Tak­ing care is some­times be­yond words

Otago Daily Times - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN LEWIS john.lewis@odt.co.nz

TAK­ING your work home with you is one thing, but mak­ing your work home is go­ing above and be­yond the call of duty.

Brad­ford Manor Rest Home staff have moved into their Dunedin work­place with their de­men­tia pa­tients, for the du­ra­tion of the Covid­19 lock­down.

Man­ager Michelle Don­ald­son said the Lix­mont St fa­cil­ity had been try­ing to keep ahead of the in­fec­tion risk from Covid19 from the very start.

In a bid to keep their res­i­dents safe, Brad­ford Manor had been closed to vis­i­tors since March 13 and staff mem­bers were not al­lowed to en­ter the fa­cil­ity un­til they had their tem­per­a­tures checked, she said.

Strin­gent clean­ing pro­to­cols were also put in place.

De­spite the pro­to­cols, there was still a chance that a staff mem­ber could bring Covid­19 into the fa­cil­ity, she said.

Staff made the de­ci­sion to live on site for the du­ra­tion of the lock­down, to keep their 26 de­men­tia res­i­dents free of the virus.

“The res­i­dents are vul­ner­a­ble.

“If a de­men­tia res­i­dent gets it, it’s very very hard to self­iso­late them.

“You can’t keep them in their rooms be­cause they don’t un­der­stand and they want to come out, and of course they will have a lot of contact with the other res­i­dents.

“We want to keep ev­ery­one as safe as we pos­si­bly can.”

Mrs Don­ald­son said only three of the 12 staff mem­bers could not stay on site be­cause they had com­pro­mised im­mune sys­tems and health prob­lems.

“The re­main­ing [nine] staff de­cided they wanted to move in for the du­ra­tion.”

Liv­ing to­gether would not be easy, she said.

The home had two empty rooms with beds which would be shared by staff.

“The night staff will sleep in there dur­ing the day. Then the beds will be stripped and the day staff will sleep in there dur­ing the night.

“We’ve also got one shower that we’ve com­man­deered for staff only, and we’ve also got a separate lounge that has ac­cess to our lovely gar­dens.

“There’s also a car­port and we’re set­ting up ta­bles and chairs un­der there so they can get out away from the in­side of the home and get some fresh air.”

Mrs Don­ald­son said the staff were go­ing well be­yond the call of duty, and it would only work be­cause most of them had worked to­gether for the past 15 years and saw each other as fam­ily.

“This is huge. My cook has three chil­dren. The sac­ri­fice that she’s mak­ing — she’s not go­ing to see them for a month.

“I can’t ac­tu­ally stress enough, how I feel as a man­ager that my staff are do­ing this.

“This is an amaz­ing thing and it was led by them.

“I’ve just said to them to­day that when this is over, we are go­ing to have the best night out ever. We’ll in­vite their whole families.”

PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Next level care . . . Brad­ford Manor Rest Home staff (from bot­tom left) Juanita Arthur, Keili Amato, Michelle Don­ald­son, Lo Amato, Brenda Eriepa, Al­lean Apoli­nario, and Phillipa Cameron will be liv­ing at the home dur­ing the lock­down to help pro­tect res­i­dents such as May (cen­tre) from be­ing in­fected with Covid­19.

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