Debbie encourages residents to have their say

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One aspect of good care home management is ensuring that everyone has chance to share their views and ideas.

Kilkee Lodge in Braintree is a warm and welcoming residential home with a committed care team headed by Paula Winestein who is determined that the home provides the very best it can for its residents.

One aspect of good care home management is ensuring that everyone has chance to share their views and ideas and so Paula organises regular meetings where residents and their families can get together to chat over a cup of tea. However, she wondered if some residents are a bit shy to ask questions, possibly over matters that they think might be considered trivial or challenging, so Paula came up with a good solution and invited Debbie Tanner, Development Officer for the My Home Life Essex Community Association, to chair a meeting.

Paula explains, “I’m a keen supporter of the My Home Life Essex movement and have a good relationship with the wonderful Debbie so I approached her to hold an independent meeting at Kilkee Lodge allowing our residents to speak freely, in case they didn’t want to air some views with us.

“Debbie did a great job, the meeting went very well and we were able to listen to residents’ views from a new perspective. For example they told us that things were getting too busy following tea time and some residents felt they had to wait too long for call bells to be answered when they needed help. We’ve now adjusted the team’s break times to bring a bit of calm after tea and the residents are happy that since we’ve re-programmed the call bells the response times are improved. The residents told us that they welcomed Debbie’s help and I’ve already asked her to come again.”

Debbie found it a positive experience too, “It was a pleasure to meet everyone and nice to know that it made a difference. I’m always willing to help out where I can as I know the value of having open and honest conversations. Residents see their carers working hard and sometimes hold back from saying how they feel as they don’t want to be perceived as a moaner or making more work. Sometimes an independent pair of eyes and ears can help to open up the discussions and it’s often the simple things that make the biggest improvements.”

For more information about Kilkee Lodge please contact Paula Winestein on 01376 342555.

To find out more about the My Home Life Essex Community Association please contact Debbie Tanner, or call her on 0845 017 1095 for a chat.