Banbury area care home combats loneliness with virtual coffee mornings

Lake House Care Home in Adderbury turned to technology to run virtual coffee mornings with the local community and combat loneliness during the UK’s second lockdown.

Lake House Care Home in Adderbury resident, Dorothy Lund, enjoying interaction on the iPad.
Lake House Care Home in Adderbury resident, Dorothy Lund, enjoying interaction on the iPad.

At this time of year care homes run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) like Lake House would ordinarily be inviting people in to share celebrations on the lead up to Christmas. Instead, to keep everyone safe, communities are locked down and visits to homes are limited.

Lake House decided they didn’t want to stop seeing their friends during lockdown and so are using iPads provided by OSJCT to facilitate socially-distanced virtual coffee mornings for residents in the home and anyone in the community who would like to join for a hot drink and a chat.

Hosted on online video conferencing service Zoom, the virtual coffee mornings are held on Friday mornings every fortnight. Anyone who wishes to attend can email Lake House Home Manager Alexandra Grindle to receive a login ID and password to join the online meeting for free.

Residents will be joining the coffee mornings in their social bubbles and at a safe social distance and will interact with attendees on the iPads.

Work is also underway to install bespoke visitor rooms in all OSJCT-run homes, and Lake House is no exception. Works at the Adderbury home are due to be completed in early December ready for visits over Christmas.

Alexandra said: “It has been our priority to ensure we keep our residents and employees safe during the pandemic and we are following government and Public Health England guidelines on visiting.

“The visitor room will be great and one-to-one video calls on our iPads have been popular with our residents and their relatives over recent months, but we have missed welcoming the wider community into our home for coffee mornings and events.

“So, we are glad to be able to arrange a way to keep in touch with them too.

“Residents have loved seeing their friends from the local community and I think it is a good way to alleviate loneliness in those outside the home who may be feeling isolated during lockdown.”