30 September 2020
Our Property and Development Managers are Everyday Heroes because they always go the extra mile for our residents. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, our retirement Development Managers have played a vital role; whether that be keeping the common parts of developments safe and clean, navigating the ever-changing government guidance, or simply providing a friendly ear to those who are struggling.
We know that retirement living developments have proved safer during this pandemic period than either care homes or even the general retired population. We have heard from many residents who have welcomed the safe environment, alongside the support they have received, including residents who wanted to thank our wonderful Development Manager and Everyday Hero, Jahshel.
Jash has only been in the role since January 2020. As a self-confessed ‘people person’ Jash knew the role was a good fit and she was instantly a big hit with residents because of her friendly personality and rational way of handling any issues.
“I am a calm person, and this means I can take the heat out of a situation,” explains Jash. “This has been a really valuable skill during the pandemic when emotions and anxieties understandably run high.”
“I noticed quite early on that many residents were focusing on the negatives. Reading all the doom and gloom about the virus and then letting that affect their mood and mental health. I try to lighten the mood wherever I can without taking away the seriousness of the situation.”
One well-received initiative Jash started was a pen-pal scheme. She explains: “I introduced the scheme quite early on in the pandemic to help combat loneliness and to keep minds active.”
Residents had to write to each other anonymously, trying not to give too much away, but at the same time trying to gather information to pinpoint who they were writing to. Initially it was going to run for six weeks, but it was extended to 11 weeks due to its popularity.
Jash also initiated a daily riddle competition and a weekly newsletter, alongside the weekly puzzle packs FirstPort provided to residents. She also played an important role in making sure those residents who were isolating kept moving. “Many of my residents weren’t able to go out with their families for walks and exercise as they would normally, which was really tough,” Jash explains. “I helped them find new ways to keep active, either in their own apartments with gentle exercise, such as Rosemary Conley videos, or a gentle stroll down a corridor at quiet times. I also supported them to keep in touch virtually with their families through things like Zoom and What’s App calls.”
More than anything, the most reassuring thing Jash believes she can offer her residents is them just knowing she’s there.
Jash recalls: “One resident was feeling low one day, the weather was cloudy and miserable and so too was her mood. Her daughter contacted me as she was unable to visit so I posted through her door a card with a dog on it – as she loves dogs – with an encouraging note along with a Yorkie bar, and that changed her mood completely.”
Such is the impact Jash has made, one of our residents recently nominated her for recognition for her services during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Representative Deputy Lieutenant and The Mayor of Ealing, and she has received a lovely letter of thanks from them on behalf of Ealing Council.
Summing up Jash’s amazing contribution, one of her residents, David, said: “Jash exceeds all expectations and goes far beyond her remit, with a sharp eye on all aspects of the grounds and premises. All this and handling the coronavirus problems. In short, she’s a 22-carat diamond and worth a lot more.”
Has your Development Manager or Property Manager gone above and beyond? If you’ve received a great service and would like to leave a review, please visit bit.ly/ratefirstporteh