A Friendly Community at Hempstalls Hall
Leaving one’s familiar circle of family and friends behind can be a daunting experience when moving into a care home. Staff and residents at Hempstalls Hall Care Home in Newcastle-under-Lyme have been tackling this head-on, with prevailing residents taking part in a pilot ‘buddy’ scheme to support new residents settle in and find their feet.
Bonding and friendships are key elements to creating a comforting environment in which residents feel secure. Being part of a supportive friendship group can also combat loneliness and positively affect an individual’s self-esteem. Residents Dilys, Peter and Beryl enrolled as the first ‘buddies’. They have been on hand to ensure that their new peers know where to go, when mealtimes are, and that they have someone to sit with during meals and activities.
So far, Peter has welcomed a married couple who arrived together. After introducing themselves, they realised that the group had previously lived in the same area, and they spoke at length about the people and places they all knew. The couple felt more confident knowing they could ask Peter if they needed to know anything, and they accompanied him on their first outing to the local garden centre for a coffee.
Dilys also welcomed resident Madeline to the Memory Care Suite, befriending her and sitting with her in the lounge. Dilys explained, “I was in a state when I first came here, but now, I love it. Feel free to ask me anything you want to.” With support from Dilys, Madeline has settled in well.
The buddies have also helped set up evening activities, including a dominoes club held each evening; all residents are welcome to join in. Peter also reads out the calendar of daily activities and events to fellow residents each morning after breakfast, which helps maintain engagement.
The buddy scheme is proving to be a success, with fellow resident Shirley also volunteering to join the scheme. To learn more about life at Hempstalls Hall, visit our Facebook page.