Oak Park Care Home in Dewsbury Kirklees, recently welcomed new manager Denise Spencer to lead the comfortable, purpose-built independent living residence in Walnut Lane, Chickenley.
“It has just been about doing everything we can to keep the residents and their families in contact and keep them positive and active,” says Denise, who has more than 23 years’ experience as a home manager.
“We have been able to hold garden visits when the weather has been nice, and we set up WhatsApp videos as well as a Facebook page so that families can keep up to date with what’s happening here and see what their loved ones have been doing.
“We’ve also turned on of our rooms into a visiting room if required.
“Obviously we are still under restrictions, so all of this is continuing, but everyone has coped well with it.”
The team has extensive experience dealing with residents with a variety of needs, tailoring their approach to everyone’s individual needs and requirements. They cater for a variety of health issues and offer services including dementia care, Alzheimer’s care, physical disability care, respite care and 24/7 residential care.
And Denise is hopeful the team can see the light at the tunnel after a very challenging 15 months.
“We are working hard to stay in line with current government guidelines but we know it is hard for families more than anything. It is still difficult times that we are trying to work through with families and residents, but people have been really responsive.
“Residents can now go out with their loved ones again if they’re able to and we are all working hard to minimise the impact on our residents as much as possible.”
The home has been able to take new admissions throughout the pandemic, with any new residents undergoing a Covid test to ensure the safety of all residents and staff. And Denise is looking forward to more engagement with the local community when conditions allow.
“In normal circumstances, Oak Park is more like a holiday home than a care home, it offers that environment and that standard. There is so much to do but, like on a holiday, you can choose to take part in the hustle and bustle or you can opt to quietly relax when it suits you. We pride ourselves on offering a home from home here.”
Facilities include a cinema, bar and three dining bistros, as well as spacious bedrooms with ensuite facilities – many of which open onto the landscaped gardens.