How has Ridgeway Rise care home stayed COVID free and open for visits?

Swindon’s Ridgeway Rise senior care home has managed to stay COVID-19 free throughout the pandemics entirety, even providing face-to-face visits between families and residents under the current second lockdown that is in place. But how has this Swindon care facility managed to excel where others have failed? Total Swindon explores this below.

Based in Blunsdon St Andrew, Ridgeway Rise is a purpose-built luxury care home that offers nursing, residential, dementia, and respite care. When the first national lockdown was put in place back in March, care homes were some of the worst-hit locations with cases inside the homes spreading at an alarming rate and deaths of the elderly skyrocketing.

However, through a series of preventative measures, frequent testing, and sacrifices of their brilliant team, Ridgeway Rise managed to avoid coronavirus entering its facility.

When coronavirus first entered into the UK, Ridgeway Rise’s general manager anticipated that there would be a lockdown put in place and closed the facility to all non-essential visits two days before the national stay-at-home order was issued.

As coronavirus testing capacity increased, team members were tested every week and residents were tested every 28 days, high-standards of PPE equipment were incorporated into the home and strict infection control measures were followed inside and outside of the building, therefore providing reassurance to both staff members and residents.

However, amidst rising numbers of hospital admissions at Great Western Hospital, Ridgeway Rise also played their part to take the pressure off the NHS. Providing six week Covid discharge beds, whereby vulnerable patients were given a bed in a sectioned off part of the home, Ridgeway Rise tested arrivals two days before admission and were then tested before departing Ridgeway.

One of the most debated topics throughout the year has been providing families with access to care homes so they can be with loved ones. And this is another area that this specialist home has demonstrated their innovative approach.

Over the spring and summer, they set up meeting hubs in the garden and a booking system was implemented. Upon arrival, visitors were required to wear visors and would sit outside the building in the garden area with residents sitting at a table across from them inside the home.

As the year progressed, Ridgeway Rise was able to build a face-to-face meeting hub setting inside the lounge whereby residents and their visitors are separated by a floor-to-ceiling glass panel with an intercom system on either side allowing for clear communication.

Not having physical contact is very emotional for some residents, however, Ridgeway Rise admitted that the meeting hub has been well-received by families. iPads are also situated around the home which has allowed residents to video chat with their families and friends as well.

Not only is it important to look after residents physical wellbeing, but it is also equally important to care for the mental health of residents. That is why Ridgeway Rise carried on with their in-house activities which are run every day of the week, although group sizes have been reduced and social distancing measures put in place.

They also launched their exciting dream catcher project whereby staff identify the dreams of residents and try their best to make them come true. For example, one resident wanted to play cards but couldn’t due to Parkinson disease so they had a special card holder made for him.

Ridgeway Rise also competed in the first-ever Swindon Olympic games that saw over 50 residents from different homes compete in a series of sporting events from the comfort of their residency with Ridgeway staff getting into the spirit of things by creating colourful Olympic banners.

Ridgeway Rise residents home have managed to adapt and thrive during the Coronavirus and it is down to the hard work of their staff, residents, and families that they have managed to stay COVID-free to this date, keeping everyone at Ridgeway safe. They are a credit to Swindon

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