportunity to study for a nursing degree – but are not always able to take those opportunities before they start their working life. This scheme gives them that chance. The two delegates – will continue to work alongside the CNC team as well as study flexibly with The West London University on the two-year programme. If successful, it will lead to a Level 5 Nursing Associate foundation degree (FDSc).

“This is a real move up the career ladder for them,” says Centre Director, Steve Winter. “They will be learning on the job, so they can immediately put their new skills and knowledge into action plus they will also be earning a salary during that time.”

The Nursing Associate role sits between that of health/care worker and registered nurse. It is a position that is expected to be in increasing demand as healthcare needs, and the profession itself, change in the foreseeable future. Nursing Associates work as a key part of a multi-disciplinary workforce in the healthcare sector.

The Foundation degree can also be used as a stepping stone to becoming a state registered nurse should candidates decide to further their studies.

Steve says: “Both our delegates have worked with us for several years – shown commitment and dedication to our residents and a desire to increase their skill sets and achieve qualified status in the Care Sector. I am pleased that we are able to offer them this chance to progress in their careers via the apprenticeship scheme which is a key aspect of our employee development initiative. They have already demonstrated the capabilities and commitment to develop towards a nursing role and they are determined to seize this possibility to fulfil their potential.”

Coronavirus (COVID 19) – our guidance to service users and families – update

Information for relatives and Next of Kin / Friends:

I am pleased to advise and confirm that following an enforced period of closure to new admissions and to visitors to the Nursing Centre; we will recommence visits from Wednesday September 2nd 2020 onwards.

Visits to those of our Residents who are able to mobilise to the Garden area (assisted or alone) will commence on Mondays to Fridays (incl) from Wednesday 2nd September.

Visits will need to be pre booked in advance and this can be achieved by telephoning our reception team on:   0208 222 7800  between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday.

Visiting sessions are between the hours of 11.00am and 12.30pm  or 2pm – 4pm on Mondays to Fridays (incl) – We regret that we are not yet able to support weekend visits

Some reminders please:

  • In line with guidance issued by LB Hammersmith and Fulham Public Health Dept – Each Resident is permitted to have up to 1 x visitor at any one time.
  • Visitors are not able to enter the building / nursing centre. As such, we regret that there are no facilities for Toilet use or for refreshments to be provided.
  • Ideally – visitors should be the ‘same’ visitors as consistently as possible. Having 1 or 2 consistent visitors further reduces the risk of spread of infection.
  • Children under 12 years of age are NOT permitted to visit the Nursing Centre at this time.
  • Please do not attend without having booked a visit – as we will be required to turn you away.

Visits at this time are garden based – under cover of rain but may be cancelled at short notice if the weather is too poor to enable visits to proceed.

Please refer to the Visitor Policy which is reproduced in full, below.

Finally – I would like to thank all of you who assisted in achieving this position, by writing to our Local MP. We are currently working on a protocol that will enable visits to continue as and when the autumn weather arrives, and for those residents whose health is such that they cannot leave their bedrooms.

Steve Winter

Centre Director

The Chiswick Nursing Centre

CORONAVIRUS (COVID -19) TEMPORARY VISITING POLICY 

Visiting Times are Monday – Friday 11.00am – 12.30pm and 2.00pm – 4 pm.  

  • Visitor Protocol based on PHE advice Published 22/6/20  
  • Only 1 visitor is allowed per visit.
  • In order to facilitate as many visits for residents as possible, we may have to restrict visits to once a week. 
  • Visits must take place outside and at a social distance of 2 metres using the furniture provided and as already set in place.
  • Visits are subject to suitable weather conditions.
  • Visitors must have been asymptomatic for COVID-19 for the past 7 days (no fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell) and will be required to complete an F2063, Visitors Confirmation on Being “Safe to Visit” Disclaimer Form
  • Visitors are prohibited if they are a contact of a COVID-19 case (during their 14 day isolation).   
  • Visitors will be required to wear a face mask which will be provided. 
  • Visitors should not bring food and drink into the Centre and any gifts should be left with a member of staff.  
  • Visitors requesting to visit those in the shielding category will be subject to an individual risk assessment.  
  • Visitors will be required to have their temperature checked on entry to the Centre, if a reading of 37.9ºC is recorded visiting will not be permitted.    

Visits will be by appointment only to ensure that sufficient social distance measures can be maintained and a letter with instructions of how to keep safe and how to keep our staff and residents safe will be issued beforehand.  

The inside facilities will not be accessible, we are sorry that we cannot provide refreshments or the use of toilet facilities. 

The exceptional visiting rights to enable one family member or representative to attend in the case of a resident nearing the end of their life remains in place. In such cases permission will be granted following agreement with the Centre Director. 

Tasty, tempting & nutritious

At the Chiswick Nursing Centre we always stress the importance that good nutrition plays in keeping our residents in as good health as possible by reducing their risk of malnutrition and dehydration.

It is not uncommon for older people to lose their appetites or have them diminish. And those who have dementia are likely to need more prompting and encouragement to eat.

We aim to offer all our residents a choice of freshly cooked, nutritious food that is presented in a way to stimulate the taste buds and tempt those with a reduced appetite to eat. Also, as people become less able to get out and about, mealtimes become a staging post during the day – something to look forward to. Nothing delights us more than seeing people “tuck in” when the time comes.

To assist this, our catering team is presented with up to date information on the food preferences, cultural or medical and allergy requirements for each of our residents so that we can meet their needs effectively and safely promote their nutrition. This approach has reaped dividends in ensuring well nourished residents and was recognised with the highest rating (5 stars) awarded by the Food Standards Agency following its latest food hygiene inspection.

One of the projects undertaken at the Centre, involved the Chiswick Nursing Centre “United Stroke Club” who met weekly to swap food ideas and cook together in our specially adapted Occupational Therapy kitchen area. It culminated in a recipe book ‘Something Fishy and Other Delights’. Now that summer is here, it seems timely to reproduce one of their recipes here:

Tracv Cork’s Ice Cream (from Fraser)

Tin sweetened condensed milk – 397g/14ozs

Pint cream or whipping cream

Flavourings – coffee, vanilla, lemon meringue, fruits or alcohol (see below)

Place all ingredients in a bowl or electric mixer and whisk to a standing consistency. Transfer to freezer proof container with lid and place in freezer overnight. Ice cream with alcohol will be softer than that with fruit.

Flavourings

Vanilla – add 30mls vanilla extract and the seeds of a vanilla pod before whisking.

Coffee – add 20g Lavazza instant espresso granules before whisking.

Lemon Meringue – add the zest and juice of 4 lemons before whisking, then fold in 4 crumbled meringue nests.

Bourbon – add 100mls before whisking.

Strawberry – fold in 250g of chopped berries, then ripple in 250g strawberry conserve after whisking.Making sure that everyone has the right calorific and nutritious meals is especially important in keeping them well. Our team are also available to assist and support those whose overall health condition requires that they have some 1 on 1 support with eating and drinking.

Drink to “good health”

Numerous health studies stress the importance of maintaining good levels of hydration in older people and the consequences of failing to do so.

As we age, it can be more difficult to stay hydrated. Our bodies retain less water and the signs of dehydration are more difficult to spot or sense. As a result, we may not feel thirsty until hydration levels have dropped significantly.

Ensuring good levels of hydration is a key part of elderly care for various reasons:

To boost physical and mental health

Research has shown that those who drink sufficiently have healthier minds. This is especially important for older people, as cognitive abilities can often slow down as we age. Even mild dehydration can impact the brain’s ability to function to its full potential.

Studies also reveal that exercise is much easier for those who are well-hydrated. Drinking enough water can improve our endurance levels, lower the heart rate and speed up the recovery process of physical activity. So, if you are poorly hydrated, you are less likely to want to exercise and more likely to run out of energy quickly if you do.

To enhance your mood

It has been proven that those who drink more water tend to report better moods than those who do not. So, staying hydrated could be an important element of maintaining your overall mental wellbeing in later life.

To prevent illness and aid recovery

Good hydration not only helps many of those who fall ill to recover more quickly, it may often reduce the severity of illness or prevent us becoming ill in the first place. Some falls, pressure sores, urinary tract infections, for example, might all be avoided by keeping our fluids level topped up.

Whilst sipping water is the simplest way to take liquid on board, it is not always the most interesting. Therefore, we encourage Residents at the Chiswick Nursing Centre to drink the recommended levels of fluid by offering a range of tasty and healthy drinks including smoothies and blended juices or hydration fluids especially developed for older people or those who find it difficult to drink conventional fluids – perhaps those with eating or swallowing problems.

We also use a range of high fluid meals and food types to further ensure that everyone gets their recommended levels of fluid each day.

Our nursing team use new technology to constantly monitor fluid intake on all of our Residents – ensuring and encouraging higher levels of intake at especially hot periods and therefore ensuring that our Residents stay healthy and hydrated.

So next time you “raise a glass”, it could well be good for you – as long as there is not too much alcohol or sugar.

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.
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