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Care home brings comfort in a box to those with end of life care

PUBLISHED: 08:04 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:05 29 January 2020

Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Danielle is pictured with Chelsea Marley, Rebecca Brown and Lucy Lincoln.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Danielle is pictured with Chelsea Marley, Rebecca Brown and Lucy Lincoln. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

Werther's Originals, tea, blankets and films have been packaged up in a comfort box to help friends and relatives of residents receiving end of life care at a Norwich care home.

Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Danielle is pictured with Chelsea Marley, Rebecca Brown and Lucy Lincoln.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Danielle is pictured with Chelsea Marley, Rebecca Brown and Lucy Lincoln. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Danielle Bullent, home manager of Laurel Lodge, on Ipswich Road, said she had a "light bulb moment" on a night shift on Christmas Eve to do something for loved ones during a difficult time.

With the help of activities coordinator Chelsea Marley, the pair went to the shop to buy a range of toiletries, snacks, drinks, blankets, tissues and films to put in a box.

The home manager says it allows friends and relatives to have space and alone time with their loved one.

Mrs Bullent said: "End of life care is very upsetting and is sad for everyone involved.

Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

"We give them the best care we can and that's for anyone, the resident and the relatives as well.

"I felt as if we were invading every 30 minutes, asking 'can I get you a drink? Something to eat?'

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"I just had a bit of a light bulb moment that there has got to be more that we could do to give the relatives some comfort during this difficult time.

Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

"I dreamt about it one night and woke up and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was playing on my mind.

"[Relatives] do not always remember a toothbrush, or pick up a hairbrush. They do not want to eat when we are offering them a drink because they do not want to add pressure on the staff.

"With the box they can have a cup of soup when they want or a cappuccino - they can take what they wish. Sharing is caring that is what we say. We are one big family."

Anyone needing items can go to the box and pick out what they need to use. The home will then replenish the items.

Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020Manager of Laurel Lodge Care Home Danielle Bullent with the new comfort boxes given to families who are with residents having end of life care. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

The care home is part of the Black Swan group, which said it has had an "overwhelmingly positive response" and could roll the idea out across its other homes.

A Lodge spokesman said: "When your loved one is on end of life care it can be a lot to deal with emotionally, and having the support of your relatives' carers is something we strive for.

"We never want any of our residents' friends or families to feel alone in that situation, and we wanted to do a little something to show that we care.

"It's a little thing but something we hope shows that we are always there to talk, as you are a part of our extended family and we never want you to feel isolated or alone."

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