I must say good morning about a thousand times a day. Sometimes, I just carry it on in the afternoon to see who’s listening!
Smiling faces all around, what is today going to bring?
The phone is constantly ringing these days, families wanting to speak to their mums, dads, Grandmas and Grandads. It’s weird how I see these residents more than I see my own family since COVID reared its ugly head. I suppose they are my family now too. I do love them all.
Morning rush, sort through medication and get my best jokes out as I make my way through the morning rounds.
There’s quite a lot of confusion in the mornings. I think it’s that little ‘lull’ everyone has when they first wake up and, for a split second, COVID doesn’t exist anymore. Then I have the awful job of reminding residents that it does and that their families can’t come in to give them a hug just yet. Don’t worry though I have plenty of heavily sanitised hugs to go around! It’s not all bad, we’ve got a few new nicknames for it! “that blooming virus thing” and “Boris ‘floppy head’ Johnson” are my favourites! We’re not politicians that’s for sure.
On to lunchtime. Music on nicely in the background, everyone having a sing-song, Stanley and Albert fighting for my hand in marriage…we’ve forgotten about COVID again, bliss.
Staff breaks are tough to squeeze in nowadays. I used to love sitting having lunch with the residents but this mask situation means we have to leave the room to eat or drink. Staff breaks never even crossed our minds before, we were quite happy to spend that extra time chatting over a cup of coffee and fighting over the last chocolate biscuits in the tin. Socially distancing in the smoking area is also tough, we like to gossip. What can I say!
Oh, it’s my favourite part of the day, activities. Painting, quizzes, singing on the karaoke, afternoon tea in the activity room. This was the time we had the most visitors before lockdown, so now it’s just quality time with everyone together. I will miss this!
“take that bloody mask off”
“why don’t you smile anymore”
If I had to wear a bin bag on my head to protect this little lot I would. Well, I’d cut air holes into it first!
Now, tea and bed, the busiest but most organised time of day! If you think carers don’t have time management skills, come into a care home at tea time and you’ll change your mind! I like bedtime the best. I’m the naughty one who goes around disrupting everyone who’s just settled into bed. Seeing if they have everything they need for the night, giving the nighttime medication and greedily getting the last ‘goodnight’ and ‘thank you’ of the day.
I can honestly say that during COVID, I have never felt more supported by my colleagues. Now, we all have something in common; the unknown, the worry and the dread of COVID entering our lives. So hats off to every single member of the team, they are fantastic and I wouldn’t have gone through this weird scary journey without them. I won’t lie though, I will have no idea who is who when we take these masks off, I’m identifying people by eyebrows at the moment.