Building confidence and friendships
Joan Gregory has been a resident at Court Regis care home in Sittingbourne, for almost a year. When she first arrived she was a very quiet and withdrawn lady. Although Joan would sometimes join in with activities at the home she usually kept herself to herself. Activity Coordinator Emma Ansley noticed the more Joan joined in with the activities at the home the more she came out of her ‘shell’ and showed her wonderful sense of humour as well as her kind and compassionate personality.
'Joan would always be asked if she would like to come along on our outings but she would always say she didn’t like going out, she had seemed to have lost her confidence with going out’.
Marie, another resident from the home. Marie was the opposite of Joan when it came to going out on day trips and would be seen first in line to go out for the day. Marie would often come back from a day out to the theatre or lunch at the local village pub and share her day with Joan. To start, Joan would listen, take in all the details but would then turn to Marie and say ‘I’m not sure a day trip is for me’.
One day Marie came back from a day trip out and sat chatting with Joan at dinnertime. Marie began to tell Joan all about her afternoon tea at the Oasis Academy in Sheerness. Court Regis have a good connection with the Oasis Academy and residents and staff are often invited to many of their events. The children and teachers from the Academy have also visited Court Regis on several occasions to befriend residents and take part in activities in the home. Once a month staff and children from the Academy host an afternoon tea and performance as part of their dementia café initiative. Marie continued to tell Joan, who was half expecting Joan to say ‘I don’t think a day trip out is for me’, but on this occasion she didn’t!
Joan became quite interested in this visit out and with that Marie quickly followed up with ‘The children would love to see a new face and would love it if you came along too!’ Joan took a little while to think about it but with some encouragement from Marie she finally decided she would go on the next day trip out to the Oasis Academy but only if Marie could go too.
The day came and Marie, Joan and others went off to Sheerness. Whilst a little apprehensive at first Joan quickly got into the swing of things and was seen cheering on the children after every performance and during afternoon tea was happily chatting to the other ladies who came along and to the staff and children too.
When Marie and Joan arrived back to Court Regis, Joan told everyone about her afternoon out, the lovely cakes she enjoyed, the endless cups of tea and the fantastic dancing and singing from the children.
Since then Joan has been one of the first to join in with everything! As well as taking part Joan encourages others to join in with activities in the home as well as the outings. Joan has befriended so many residents since taking part in activities and day trips out.
‘Joan is a different lady now when it comes to going out for the day and taking part in activities, there has been a significant change in her which we are thrilled to see and so are her family members. Joan has found an inner confidence and what is really nice is she is sharing this confidence with others. Previously she knew she would dismiss the idea of a day trip out. She has taken one lady at Court Regis under her wing, who previously appeared apprehensive during the afternoon times, but since Joan has encouraged her to join in the garden activities and for tea and a chat it has made such a difference to this lady and has very rare moments of apprehension.
All the staff at Court Regis encourage and support with building friendships with residents and support residents to build friendships between themselves. It makes a huge difference and that’s what it’s all about, communities where everyone has a vibrant and fulfilling life’.
Avante Care & Support is a registered charity, established over 28 years ago. Avante Care & Support provides care to over 1000 people. In our care homes we deliver specialist residential dementia and nursing services, including day care and short term respite breaks. Our home care teams provide assistance with daily living, enabling individuals to maintain independent lives in the comfort of their own home
To find out more about Avante Care & Support please call us on 01795 597400 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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