Real Lives

There’s a Pandemic? See if I Care!

Nicole Mercer

Rapport Housing & Care has always been proud of its staff as we know, working in social care requires a special kind of individual. Someone who is dedicated, compassionate, kind and of course, has the skills to care for someone else’s loved one.

The Covid-19 epidemic has affected every single person, all around the world, and is something we have never come up against in our lifetimes. For our staff in the homes, it has been a worrying time, one that they have taken in their stride and continued to deliver exceptional care to our residents. Whilst Rapport Housing & Care is known for just that – care – we must not forget those who also help keep the homes running. Our domestics, laundry team, chefs, administrative workers, activity coordinators, handymen and head office staff all deserve a thank you.

Not long ago, one of our Barnes Lodge residents, Jack, contracted Covid-19 and thanks to our devoted staff, he beat it. Nicole Mercer, Care Team Manager at Barnes Lodge, is on the front line working hard to keep our residents happy and safe in these uncertain times. We hear from her.

“Working at Barnes Lodge is very much like one big family. I absolutely love knowing we are all doing something positive and making our residents happy, especially at a time like this. When I got the news that Jack had tested positive, I felt scared. Scared I would get it, scared for the staff and obviously scared that our vulnerable residents would also get it. We really just don’t know enough about this virus and I had no idea what was going to happen. At the time, the government was refusing tests for care homes, although they did come out and test Jack thankfully.

“I was giving him his medication and he said he felt rough. Then suddenly, he started coughing. My heart dropped. He had had a temperature for a day or so before and generally felt unwell – but everyone’s symptoms are different, especially from what you hear in the media.

“When it started to look like Jack was going to pull through, we were all just so pleased, we didn’t stop taking his temperature! I had been planning a video for about a week before he could come out of isolation and it came out really well, he was laughing away. He absolutely loved it – and so did we! Our team here have all pulled together so well, all supporting each other. Whilst we are all doing the exact same job, we are now doing it in a very different way. Staff have been even more caring during this and I couldn’t be prouder.

“Everyone has been really supportive and saying what a good job we have been doing, it has made such a difference to our day. Friends have made us little bags to put our shoes and clothes in when we change on site. The families of our residents have been fantastic, so many nice emails come through, it has been so nice. They have really looked after us, sending us cakes, all sorts of items and people that live locally have even walked over with plates of biscuits. Previous staff have sent us thoughtful bits for the home too, our residents have been really grateful.

“I wouldn’t say I have any worries, I know this is my job, as does my family. I have been in social care for 25 years, I love the staff, we are such a team and when I see our residents happy, that means the world.”

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