Care provider encourages people to stay at home & take up gardening during Coronavirus restrictions

A WELSH care agency is launching a campaign (April, 2020) to get people gardening during the current Coronavirus restrictions to help improve mental and physical wellbeing for those at home.


Abacare says gardening is hugely beneficial, especially for the elderly or people with dementia, and it can help the mind and body stay healthy.


Neil Griffiths, Regional Manager at Abacare, which has offices in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) and is helping ease pressure on the NHS by providing frontline care to service users in their own homes, said: “It’s extremely important that everyone stays at home at the moment and we’re huge supporters of this, so have tried to come up with some suggestions of interesting things for people to do. Now is the perfect time for people to take up a new hobby and we think gardening is a great place to start!


“We regularly encourage our older service users to get into the garden if they can. Gardening is a brilliant way for everyone to get some fresh air and connect with the natural world. It’s also a great way for us all to get some exercise.


“You can burn up to 250 k/cal for every 30 minutes of digging you do, 195 k/cal mowing the lawn and 105 k/cal weeding and 100 k/cal raking. Beds, equipment and tools can all be modified for anyone who finds it difficult to get around too, so there really is no excuse.


“Planting, pruning, digging, sweeping and weeding can improve dexterity skills. Gardening has huge benefits cognitively too, allowing the gardener to go through the planning stages, deciding what seeds to sow, what vegetables to grow or how they want the overall garden to look if you’re giving it a complete makeover.


“Maintaining a garden gives a person a task to focus on every day/week as ongoing jobs such as watering and pruning need doing. Gardening is also fantastic for stimulation of the senses, there are lots of wonderful smells emitting from flowers, herbs, grass and even soil and the colours and light can really spark the imagination. There’s also the sensation of touch, of soil or plants in your hands as you plant them, and fantastic sounds too such as birdsong, rustling of leaves in the wind and the odd sounds of wildlife.”


Abacare will be publishing a series of seasonal, easy to follow, gardening tips and advice blogs on its website at www.abacare.org.uk and via its social media pages using the hashtag #keepcalmandgetreadytogarden.


Neil added: “A lot of mail order gardening companies and local garden centres are still operating and delivering while maintaining social distancing rules, allowing people to stay safely in their own home.


“Those who believe gardening is only for the young and more mobile among us, couldn’t be more wrong, as it’s just as much for the elderly too. It is the perfect time of year to be outside and we’d encourage the people of Wales to stay at home and get gardening!


“If people don’t have an outside plot, they can grow salad leaves in pots or try growing their own herbs for using in their cooking too. Houseplants also require love and care but are easier to manage for the less-able.”


Abacare operates a professional Care Management Team that is committed to providing high quality care to individuals in their own homes.


The large team of trained, specialist, care workers provide positive based outcomes and person-centred care to people throughout the UK.


Abacare’s core values, instilled into every staff member, include ‘make us proud’, ‘focus on our service users’ wellbeing’, ‘communicate, listen well and speak with respect’, ‘be passionate, honest, caring and considerate’, ‘recruit and develop the very best’ and ‘lead by example’.


It believes it offers inspiring work for inspirational people.


Care workers are on the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis looking after the elderly and vulnerable in society, those unable to help themselves.


Neil continued: “We’re helping shield the high risk and our work is vital in helping protect the NHS and its resources by ensuring our service users remain safely at home and are given the medical, physical and emotional support they need safely at home. Our work reduces the potential for these people to need the NHS in a time when demand for its services is likely to be acute.


“We are urging anyone who needs full-time or part-time, flexible paid work and who has recently been made redundant or laid-off, or who is looking for work for other reasons and holds a full driving licence and has access to a car, to get in touch for an interview. We will do these via Skype or Facetime, so you don’t have to leave home unnecessarily. If you are fit and well and want to make a real difference to people’s lives and wish to support the NHS during this crisis, we can train you quickly.


“Please call our RCT branch on 01443 742645. Our office team will be able to have a chat with you and they will be able to set up interviews via Skype or Facetime to talk you through everything.


“We will be able to provide our free, full training on a fast-track basis to make sure everyone we take on is ready. This includes a company induction, first aid, information on dementia, health and safety, food safety, infection control, handling medication and moving and handling service users, with the opportunity to achieve Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) after the initial three months probationary period. The Government has also taken steps to ensure a quicker turnaround on DBS checks, so we can get people into work even quicker.


“New recruits are given free uniforms, access to national staff discount scheme for all major brands as well as 28 days paid holiday, paid travel between calls and paid mileage.”

Abacare is a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, Ceretas (formerly British Association of Domiciliary Care), The National Homecare Council and The Information Commissioners Office (Data Protection). It is also registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales.


For more information about Abacare, please call 01443 742645 or visit www.abacare.org.uk. Alternatively, please follow the company on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2vScT97 or on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/visitabacare.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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