A year into the pandemic at The Warren Nursing Home

Residents and staff at The Warren Nursing Home in Northam enjoy a fundraising activity for Devon Wildlife Trust - part of...

Residents and staff at The Warren Nursing Home in Northam enjoy a fundraising activity for Devon Wildlife Trust - part of a host of indoor activities organised to keep everyone active and engaged during the lockdown - Credit: The Warren

The Warren Nursing Home at Northam has been looking back on almost a year of the coronavirus pandemic as staff work to keep elderly residents safe and active. 

To date there has been no Covid-19 cases at the home and all residents and staff have now received their vaccination. 

But it has of course proved a huge change for everybody and staff have been busy coming up with new ways to keep the residents happy, socialised and stimulated. 

There used to be day trip to Appledore or Affinity shopping centre, and outdoor parties, as well as visits by local schools and Pets As Therapy (PAT) animals, but these are not possible during the pandemic and staff have tried to create new events and activities to fill the gap. 

These have included fundraisers for local charities - most recently Devon Wildlife Trust – and themed days such as pirates or the wild West as well as a whole host of new calendar days. 

Alongside Christmas, Halloween, Easter and the usual festivals, staff have dug into the calendar to find other celebratory events such as National Cheese Day, and built activities around them. 

Nick Williams, the activities co-ordinator at The Warren, said: “When Covid started everything had to literally change into quite a different direction, but we still recognised that the residents needed to have socialising. 

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“We have had to restrict the amount that could meet together in the communal conservatory and lounge, but we rotate them through, as long as the residents themselves are feeling well enough. 

“We do more one-to-one activities and we ensure that everybody does get that attention.” 

Staff at the 27-room home try to keep residents in touch with their families by providing iPads or mobile phones and passing on messages. 

There is also a special Covid-19 secure room where they can meet their loved ones, separated by a Perspex screen, with sterilisation carried out between each visit. 

The home cares for people with a variety of conditions and Mr Williams said some understand completely about the pandemic and the need for restrictions, while others may need a little more help. 

He said PPE had ‘never been an issue’, while staff are tested for Covid three times a week. He added: “The owners and the manager have spared no expense when it comes down to what is needed. 

“I have worked in nursing homes for 20 years now and I have never worked in such an amazing home and for such an amazing manager in Simon Haywood. 

“As we are in Covid times, I think I could not be working in a better place.” 

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