Dunedin rest home staff who moved in during lockdown to stay on when NZ moves to Alert Level 3

Staff at a Dunedin rest home who moved in for the duration of lockdown have decided they will stay on when New Zealand moves to Alert Level 3 next week.

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Staff at a Dunedin rest home are going to continue their sacrifice to care for residents. Source: 1 NEWS

Bradford Manor is home to 22 residents who all have dementia.

For the residents' safety and to eliminate the risk of exposure to Covid-19, staff moved in to the rest home in mid-March.

Yesterday when the alert level change was announced, the staff had already decided they'd stay.

"Our residents are really vulnerable and right now, it is the only way we can ensure they're safe," said rest home manager Michelle Donaldson.

Ms Donaldson acknowledges it hasn't been easy for staff leaving their families behind, but says it was a collective decision and they "didn't hesitate".

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Nine Bradford Manor Rest Home staff will live with the residents for at least four weeks. Source: 1 NEWS

Head chef Phillipa Cameron found it particularly tough leaving three young boys at home, one who is immunocompromised.

"Every night we FaceTime and they read me books and do a chapter most nights," she said.

For Kelei Omato, she's thankful she's able to be with three of her children, who also work at the rest home.

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Dunedin rest home staff to move in with residents with dementia amid coronavirus lockdown

Carer Brenda Eriepa will become a grandmother any day.

"My grandbaby is due in the next week and a bit... but we've been skyping and texting. I am just hoping it keeps cooking," she said.

While it's a sacrifice for every member of staff, they all say it's a small price to pay and they'd do it again in a heartbeat if it meant their residents were to be safe.