A NEW care home manager who has taken the helm at Redwalls Nursing Home during possibly the toughest time in history for care homes, has spoken of the heartbreak of imposing strict measures on visitors.

TJ Adamson took over the home in Sandiway earlier this month, following a successful stint as the manager of Thornton Manor Care Centre in Chester.

Mr Adamson says it is a ‘worrying time’ for care home staff, residents and families, but insists that the safety of residents will remain the number one priority.

“We’ve not long started letting visitors come back in, but we have to do that really structured and carefully,” he said.

“Residents can have one visitor for half an hour, in a separate room that has an outside access so no one’s coming through the home. They have to wear full PPE to visit.

“They can’t touch, they can’t hug and cuddle. That’s really sad for us, because our residents are missing their loved ones. They finally get to see them and they can’t give them a hug and they can’t hold hands. I find that heart-breaking and so do the staff, so that’s really tough.

“We’re worried at the minute with the R rate rise that if we get another local lockdown we’d have to stop that visiting. And for families who’ve just got back after so many months of not being able to see anybody, it’s a frightening time for us.

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“As a home, we’re passionate about making sure relatives have got contact with their families, whether that’s through video calls, facetimes, whatever it may be, we’ll make sure that happens. Bbut our number one priority is keeping everyone here safe.”

Mr Adamson also hopes to build on recent improvements made at Redwalls, which was upgraded to a ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission in 2019, using a range of natural therapies rather than sedative medication.

Residents can expect the use of sedatives to be reduced gradually, with methods such as massage, reflexology and pet therapy to be introduced instead.

Mr Adamson added: “For me it’s perfect to not use drugs, and it’s something I definitely want to bring to Redwalls.

“If you get rid of all the drugs, people are up and about, they’re interacting, it’s lively, it’s busy, and it’s really nice to see.

“Science shows that stroking an animal releases serotonin and oxytocin, which are happy hormones.

“People just naturally love animals, so if someone got agitated, we would take them a bunny, they’d stroke the bunny, and that situation would be stopped.”