Hi everyone, Brian again. This is my third blog detailing my second week as a new resident at Goodson Lodge.
Day eight – housework with Jayne
Today I spent the day with the Head Housekeeper Jayne, whom I had already met on my first day when she so kindly unpacked my bags. Jayne had been told by Sian that I enjoyed housework and so I spent some time helping her with dusting the shelves. She then took me up to the home’s laundry room where she supported me to do some ironing. It was great to see what happens behind the scenes of the home. I was glad to see that Jayne ran a very tight ship with the help of her team. She ensures that all our clothes are labelled so that they a[RC5] [RC6] re always returned to the right owners. Jayne explained that whilst all the resident’s rooms are refreshed daily, if I wanted to do any of the jobs myself then I could just let her know.
Day nine – library and baking
Today I spent some time in the library. The home’s library is a lovely space with double doors leading out onto a large balcony which looks onto the central garden. Beyond the fence, two schools can be seen and at lunchtime the sound of children laughing and playing fills the air. The home has an extensive collection of books which can be found not only in the library but also in bookcases throughout the home. One of the carers explained that thanks to a Facebook appeal, many of the books had been donated by the local community. It was nice to know that the books had been loved previously and would be loved by many others in the future. That afternoon I joined a few residents and the activities team to make some home-made mince pies. I have never been much good at baking, so it was nice to have the support of some more experienced residents in the home. The residents talked of memories of baking with their parents and later with their children. One of the residents had a young grandson visiting and he was invited to join in the fun. It was lovely to watch him learn; I think he did a better job than me!
Day ten – friendships formed and bath time
Today I spent time relaxing around the home. In the garden lounge and in one of the sitting rooms I enjoyed a chat with a few residents. I met some of their families and they shared their experiences with me. I am starting to get familiar with quite a few residents now and I know most of their names. The feeling of familiarity is really helping me to feel at home now. I feel like part of the home and I am happy to be spending more time in the common areas. I mentioned to a carer that I would like to have a bath. I have a daily shower in my lovely en-suite wet room but when I was more able and living on my own I used to love a soak once a week. I had heard that baths were available in the home. The carer explained that each household has its own fully accessible jacuzzi bath. She said I could have one whenever I wanted. I said I would love one once a week and she arranged for me to have on that evening. The bath has a chair lift fitted to it so no matter what your mobility is like, you can enjoy a soak. It was wonderful!
Day eleven – sing-a-long
Today some ladies came in to sing with us. Song sheets were handed out and the residents and I sang some golden oldies as well as some Christmas Carols. It was hard for me spending Christmas alone. I couldn’t really do all the usual things you do at Christmas without support and although I have a loving family, they have very busy lives and so at times it could be really lonely. As we sang away to ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’, I got a sense that I would not be lonely here this Christmas regardless of my family’s commitments. The carers have been sharing all their plans for Christmas with me and it sounds like it will be fantastic. I am looking forward to making wreaths and Christmas decorations with the team and my fellow residents. I think this year will be one to remember.
Day twelve – a family visit
Today my family came to visit. Not all of them had seen the home yet so I showed them to the coffee shop and they grabbed a hot drink and slice of cake before I proudly showed them around. At the end of every corridor is a little snug area which the home refers to as ‘destination lounges’ and each has its own theme. My family are very well travelled so I took them upstairs to a snug where a huge world map covers the wall. The destination lounges are quiet as they are located at the end of corridors away from the centre of the home and this means you can have some private time without having to go back into your own room. We looked at the map and discussed our travels over the years. Many of the residents tell me that they use these snugs when they get time with their family. I think this is a great tip!
Day thirteen – Christmas craft fayre
Today I visited the home’s Christmas Craft Fayre. They had invited in some stallholders to sell their wares and I grabbed myself a few stocking fillers for my family and friends. They played Christmas music and they sold tea and cake to visitors. It was a great atmosphere and afterwards I returned to one of the lounges and some of my new friends and I showed each other what we had purchased. The home regularly hold community events where the public are invited in. This is a great, informal way to get a glimpse of the home. If you don’t fancy a big event like this, then contact the team to find out about the daily activities. People from the local community are always welcome to join a cheese and wine afternoon or a game of giant scrabble to get a feel for life in the home. Or to immerse yourself a little more, you can book a week or twos respite. Many residents here did this before they committed to becoming a long-term resident as a ‘try before you buy’ approach. The home is so accommodating!
Day 14 – blogging
Well today I have mostly been writing this blog! It’s been great to tell you all about my first few weeks in the home and it has really helped me to evaluate my thoughts and feelings. I think it’s important for everyone to know what happens as so many people have pre-conceived ideas of care homes. Hopefully I have shown that every day is different. There is so much to do, so many people to meet and so much support on offer that it really is an all-inclusive experience. I am glad I chose Goodson Lodge. I will continue to share my experiences with you via the home’s Facebook page and I hope that you will follow my journey. If you would like to come and meet me at the home, then I will be very pleased to spend some time with you and maybe take a selfie or two!