We spent the weekend hosting a reunion for my partners “petrol head “friends. They had all met through a car club over twenty years ago and shared many car related experiences in the years that followed. It was lovely hearing them reminisce about their camping trips to watch Le Mans (24 hour race in France), trips to Nürburgring (race track in Germany) and other track days around the country. I learnt the stories behind all the nick names, the different cars they have all had, and some of the mechanical issues they had overcome.
At the end of the evening I couldn’t help but reflect that their passion for cars is such a huge part of their lives. Should they ever have dementia it would be so crucial for a care home to know about this passion. With dementia short term memory decreases but things that happened over fifty years ago may be as clear as if they were yesterday. My partner’s friends may not be driving around a track when they are in their nineties but any discussion about cars, race tracks, and car mechanics is probably going to make them happy.
When residents join one of our homes we ask relatives or friends to complete the Alzheimer’s Society ‘This is me’…it’s a simple and practical document that tries to help capture someone’s life, their highs and lows, likes and dislikes, need preferences and interests. It can help everyone deliver person- centred care that is tailored specifically for the person’s needs.
Unfortunately we don’t always get these returned and it’s such a shame as the information can really make a difference in the care we can provide an individual. In the past we have learnt stories about individuals during their eulogy and staff have commented that they never knew that. One family did provide details and by knowing the gentleman’s previous career, Head of Banqueting in a top London hotel he was able to spend time with our chef ensuring that service would be on time and to his standards. We really hope that everyone understands that completing their ‘This is Me’ or providing Homes with a story about the individuals life is not about Homes being nosey it’s about fully understanding the individual who may not be able to tell us their passion but may light up if we reminisce about it.
For more details about the Alzheimer’s Society ‘This is me’ document please visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/thisisme
This week’s celebration is “British Flower Week” a chance to celebrate British flowers.
British cut flowers are enjoying a resurgence in demand as people want to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of locally grown flowers and foliage.
Personally I love fresh flowers. My favourites are sweet peas and peonies and they make me smile seeing them in a vase at home. Coppelia House usually have some stunning design arrangements using peonies and an assortment of foliage from the garden. They are usually lucky enough to be donated dahlias which also look beautiful around the home.
Residents at Cornerways are always keen to have a flower arranging competition. Maybe they will try and copy one of designers of the Flower Week who are commissioned to create 15 exquisite designs.
Residents at Plymbridge House are busy ensuring their garden is stunning and are hoping to win Plymouth in Bloom for the third year running.
I am sure we will have some interesting conversations reminiscing about flowers. I recently learnt that my father bought my mum a bunch of flowers on his way home at the end of each week when they were first married, a gentleman told us he bought red roses on their wedding anniversary with the number of stems representing years married.
If you are visiting one of our homes perhaps bring a bunch of fresh British flowers with you or perhaps you’d like to come volunteer in our gardens or arranging flowers within the home. We would love to have more volunteers and never say no to a fresh bunch of British flowers.
Carers Week is an annual campaign set out to raise the awareness of caring and highlight the challenges individual carers face throughout the UK. It is a special week dedicated to recognising the incredible effort and dedication made by those individuals and celebrating the contribution they make not only to their families, but their local communities as well.
This year’s Carers Week is aimed at Building Carer Friendly Communities. These communities are to aid carers in supporting for their loved ones, whilst recognising they are still individuals with needs of their own.
3 in 4 carers don’t feel their caring role is understood or valued by their community – www.carersweek.org
To help build carer friendly communities you can visit http://www.carersweek.org/about-carer-friendly-communities and recommend or invite an organisation to pledge. Organisations can also commit themselves to becoming carer friendly.
The campaign is put together by local organisations and individuals hosting a range of events from care groups and information stalls, to coffee mornings and sports activities, all in support of their local communities.
To find an event near you visit http://www.carersweek.org/get-involved/events-near-you or join in the conversation using #Carersweek to raise awareness.
If you would like more information, activity ideas or support on caring for individuals, please get in touch with us by calling 01392 346442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, we would like to hear from you.
We would like to encourage you to get involved with our homes. The volunteering opportunities are diverse and we could use your skills and talents to help others. It’s about giving your time, making friends, sharing hobbies/ interests and creating new experiences.
We welcome any suggestions but ideas could include helping a gardening club, help the knitting group, reading, accompanying residents on a trip or just come enjoy tea & cake and reminisce. We would love to have volunteers of any age as everyone plays a vital role in making connections, improving lives.
We believe volunteers would complement our staff and would have a big and positive impact on the quality of life for those in our homes. Research suggests that volunteering has health as well as social benefits. In addition it brings a sense of pride, satisfaction and knowledge of giving back to society.
We would love to hear from you if you are interested to know more, contact the home manager and arrange a visit to the home. We will need satisfactory enhanced DBS (free of charge) prior to starting and an understanding of what you’d like to do.