Lade House | Eastbourne

Our new normal: life at Abbeyfield

We are all slowly getting used to the idea that, for now, living with the Coronavirus pandemic is our new ‘normal’. It’s meant a complete change in lifestyle, for ourselves, our loved ones and how we live today.

So what does this mean for life at Abbeyfield South Downs?

Well, we’re still open and adapting to a new way of doing things. Our staff are doing a fantastic job of looking after and supporting residents. Crucially though, at Abbeyfield our residents are independent.

Residents have the freedom to go for walks or live as they choose, within the Government guidelines for social distancing. But they have the benefits of our staff on hand, homemade meals, and food and bills taken care of too.

Nikki Moss

Here’s more info on lockdown life from Nikki Moss, Operations Manager at Abbeyfield South Downs.

How are the house teams helping to support residents at this time?

The style of living in an Abbeyfield House means our residents are supported every day through the service provision.

Staff are on hand to provide welfare checks, meals, cleaning, company, advice and updates on Covid-19. They also assist with arranging health care appointments including Covid-19 tests if required.

What’s life like for residents in Abbeyfield Houses at the moment?

Life is different, as it is for everyone. We are not eating together to ensure we maintain a 2-metre distance but there are still opportunities for social contact.

Talking to neighbours, sitting on different benches in the garden, having a coffee and a chat with staff or other residents in communal areas; these opportunities are so valuable. Of course, ensuring a 2-metre distance at all times.

What contact do residents have with staff and other residents?

Residents are missing their families, as everyone is, but staff are doing their best to provide contact and support. Staff are helping with Zoom and Facetime chats too.

These are very tough times; some people will find this situation harder than others. Our staff are looking out for those people and will do all they can to support them.

Can families visit? Do families chat through the window like we’ve seen online?

To help keep our residents safe, we have prevented all visitors other than care providers and essential maintenance work. However, many residents have had conversations at the window or at a distance in the garden.

Can residents go out, for example, to sit in the garden? Or to go for a walk?

Residents can continue their usual routines at home, and use the gardens whilst keeping a 2-metre distance from others in the house.

Residents have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else to follow the Government rules. They also have the same personal responsibility to help prevent the spread of the infection.

Living in an Abbeyfield House means you can socially distance and ‘shield’ without the worry of having to make alternative arrangements.

As meals are provided, what happens for additional groceries/toiletries?

Our house staff ensures residents are well provided for with home-cooked meals. Residents don’t need to be concerned about food supplies or deliveries, which is a relief for many. Families and volunteers assist with any additional personal shopping.

Of course, residents do have the right to go to the shops if they consider it essential. But the advantage of an Abbeyfield House is you don’t need to go out if you don’t want to.

What are the benefits of Abbeyfield Supported Living, compared to those who currently live alone?

An Abbeyfield House offers regular contact, daily support and welfare checks from our house staff. Also home-cooked meals, friendly faces, community alarm and support in an emergency. We can’t replace your family but you can be part of ours.

Do residents have more independence, which they might not have in other settings?

We encourage residents to make use of the opportunities within the house; and what is permitted within Government guidelines to maintain mental and physical health. We are lucky, as an Abbeyfield family, we are not alone.

How can you assist people who might wish to move to an Abbeyfield House?

If people are finding living alone hard or would like the support, meals and benefits of supported living, we’d advise you to Contact Us to talk through your options. If it’s the right choice for them, we can make arrangements for a virtual tour – houses are using Zoom, Facetime or WhatsApp video calls.

Could people move in during this time, once removal companies are operational?

Yes, although any new resident would be required to isolate for 14 days as a precaution. We would also request a Covid-19 test is taken by anyone over 65.

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Find out more about Supported Living

We have six properties across the South Downs. View Our Houses