Hi everyone, Brian here. This is my second blog which details my first week in the home. I hope you like it. Here is how the first week went:
Day One - Arriving and settling into my room;
Arriving at the home at 2pm, I was warmly welcomed into the home. The Home Manager Annette, welcomed me once more and shook my hand. The housekeeping team took my bags and my newly allocated ‘key carer’ took me to the coffee shop whilst they very kindly unpacked my bag for me. I was tired after a long day and my carer showed me how to use the flashy coffee machine which was much needed. My family arrived soon after and we were all shown to my room. As there were a few options available at the time I was able to choose my room in advance, so I knew what to expect. My family and I spent some time in my room and then they left for the evening. I was still very tired so the carer bought a menu to my room and I chose to eat there and settle in for an early night.
Day Two - A relaxing day
For most of the day I kept myself to myself spending time listening to music in my room. The carers came to help me with all the necessary things like getting up, washed and dressed but I wanted to spend some time by myself. My carers said this was fine and that many new residents spend time in their room in the first few days. But they did encourage me to come out and get the full Goodson experience when I felt ready. They popped into my room regularly throughout the day, topping up my jug with water and bringing me cups of tea as well as meals and snacks. They told me what was going on in the home and bought another resident to meet me, which I thought was very kind. A very polite maintenance person also came in, introduced himself and took my directions on where I wanted my pictures hung. It was really nice to be able to put my own stamp on my room and it made it feel even more homely.
Day Three - Supper with the residents and time with Sarah
Today Janet and I went to the dining room for supper. We found that we had a few things in common. We both share an interest in history and gardening. The home is split into four ‘households’ each with its own kitchen/ dining room and two lounges. Sixteen rooms are attached to each household. When Hannah came to do her assessment, before I moved in, she told me which household I would be best suited to. To do this they consider which residents I would be able to form the best relationships with, based on our abilities and needs. I thought they did a good job as Janet and I really seemed to hit it off. After supper I went to the library and a Care Leader called Sarah helped me to use the home’s telescope to do some star gazing. I shared my thoughts and feelings with her and she listened carefully. She told me that she and the rest of the team are always there if I need anything at all. I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Day Four - Trip to the Garden Centre
After breakfast I took a look at the home’s activities calendar. They put one up every week and each has two planned activities per day. I saw that today they had planned a trip to the local garden centre. I am a keen gardener, so I wanted to join the trip. I spoke to a carer and she found out that there was one seat left, perfect! Later that afternoon I hopped on to the hired minibus. We soon arrived at the garden centre. I rode with a resident called Anna in her wheelchair and bought myself a pot plant which the carers told me they would help me take care of. We also got some flowers to be used in the posies for the dining tables. After a cake and a quick cup of tea we returned home. Once we were back a resident called Ann told me that she often takes care of the flower arrangements and that if I wanted I could help her. I would be very glad to help her.
Day Five - A one to one
Today I met one of the Activity Coordinators called Sian. Sian asked me lots of questions about my hobbies and interests. I told her that I like gardening and history. I also told her how I enjoyed doing housework when I lived on my own. I feared I would miss that now I was so well looked after. I was very pleased when Sian explained that it is the responsibility of the home to ensure I remain as independent as possible and so if I wanted to get involved in housework she would help me to do that. Sian wrote down my hobbies and interests in a document called a one-page profile. She stuck this to my wardrobe door and explained that this would be used to help the team to know how to keep me active and engaged. Sian and I watered my new pot plant and took a walk around the garden together. Sian explained that there were three Activity Coordinators, so they would make sure that there was always something for me to do. I told Sian that I can sometimes be forgetful, and she told me that they always make sure to knock on doors before any activity, so it didn’t matter if I forgot what was going on each day. How reassuring!
Day Six - A visit to the Hairdresser
Today I went to the hairdresser who has her own shop located on ‘The Street ’, the main focal point of the home. I enjoyed just how similar it was to a visit to the hairdresser in the community. Ladies and gents sat on the benches preparing for their turn and the talented hairdresser tentatively performed sets and perms. The smell of setting lotion filled the air and we sat and chatted about everyday things whilst sipping a cup of tea. The home keeps a small kitty of my personal money safely locked away for things such as this. So I didn’t even need to worry about fumbling around in my purse, it was all taken care of by the team.
Day Seven - Visiting the home's cinema
Today I visited the cinema and enjoyed a movie marathon from the home’s extensive store of films. The cinema is named ‘The Gaumont’ after the old cinema in town. Being a local person, I remember the old cinema fondly. There is a giant picture of the old town with the cinema in view on ‘The Street’ and I enjoyed a moment sharing my memories with another of the Activity Co-ordinators, Leanne. Whilst in the cinema the team popped popcorn for me so I could enjoy the smells and tastes, adding to a truly authentic experience. I snuggled down in the darkness and watched a couple of old musicals; the day went by in the blink of an eye I knew it was time for supper.
Stay tuned for my next blog where I will tell you all about my second week in the home.