Brendoncare puts older people at the heart of all we do. As a registered charity, a nursing care provider, and an essential support for older people living independently in the community, the coronavirus pandemic strikes the very core of our organisation.
On a daily basis, we work with over 2,000 older people who fall into the government defined categories of being at ‘increased risk’ or ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’. We are working hard to ensure our services continue to help these people, so that we as an organisation are able to do our best to protect the NHS.
Everyday, now and always, we are committed to serving communities.
Our service response to the coronavirus outbreak:
In the space of just a few weeks, we have had to make the heart-breaking decision to suspend our 94 clubs which exist to bring joy and friendship, thus preventing loneliness and isolation. This safety measure leaves 1,700 older people, many who live alone without regular company, frightened and in greater need of support than ever before.
Brendoncare is entirely committed to helping its members (and potentially many more older people) overcome these issues as much as we can. We are now offering regular contact and befriending through telephone and written communications to all volunteers and members. This is being provided using our existing staff and volunteers who have completed all safety checks and have undertaken the relevant training. 100 of our volunteers have already joined this call to action. This support will focus on alleviating the extreme loneliness that older people are set to face, regularly checking our members have enough medicine and essential supplies, and putting them in touch with external resources and our community partners for any services we cannot provide.
By good planning or good fortune, during our autumn 2019 volunteer forums the volunteers discussed what the clubs of the future might look like, including making better use of technology. Once the initial befriending service is established in the next two weeks we will start to set up virtual clubs, to maintain regular routines for members, as well as keeping them connected. We also have plans for a virtual choir, and videos of our ever popular Cooking for One (easy to prepare, nutritious recipes). We are providing internet dongles and tablets for those members who do not have access to the technology to ensure they can join in too.
The financial impact of coronavirus on Brendoncare clubs
The cost to provide our service for an initial three months is £83,250. This means to support one person for three months costs £49.00, less than £4 each week. We will not receive any subscription income and expect our fundraising to be seriously impacted in the coming months.
We have launched an Emergency Appeal to ensure we can support people through this period. Fur further details please visit: Brendoncare on Virgin Money Giving
In our care homes we look after some of the most vulnerable older people in society, and we will continue to do so everyday throughout this crisis. Our care home staff are front line keyworkers who are working tirelessly to care as well as they always do in increasingly difficult circumstances.
Our homes are missing the daily joy that visits from family and friends bring, and while we try our very best to fill this gap with warmth and kindness, we do not lose sight of the fact that some of our most vulnerable residents living with dementia do not understand why their loved ones are no longer around them.
Whilst our care home services are more vital than ever before as we work in partnership to protect the NHS, the challenge to our organisation is great, and the full impact remains unpredictable.
Brendoncare hub clubs
Alongside suspending all of our Brendoncare clubs, we have also suspended our hub clubs which meet within Brendoncare homes. The members of these clubs are also being offered the opportunity to receive telephone support alongside our other clubs members.
Brendoncare Independent Living
At five of our sites, Brendoncare has bungalows and apartments where older people live independently in their own home. The vast majority of the residents are at an increased risk from coronavirus, and overnight have become restricted to their homes and therefore much more vulnerable.
For those individuals who do not normally depend on us for care and support, we have confirmed that we will provide for their practical needs, for example with shopping and collecting prescriptions. In similarity to our clubs service, we will also be providing a telephone befriending service and facilitating video calls to friends and loved ones where possible.To read our other news stories, please click here