The challenges faced FIRST PERSON
LUNCH IS over and a dozen wheelchairs are gathered in a semi-circle for the afternoon’s activity at the Betty and Asher Loftus Centre, Jewish Care’s Friern Barnet complex, of which Lady Sarah Cohen House is part.
Today the living well team has organised a word game. But it could just as easily be a singalong, exercises, a discussion group or a gardening session.
Although a few residents are enjoying a post-prandial snooze, others engage enthusiastically in the activity. At the back of the room, a woman is trying get involved but struggling to be noticed.
When this is pointed out to Albert, the senior nurse who is showing me around, he smiles. “That’s where she sits,” he says. “She likes it like that.”
It’s the kind of detail that Albert, a resident nurse at the home for 13 years, prides himself on knowing.
Following a recent inspection, the Care Quality Commission reported that the home requires improvement in three of the five CQC categories.
But to a visitor, the communal space is bright and airy, the staff attentive. Albert flicks through a voluminous file as he makes the medication round. Other employees tidy up and assist residents needing to use the bathroom.
The pressures are obvious. This is a nursing home whose residents have complex care needs. In the past, some would have been cared for in hospitals and hospices. The age range is from 60s to a 104-year-old.
“We often deal with end of life situations,” explains Albert, adding that residents’ conditions include Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, MS and diabetes.