Companionships in Care
Socialising is an incredibly important part of our lives and has a great impact on mental health. As people age, our social networks may not be as strong, which results in resources such as television and radio becoming our main source of companionship. Avery care homes are designed to create the perfect social and vibrant atmosphere with many lounge areas and well-being activities hosted daily. It becomes impossible not to gain meaningful companionships, whether it be with staff members or fellow residents.
Sandra, 78 and Eunice, 89, residents at South Lodge Care Home in Leicester, are just one example of this. The pair formed a special bond during the challenging lockdown period, where home visits were restricted. This friendship stemmed from Sandra offering to help Eunice with her meals. Due to her macular degeneration, Eunice admitted she would rather eat her meals in her room than in the communal dining room with other residents due to her deteriorating eyesight. “Sandra has become my eyes,” she said, and the ladies now enjoy spending a lot of their downtime together, be it eating cake, having tea, or simply sitting down for a natter. Sandra stated, “It has made a world of difference having a companion to sit and chat with. The days seem much shorter when spent in someone’s company.”
Bonding over their shared passion, Scholars Mews Care Home residents Pamela Williams, 75, took Nancy Bowley, 105, under her wing on the day she arrived in 2018. Shortly after, they discovered that they both shared a love of reading. Pamela, who spent most of her career as a Librarian at Birmingham Library, often sat reading their latest novel choice to Nancy aloud, as she has sadly lost most of her sight to macular degeneration. “I have been an avid reader since my childhood, and I have read all of the books in Harborne Library!” states Nancy. The pair are very fond of the Katie Fforde novels as her stories always have a heroine needing to overcome a challenge to which they feel they can relate. Recognising their love towards the Katie Fforde novels, Home Manager Sharon Wassing got in touch with the author to introduce the loyal fans. Much to everyone’s delight, they received an autographed book and photo and a set of mugs from Katie’s homeware collection. The pair now enjoy their reading time, accompanied by a nice cup of tea in the mugs sent by Kate! Nancy, who celebrated her 105th birthday on 18th March, exclusively received a signed copy of the author’s latest novel released the same day, along with a video wishing her a very happy birthday.
Several staff members have been lucky enough to gain helpful ‘assistants’ and, even more importantly, strong friendships with the residents in their homes. Maintenance and Operative employee Dave from Amarna House Care Home in Yorkshire gained a friend in resident Ken who demonstrates his DIY skills by lending a helping hand. Ken, who resides at Amarna House with his lovely wife Anne, lives with dementia and likes to keep busy by getting involved any way he can. “He takes on maintenance jobs as he loves tinkering and did a great job helping to put new frames on all the doors”, says Home Manager Linda Donnellan-Beevers. Avid painter Ron, who resides at Cliftonville Care Home, also helps his Maintenance Operative Paul with the maintenance work in their home, and the pair have a great relationship. Ron, who spent his career as a painter and decorator, has recently done a fantastic job building their new bird feeder, which is now proudly displayed in the home’s garden. He even had a part to play in the homes newly refurbished Cottesbrooke Nursing Floor as his artwork has been displayed on the walls for all to enjoy.