26th Jan 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has particularly affected older adults and people living with dementia. Bridgewater Day Care Centre has been able to stay open since the start of the pandemic and we have been able to focus on our client’s wellbeing and meaningful tailored activities in our safe and secure environment.
We have a personalised care plan for each of our clients and by having continuity of carers we are able to quickly spot any changes in a client’s health and adapt the care plan and our care and support appropriately. We are able to quickly notify loved ones if anything new arises where we have received written permission from our client to share this information with you.
We hope that Bridgewater Day Care can provide family carers with a feeling of shared responsibility with us -we aim to give time back to those with caring responsibilities in the day. Many family carers can use the separation time from their loved ones for activities and practical tasks at, or away, from home. We also find that by providing family carers with information about our content and schedules at the Day Care Centre this can help in their daily conversation with the person with dementia.
At Bridgewater Day Centre, we focus our time and energy into working with nutritional experts and providers of meals tailored specifically for older persons to ensure that our clients receive a well-balanced, healthy and satisfying meal during their visit with us.
Eating a nutritious balanced diet and maintaining healthy body weight is just as important for people with dementia as anyone else.
Social distancing has been implemented for all clients – the seating area has been rearranged and at lunchtime, only two clients are allowed per table with 2-metre social distancing.
At Bridgewater Day Care Centre we recognise that not everybody has the confidence or opportunity to exercise at home, and that is why we always do our best to provide lots of opportunities within our beautiful purpose-built centre.
We are huge advocates of the importance of exercise at any age, but in later years it can really improve a person’s overall quality of life. Studies show that when we exercise, we gain a whole host of benefits, both physical and mental. Did you know that even simple exercises can improve balance, increase bone density, build strength and stamina? Not only that but exercise has been shown to improve mood, improve self-confidence and promote restful sleep.
Within our schedule of activities, before the pandemic, we invited external agencies to provide activity sessions in the centre for clients with varied abilities, such as chair-based exercises or tasters in Zumba, Yoga or Tai Chi and much more. During the pandemic, we have focused on providing safe chair-based exercises to our clients.
In the morning, we often do an ‘armchair aerobics’ class, which involves some light stretching of our arms and legs, gets everyone moving but can be done in the comfort of a chair. This works well for us because it is a seated activity and all clients can partake should they wish.
The photos above were taken last year of some of our wonderful Day Care clients taking part in the armchair exercises and most importantly having fun!
Bridgewater Day Centre’s core aim is to provide a ‘Home away from home’, a place where Clients can feel comfortable, relaxed and happy in an environment that encourages social interactions and simple fun times!
Enjoying hobbies and activities give a good feeling of wellbeing and increase mental stimulation. At Bridgewater Day Care we try to encourage painting and other artistic activities, as they can help people living with dementia express themselves in a non-verbal manner.
Activities are now done as a whole group to restrict contact between clients. We have small bubbles for more complex needs with the same carer throughout the week. Creating a close and collaborative relationship means that carers are able to better understand our clients’ needs and how to support their wellbeing.
Isolation for people living with dementia can have a massive effect on their mental health, and day services like Bridgewater day Care are a lifeline to our clients and their families. Familiarity and regular routines are key to reducing distress, so receiving consistent support from our specially trained carers in the familiar Day Care environment is ideal wherever possible.
In the UK, 61% of people who have dementia are living in the community. (Source 1 ) .Confinement, isolation and many of the challenges brought about by the Covid pandemic have been found to be detrimental to the cognitive and mental health symptoms in people with dementia across the world, both those living in the community and care homes. (Source 2 )
People with dementia can find it harder to take part in activities, to engage socially, to maintain their independence, to communicate effectively, to feel in control and to care for themselves. Providing enjoyable and health-enhancing activities like music or reminiscence therapy can help with this.
At Bridgewater Day Centre we encourage our Clients to engage as much as possible in the activities they partake in and with fellow attendees socially. Mental stimulation is linked to slower cognitive decline. Activities can be adjusted as dementia progresses and at Bridgewater Day Care, we are able to source the activities needed for each individual client, subject to the limitations imposed by Covid to keep our staff and clients safe.
The Client reaction to the use of tablets at the Day Centre since their introduction has been nothing short of amazing. Clients have been able to do things that they never thought they would be able to do, which has decreased their anxiety, improved their confidence to find more about the ‘online world’, and improved their happiness and not to mention giving a huge sense of achievement.
Our tablets can play a huge part in supporting the wellbeing of less mobile clients, especially those who may struggle with vision or hearing, as these clients often struggle with group work. At Bridgewater Day Care, we can personalise these tablets for our individual clients, and with an understanding of their musical or movie preferences, we can create tailored playlists which help them relax, reminisce, or simply enjoy zoning out to some beautiful music.
This time can help to increase concentration as clients are clearly focusing on just one thing at a time. It is such a beautiful experience when we hear a client who may struggle to hold a conversation singing beautifully to the music on their playlist, such is the power of music!
Reminiscence Therapy is hugely beneficial to our clients, and the tablets provide us with access to many activities. We can use a variety of apps to bring back past hobbies – we even have a virtual flower garden where our clients can make their own garden from seed to planting and growing! We can visit any destination in the world and many clients love to look at countries they have visited or see pictures of places where they met their loved ones.
We truly hope that Bridgewater Day Care Centre helps our lovely clients in these challenging times by improving wellbeing and reducing isolation.
You can read more about our Services.
Please contact one of our friendly team if you would like to know more about Bridgewater Day Care Centre or to discuss the activities and support that we provide for our clients:
Telephone: 01942 723 115
Please be assured that Bridgewater Day Care Centre has robust infection prevention and control measures in place to protect residents and staff.