Update from The Priory

Happy New Year to you all! We hope you had a wonderful time over the festive season and that your New Year resolutions are still holding firm!

Over the two weeks of Christmas, we changed the visiting slots to allow as many family visits as possible. We hope that everyone took advantage of the extra visits, even though sadly, we then had to reduce the visitor numbers down to 4 with the new Government guidance. This epidemic always tries to hit us somehow. We have now moved back to our regular 1 hour visits. It would be useful to have some feedback as to how the 30 minute slots worked for everyone? We are not planning to make any immediate changes, especially with Omicron still very present, but hopefully things will lighten up over the coming few months and we will be able to re-adjust the visiting soon.

We hope you have all stayed healthy over the break and thank you for continuing your testing. There are lots of rumours about testing going forward, but the one thing we have learnt through the last couple of years, is do not try to pre-empt any decisions. As with the changes just before Christmas, anything can happen. One news item that may be important is the availability of LFD tests. If you do have problems obtaining a test, we do have them available at The Priory. We cannot share our boxes with you or else we will run out, but we do have enough for you to come in 10/15 minutes early and be tested on site if needed.

The requirement for “on the day” LFD testing is mandatory for each and every visitor to The Priory – especially with the prevalence and infectivity of the latest Omicron variant. Please provide staff with either the test or a picture taken on the day to demonstrate that you are not positive. As we have said before, this is not The Priory being difficult, we are just following the current guidance. Please also remember that we are still required to only allow visits from the 4 named individuals per resident. Remembering this makes your visit easier for everyone.

The Priory is now looking rather bare as the Christmas decorations have been put away for another year. The house always looks wonderful when it is fully “dressed”. We had a wonderful time during December, not just with decorating the house but also having the festive music playing out. Our visiting musicians were still able to play for us, so even though we were not able to invite the Church in for our carol service or the local schools to sing for us, we still had plenty of opportunity for carols and songs. Music is such a healer and warmer of the soul.

Without the carol service we also were unable to have our family party this year, so instead we decided to celebrate early with a Christmas lunch party. All the bone china came out, with the cake stands and fancy plates and we had a wonderful meal, that seemed to go on for ages. We even had a visit from Father Christmas who was able to pop by on his rounds.

On the great day itself, Lynne was our chef for the Christmas feast, ably supported by Helen and all the staff. Because of the restrictions, we were not able to invite any families in to join us and only a few residents visited their families, so we had pretty much a full house. Another day of joy and celebration, fun and laughter. The Christmas spirit was definitely flowing – a day to remember.

We welcomed three new residents before Christmas; Joyce Haylock, Marigold Pearce and Betty Thompson. It has been lovely to meet you and we hope that you enjoy your stay with us. A very busy time to arrive at The Priory, so I am sure a quieter January, will give you time to settle in. And hopefully, your families will be able to join us soon and we can welcome them to the wider Priory family as well. Elaine Pay, who had been with us to recover from a fall, went back to her family on Christmas Eve. She sent her love and thanks to everyone at The Priory for making her time so enjoyable and supportive. She had no idea what a “care home”  was like, but as she said, its just like being in hotel – wonderful.

We have also welcomed two new members of staff; Kim to join our night team and Stuart to take over from John as our handyman. Thank you for joining us and we hope that you too, enjoy your time with us.

That’s it for now; we’ll catch up again at the start of February unless Boris and his team have any other news for us. Do please let me or Lynne know of your thoughts re visiting so that as and when we are allowed to open up a bit more, we know what you would like us to do – within reason of course!