PPE-clad carers have been able to reveal their smiles behind their masks thanks to a new innovation.
Team members at Birchwood House in Tunbridge Wells now wear lanyards with a large picture of their smiling faces to help engage with residents and clients when wearing full PPE.
“So much of caring is about making a human connection and we wanted to remind our clients that there’s always a smiling face behind the mask, said Wendy Ryan, manager of Birchwood Care Services.
“If you smile at someone, nine times out of ten you’ll get a smile back, and what’s important to remember is sometimes we’re the only people our clients see in a day.
“For those who have dementia this is even more important. Continuity and routine are essential. A familiar face helps build rapport and trust. We want to create a positive, happy feeling for all clients.”
The simple gesture is already proving effective. Although there are hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out soon and elderly people will be the first to receive it, Birchwood is preparing for PPE being a part of daily life for some time to come.
Niral Patel, Birchwood’s owner, added: “It’s our team’s smiling faces that so often get mentioned by residents, clients and their families. So, everyone loved the idea of Birchwood Smiles and quickly got behind it, and we’ve been able to roll it out across all of our staff.”