Robert Kilgour, chairman of Renaissance Care which has 15 homes across Scotland, recently called care workers ‘the new front line’ in the coronavirus pandemic. In normal situations, the staff in these homes work tirelessly to protect the elderly residents they care for, and in these unprecedented times, the drive, determination and selflessness demonstrated by staff across the sector has been crucial in making sure our most vulnerable are safeguarded from the virus.
Lynn Smail, at Renaissance Care’s Milford House in Edinburgh, is just one member of staff who has been central to the all-out drive to protect residents during this time. Lynn, who has worked at Renaissance Care for over 13 years, is 71 and therefore considered to be in the ‘most vulnerable’ category herself, yet can’t imagine not being there for her residents.
She said: “People have said I should be self-isolating because of my age, but I am fit as anything and would be driven loopy sitting in my house knowing I could be in the home looking after the residents. The residents are an extension of my own family, so I couldn’t imagine not being here for them.
“They need us more than ever right now because they can’t see their own families which is what they often look forward to the most. The families of the people we care for know how much we love them, so it feels good to know they too can take comfort in us being there for their family members while they aren’t able to be.”
As well as working with her ‘extended family’ Lynn also works alongside her daughter, Mari (52) who works in the laundry department at Milford, as well as mini-bus driver husband, Robert (60).
Lynn said: “It’s good that my family work at Renaissance Care’s Milford House too. Not only does it mean I get to see them regularly, but they know how brilliant all the residents are and understand why I’m continuing to work – they know how important it is for us to be there for the people we care for.”
“I’m really proud to be a part of the team at Renaissance Care. The team-work has been sensational – everyone has been striving to continue to provide the best quality care despite the added pressures, never mind the personal cost.”