Summary of report content
Healthwatch Hampshire spoke to 4 care homes who previously took part in their review of outstanding homes in April 2020. They wanted to understand how residents are being supported to be able to communicate and keep connected with their families, friends and the community during the Covid-19 pandemic; and how the homes are keeping families informed about daily life in the home.
Care homes continue to strive to source and develop innovative ideas to keep residents connected with their friends and family. A variety of methods can be utilised to ensure every resident has the opportunity to keep connected. One size does not fit all, and the most successful methods identified in this short piece of work include the following:
- Utilise skype/zoom/ MS teams, WhatsApp or facetime to enable residents to physically see, and connect with their families.
- Include relatives and friends in developing ideas for keeping in touch. Methods such as talking photo frames and recorded private YouTube sessions have been created by working collaboratively to create solutions.
- During activity sessions support residents to write a letter, card, or create a piece of artwork to send in the post with a request that the relative also replies by post.
- Create links with local groups, such as WI, schools, scouts, brownies etc. and establish a pen pals’ scheme for residents.
- Hold ‘virtual’ sessions with musicians, and entertainers that would previously visit the home in person. Residents can also attend events such religious services via virtual methods.
- When staff, or relatives wearing a mask are communicating with a resident, use positive body language, and keep sentences short. Act out the communication where possible to help the resident understand.