Owner of Herefordshire Care Home Group, Karen Rogers, continually looks for ways to enhance the resident’s experience within the homes in the group. One such initiative was for each of the Managers to become a ‘Resident for the Day.’
Trudi Barnett, Manager of Highwell House Nursing Home in Bromyard, shares her experience of the day and the learning she gained from it.
Trudi said, ‘I wanted to fully experience the service we offer to our residents. What does it sound like, what does it feel like and what does it look like? What is it like being a resident at Highwell House?’
A ‘pre-admission’ assessment was completed by Sarah, the Deputy Manager to find out Trudi’s significant past medical history, and to be informed of any current health concerns. Sarah also began building a picture of Trudi’s passions and interests. Sarah explained about the Red2Green philosophy, a model adapted to ensure that the residents are given opportunities every day to spend time in a meaningful and fulfilling way specific to them.
The day started with Trudi enjoying a full English breakfast with fellow residents, and a chat with Gail the activities co-ordinator who further explored Trudi’s ‘Green’ goals. Trudi explained that she enjoyed nature and being outdoors and that one of her great loves in life was animals. Gail said that Highwell House had its own ‘therapy dog’, a Cockapoo named Ted, so a ramble in the countryside whilst walking Ted would be on the cards later in the day. Fabulous!
Trudi was given a full assessment from the nursing team, and Trudi recalls how that made her feel. ‘It was extremely reassuring to feel so well cared for by the nurses’, she said. ‘I had all my vital signs checked, and my results explained, being told my blood pressure and oxygen levels were ‘normal’ was comforting.’
Scrabble was next on the agenda, and despite Trudi getting thoroughly thrashed by the resident Wordsmiths, she thoroughly enjoyed it! Trudi said, ‘It was amazing to spend time with those residents living with a Dementia, and just see cognitively how they fared during the word game. I was astonished at how brilliant they were! I expected them to struggle, I’m so glad I was proved wrong.’
Lunchtime gave Trudi the opportunity to look at the dining experience. ‘I genuinely felt like I was dining in a high-end restaurant’ said Trudi ‘The choice from the menu was excellent and the food and accompanying wine delicious. My meal was finished off with a cheese board, fresh coffee and mints, the whole mealtime was wonderful.’
After Trudi’s ramble in the countryside she took the opportunity to sit in the lounge and watch some television. ‘Something was lacking’ said Trudi ‘It didn’t feel cosy.’ Reflecting on this, Trudi later installed a fireplace with flame effect fire, ‘it’s made all the difference.’
The day ended with an evening meal, card games and backgammon in the lounge, and some television. With Trudi taking a bath afterwards just to see how that that experience felt!’
Reflecting on the day Trudi said the whole experience had been invaluable. ‘I have always been extremely proud of ‘Team Highwell’ but following on from this experience, my pride has quadrupled! I felt welcomed, safe and well cared for. If the residents all feel the same way living at Highwell House Nursing Home then we as a team are doing a brilliant job! Would I recommend other Managers to try this experience, absolutely I would!’