Last week, general nursing homes all over Estonia received 200 special mattresses gifted by the largest Estonian medical laboratory SYNLAB, as the inhabitants of nursing homes have been severely affected by the more than a year-long coronavirus crisis.
The mattresses made in Estonia are already the second SYNLAB’s gift to nursing homes. At the beginning of March, the elderly inhabitants of nursing homes received 118 tablets, which SYNLAB purchased in cooperation with their IT partner Primend. The tablets are equipped with widely used communication software and have special legs designed to help people who cannot hold a screen to use them. The nursing homes could choose which gifts they wanted.
The recently delivered made-to-order SleepAngel mattresses help prevent the spread of infections, the development of bedsores and reduce the nursing home staff’s burden of care. Owing to their structure, the mattresses facilitate the care of bed-ridden elderly patients with deteriorated blood circulation, they are easily cleanable and well targeted. SleepAngel, where SYNLAB purchased the mattresses from, also added special express pillows to the gift.
Marika Tirmaste, Member of the Board of Lõhavere Treatment and Nursing Centre in Viljandi County: “These are good and high-quality mattresses, their height is suitable for customers with a sturdy build. It is too early to give feedback, but just by looking at them I can see that this is a first-rate product. We also took some photos and believe it or not, after we received the gift the sun came out. Once again, my deepest gratitude to all of you. Such a way to notice and acknowledge nursing homes makes our daily work so much more delightful. I hope these wonderful good deeds are “infectious” and inspire others to do something as amazing as this.”
Merike Merirand, Member of the Board of Pihlakodu nursing homes: “Our nursing homes in Kohtla-Järve, Tabasalu and Viimsi received tablets. The nursing homes of Nõmme and Tapa received several mattresses. The tablets have helped carry out a number of heartfelt and joyful meetings. We also use the tablets to conduct joint activities and listen to music. The mattresses were chosen with regard to our patients who spend most of their time in bed. Good sleep is the foundation of a happy day. However, people who need to spend most of their day in bed are able to appreciate the value of a decent mattress particularly well. One of our mobility-impaired inhabitants has been able to enjoy the completely new quality, technology and innovative materials of the mattress for several days now – a heartfelt thanks to SYNLAB for this lovely gift.”
Sirje Bammer, Director of the Väike-Maarja Nursing Home: “Our nursing home chose mattresses because from time to time some of our inhabitants suffer from bedsores and they benefit from these mattresses the most. One of our clients informed us already after their first night that they slept much better.”
Sirje Tann, Director of the Karula Nursing Home in Valga County: “For years, we have received a lot of help from our friends: Finland, Germany and now also you, SYNLAB. We thank you. Every gift and support warms our hearts. Today, upon receiving this springtime gift, we feel that we have been noticed and we are needed. In this situation, nursing homes endure particularly dire times. The mattress and pillow will go to a new patient of ours who is currently at the Valga Hospital. The new mattress and pillow are waiting for Leida.”
To deliver the mattresses to those who need them, SYNLAB requested the help of the international car leasing company ALD Automotive, whose employees, having worked from home for a long time, volunteered to drive across the entire Estonia.
Ivar Vilmer, Sales Manager of ALD Automotive: “We started with the delivery of mattresses from the most distant corner of Estonia, the Kihelkonna nursing home in Saaremaa, and finished a week later in Jõgeva and Viljandi County. Our longest days posted 800 km and 16 hours. We are very grateful that we could physically help solve the very real problems of people. The sincere, honest and positive emotions we witnessed upon delivering SYNLAB’s gifts to the nursing homes will remain with us for a long time.”
Having worked on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic for over a year, SYNLAB decided to support Estonian nursing homes, as this is where the pandemic affects the inhabitants and caretakers most severely. SYNLAB contacted the Ministry of Social affairs and Social Insurance Board, who helped SYNLAB carry out a survey in nursing homes to determine what their elderly inhabitants need most and what would make them feel better during this worldwide health crisis.
The survey revealed that during the period of nursing home visitor restrictions, the inhabitants mostly missed spending time with their relatives and close ones, as this has been restricted or banned completely since the spring of 2020. The survey conducted among 192 nursing homes operating in Estonia also revealed that the elderly need better mattresses, as they spend a lot of their time in bed.
According to Raivo Sults, Head of the Quality Department at the Social Insurance Board, SYNLAB is an excellent partner to solve various difficult situations with during a crisis. “We communicate with nursing homes almost every week and they are very grateful for these practical gifts that SYNLAB has distributed to them,” said Sults.
Photos of the delivery of the mattresses to nursing homes are here.