11 December 2020
Our new care home wellbeing service has been set up to offer care home staff and residents support with the particular mental health challenges the Covid-19 pandemic is presenting.
Dr Joanna Marshall, clinical psychologist and service lead in County Durham and Darlington, said “The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives of our care home residents and their families, but it has also been very hard for the dedicated care home staff. We need to support them to meet their own needs to enable them to support care home residents.”
Care homes receive a range of support from the new care home wellbeing service including a telephone mental health wellbeing support service, well-being packs and a variety of resources including those to support the bereaved.
The care home wellbeing service is an addition to our existing care home liaison service which has continued to carry out face-to-face visits to care homes during the pandemic to support residents with complex mental health needs (staff wear full PPE to keep residents and care home staff safe). The care home liaison team is made up of mental health nurses, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, a physiotherapist, a dietician, a speech and language therapist and an assistant psychologist. The team offers specialist assessment and individualised interventions for residents with complex mental health needs and for residents who experience distress in the context of their dementia. The team also provides specialist mental health training to the care homes across County Durham and Darlington.
The new care home wellbeing service works with care home managers to provide psychological support and self-care resources, including webinars, to support care home staff and residents during this phase of the pandemic. The service offers support staff to screen for distress in care home staff and residents.
Techniques for taking care of ourselves and to promote wellbeing are provided in the service’s new weekly ‘Winter Wellbeing’ newsletter; care home staff across County Durham and Darlington can join the care home wellbeing services new facebook group ‘Care Home Wellbeing – Durham & Darlington’ which offers a range of useful resources.
Christmas cards (pictured above) from the service are on their way to care home teams along with symbolic ‘wellbeing Christmas crackers for challenging times’ which include tissues for the tears, a teabag to remind staff to grab time for a break, and crayons to brighten things up when times are bleak.
Care home staff and residents have been invited to join an online Christmas Connection in Care Homes Brass Band Event on Friday 18th December at 11am. Featuring the Ellington Colliery Brass Band, this free live online event has been organised to promote a feeling of wellbeing and connectedness with other during the festive season.