Moving in to a care home can be a very daunting and nerve-wracking experience, with questions such as, ‘what will I do all day, ‘will I still have a purpose and ‘is it going to feel like home?’.
For the team at Park View Care Centre in Ashford Kent, it is during these initial few weeks, when a new resident moves in that they are able to quell any anxieties and answer questions like the above.
What the team at the Nursing, Dementia and Residential home do is use a collective approach of life history work, spending time getting to know the resident, their loved ones and how they’d like to spend their time to achieve, “a holistic approach during these initial few weeks certainly supports the person-centred approach in a planning engaging and meaningful lifestyle within the home.” Abigail Draper, Lifestyle Project Manager.
When Roger Neave, 81 moved in to Park View Care Centre in the spring of 2021, the team quickly identified that Roger was worried about not feeling useful or having a sense of purpose. Customer Relations Manager Emma Andrews was instrumental in identifying how Roger was feeling, “I spent time getting to know Roger during his settling in period when he first arrived, we quickly identified that he liked to have a purpose in his daily life, and with Roger and his family’s input, we discussed daily tasks that Roger could purposefully undertake within the home.”
As a nature lover and keen gardener Roger was drawn to spending time in the garden with the homes gardening team, “he has especially had a really positive impact in encouraging and supporting the garden wildlife such as birds, rabbits and squirrels!” Neil, Park View Gardener.
As the weeks went on, it soon became clear what a kind, caring and sociable gentleman Roger was, “We started to notice that Roger was spending more and more time in the garden and he would come in most days with freshly cut lavender and roses for the laddies in the office.” Liz Ballard, Park View Administrator.
This kind gesture went even further when Roger started making sure that there was always freshly cut flowers in the room when a new resident moved in; a simple gesture that made a big impact during the first few days!
Seeing the impact of his ‘work’ and with his sense of purpose and pride growing by the day, Roger asked for a daily task list. It was from his request and with his input and also the support of Roger’s family that the role of Head Resident was developed. Roger also has daily responsibilities and a job specification.
Roger’s Role Specification:
Right on Time
Open and Honest
Generous and Kind
“Roger’s family are overwhelmed and delighted by the difference in their father/brother since taking on the role, in fact they loved the idea so much that they had a baseball cap, with ‘Head Resident’ made for him.” Emma Andrews Customer Relations Manager
The purpose of the position which Roger identified himself is, “to be an honest and open spokesperson on behalf of the wonderful ladies and gentleman who reside at Park View Care Centre”.
One of Roger’s favourite daily tasks is waving off the night team and saying good morning as the day team arrive, he is often one of the first faces to great you when you arrive at the home.
When Roger asked Emma what his rate of pay would be, he was very happy with the suggestion of ‘unconditional love from his Park View Family and unlimited homemade cake’, “what more could I possibly want!”
Head Resident’s Daily Responsibilities:
- To bid farewell to the night team whilst welcoming the day team to a new day at Park View
- Check the bird feeders are full
- Check the bird feeder stock (especially before a weekend / bank holiday)
- Walk the gardens and report anything unsightly to the gardener – i.e., messy shrubs
- Check the menus are in place in the dining rooms
- Check any dietary requirements (especially for yourself …) and report to the kitchen
- Help any new residents that may have questions – remembering that they may be in isolation and unable to leave their bedroom.
- Assist the team when events may be taking place – i.e. – putting up posters in the corridors / lifts etc