Bringing joy to Kineton Manor at Christmas

Paula du Rand, Manager, Kineton Manor

We, as a team decided that we would not cancel Christmas during the most unusual year of 2020. The true meaning of Christmas is ‘love and joy’ and people celebrate in different ways. We tried to accommodate all our residents’ needs. Unfortunately, our relatives could not be in contact with their loved ones in the usual way. We were very disappointed that we were unable to host our usual Christmas parties when the relatives join their loved ones in the nursing home. Also cancelled was the staff party – an event where the staff normally have the opportunity to dress up and have a much-deserved evening out in a lovely hotel!

As a team we aimed to make not only Christmas Day unforgettable but also the time before Christmas. We worked very hard to ensure residents had as much contact as possible with their families. Additional staff were put on duty to manage the pod visiting, telephone calls and video calls on our iPads. Local school children handed over handmade cards to the residents and the residents were supported to write letters or to make cards for their loved ones. People from the community (standing outside) entertained the residents with Christmas carols and the relatives overloaded not only their loved ones with presents but also the staff.

Decorations were discreet to ensure a dementia friendly atmosphere and to ensure that infection control measures were applied and adhered to. This year, all of our Christmas trees were outside, but placed in front of the dining room window and lounge window and also in the garden for all to see. The other trees in the garden were also decorated with fairy lights and the nursing home looked like a palace! A beautifully decorated wreath adorned the front door, welcoming our visitors to the secure pod when they visited.

I invite you all to watch our Christmas video. Not only our residents enjoyed the day, but also the staff. They spontaneously took videos of the day and Maria decided to put this video together. Our Father Christmas was a staff member (Wendy) who specially bought her outfit.

The Manager gave every resident a present, taking into consideration their preferences and needs. Paola (from the cleaning team) took photographs so that we could share the joy with loved ones and Chris ran a cocktail bar where residents could choose from a variety of different drinks on the menu. Residents who could not make it to the dining room or lounge were not forgotten and received the same attention and treats. Our cook Urszula was supported by Jamal (her kitchen assistant) and Nicky (a carer). We all joined in to help and staff chose to work on Christmas Day because they did not want to miss out on all the fun. We all enjoyed the day and the feedback from both residents and staff was very positive. The staff wages bill was overspent but fortunately the owner has not shown any disapproval!

We hope you enjoy the video.

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