Guild Care chief executive shares touching moments from the charity’s care homes this year

I want to take this opportunity to describe some touching moments from Guild Care’s care homes this year.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 9:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 9:39 am

By any stretch of the imagination, 2020 has been difficult. As I am sure you are aware, care homes have been far from unaffected by the pandemic. However, thanks to our residents and their loved ones, our dedicated staff, and the incredible Worthing community, there have been countless touching moments. These have helped us during these difficult times and we are excited to begin what will hopefully be an easier year for everyone.

It would be impossible to write about all these moments here, so I have picked the first few that sprung to mind. If you would like to read more, we will be sharing memories on the Guild Care Facebook page from Boxing Day into the new year.

I will start with Haviland House, our charity’s dementia nursing care home. Haviland prides itself on its person-centred care and the relationships staff develop with residents – who are known as ‘family members’ – and their loved ones.

Alex Brooks-Johnson, chief executive of Guild Care

Sadly, one much-loved family member, Doreen Skilton, passed away in September. To coincide with the scattering of their mother’s ashes, Doreen’s family organised an ice cream van to visit Haviland House. This touching gesture was made to remember both Doreen and her late husband Cyril, who used to volunteer at the care home to be closer to his wife. You see, one of the many kindnesses Cyril showed while with us was organising an ice cream van for a Haviland House summer fayre. The impact that this tender display from the Skilton family had on us cannot be understated.

Beautiful moments also occurred in and around our other two care homes, Linfield House, which provides dementia care alongside general nursing care, and Caer Gwent, a care home with nursing that caters for individuals with complex health conditions.

Particularly noteworthy to me is the support our You’ve Got a Friend in Me campaign received from the Worthing community during the first lockdown. Time and time again, Worthing and its surrounding areas have demonstrated outstanding kindness and generosity. You’ve Got a Friend in Me created a digital space on Facebook for people to send messages of support to residents when our care homes had to shut their doors to physical visitors. We were excited to see thousands of posts, interaction and comments made.

Following this, residents were delighted to receive further messages of support via the post. For example, Orchards Junior School sent a collection of drawings of cherry blossom trees and letters.

The community in Worthing really got behind Guild Care’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me campaign

Margaret, a Caer Gwent resident, said: “These letters and pictures are just marvellous, what a lovely thing to do.”

With the help of staff, many residents wrote back to the schoolchildren to say thank you.

I understand that these are anxious times for everyone and making the decision to move a loved one into a care home might be difficult. However, rest assured that you have nothing to worry about. With our plentiful stock of PPE, continuous risk assessments and the hard work of our incredible staff, we are admitting new residents safely.

If you want to find out more about our three nursing care homes, please visit our website or call our friendly customer service team on 01903 327327.

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