Life is for living but how each of us choses to live our lives is a very personal thing. Looking after each individuals well-being and finding out what makes them tick is key to their happiness and comfort and making Abberton their home.
Life at Abberton – a short stay or longer term?
When we welcome residents to Abberton it can be for many different reasons. Perhaps, someone is elderly and has made the decision with their family to move into residential accommodation when they are more able. It could be that someone has had to move because they can no longer cope at home. Or it could be that they need a stretch of respite care to recover from a stint in hospital before returning home.
We appreciate that there are a range of emotions in moving to a care home. Everything from anger and resentment and a sense of impending doom, to relief as help is now at hand. And it is an emotional time for families too, often feeling guilt that they could not provide their own nursing support.
We have to factor all this in and ease the transition. It is important to remember that the person we see on arrival can be a shadow of their former selves. Drawing them back into their light and to enjoying life is one of the joys of a role as a carer.
Alan’s convalescence at Abberton
Recently, we enjoyed the company and friendship of Alan for a long spell of convalescence. When he came to us he was extremely poorly, but over time and with support and gentle encouragement, he has regained his strength, confidence and zest for life.
This month he was able to go home to his wife Gill and we were so touched to be given a gift of one of his fabulous paintings. He is a keen artist and such a lovely gentleman. We will all miss him, but are so pleased to have helped him on his road to recovery.
A new role for Victoria within our team
We are delighted that Victoria Lissimore has joined our Lifestyle and Wellbeing team, working alongside Tania. She is a familiar face at Abberton, having worked with us as a carer. She really does know what makes each resident tick.
Here are a few of the ways she is helping them enjoy their hobbies, as well as introducing new experiences.
- Residents have been missing visits from pets so Victoria brought her pet tortoise Pablo in for the day. He was quite a hit and plans are now afoot for Bring Your Pet to Work Week.
- With our Residents Choice afternoons there is time in the week for residents to do the pastimes they enjoy. Tackling that 1000 pieces puzzle, a game of scrabble, aromatherapy or simply readying the paper.
- We have activities reminiscent of childhood to stimulate memories. Residents created miniature gardens in bowls – though some of our residents recalled using an old biscuit tin lid instead.
- Be it the baking itself or the eating, regular cookery sessions are always enjoyed. Most recently, making gingerbread men: The delicious smell of ginger and the warming heat of the spices – perfect to dunk in a cuppa! But do you eat the head or legs first? Our residents were undecided, but they were ideal for Biscuit Week on the Great British Bake Off!
- Supporting residents with their hobbies. Barry has a beautiful poetry collection, comprised of poems he has written and other favourites he has kept. We have got him his own microphone and through lockdown he has been leading us in poetry and short story sessions.
- Helping embrace new challenges. Technology is something our residents have worked with through lock down to keep in touch with their families. And with a little help Joyce has now mastered the colouring App on the iPad. Residents also enjoyed the challenge of animal origami. A bit fiddly but we got there in the end and lots of laughs along the way.