The award-winning Balhousie Care Group took part in a national awareness week dedicated to celebrating those who work in the care sector.
#GladtoCare Awareness Week, ran from July 6 to 12, championing the “incredible” work that carers do, says is organisers, giving them the opportunity to shout about why they’re glad to work in care. And for Balhousie Care it marked the start of the re-opening of its care homes following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Spearheaded by Person Centred Software and Autumna, two major players in the care industry, #GladtoCare Awareness Week will show appreciation for the extraordinary contributions that carers make to the lives of recipients of care, their families, and community members. The intention is to make it an annual event.
Jill Kerr, Group Chief Executive Officer with Balhousie Care Group, which has 26 care facilities across Scotland’s north and north-east, said: “Our staff have been amazing throughout the last few months, with a dedication and focus to making sure residents’ lives have continued as close to normal as possible that’s been truly inspiring. We call them ‘Everyday Heroes’ and it couldn’t be more apt right now. We’re delighted to be taking part in #GladtoCare Awareness Week to shout about the hard work they do, day in, day out. The timing is perfect as we start the phased re-opening of our homes. We can’t wait to welcome relatives back and thank them for their patience and understanding while our homes have been closed down for non-essential visits.”
Balhousie Care Group’s home re-openings began on July 6. Following Government guidance, the visits during the first phase of care home openings will take place in garden areas with one designated visitor per resident.
Jill said: “It’s important that our re-opening takes place in the safest and most practical way possible. This will include the strictest infection prevention and control measures. Among the many new measures we’ve taken to prepare for the re-establishing of visits are Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for visitors, thermal imaging cameras to detect high temperatures, and staggered visits through our new online booking system.”
Speaking of the initiative, Heidi Thomas, Head of Marketing at Person Centred Software, said: “The current situation in care homes caused by Coronavirus has been tremendously difficult, with care workers putting themselves at increased risk to do a job that often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Whilst it’s been great to see the public get behind key workers with ‘Clap for Carers’, much of what has been reported in the media has contributed to increased uncertainty and misunderstanding about care homes and the care sector in general, which we are keen to dispel.”
Heidi added: “Our aim with #GladtoCare Awareness Week is to challenge the public’s perception of care by shining a light on all of the incredible work that’s been done, and continues to be done, within the industry.”
As well as bespoke decorations and an activity calendar for residents to get involved, Awareness Week included a day of virtual show-arounds on Saturday 12th July 2020. With in-person tours currently restricted in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this served as a great opportunity for members of the public who may currently be seeking care for loved ones to begin their search.