My Mother will very soon celebrate her 97th birthday in her ‘home from home’. She has been a resident in St. Winifreds Care Home for a mere seven months, but not a day goes by that I am not so very glad that we have found such a place.
She was not unhappy in her previous home and their staff were lovely, just that due to unforeseen circumstances that care home had to close and we were on the move again; a blessing in disguise for all her fellow residents who moved along with her.
Mum has always been so independent and I never really had to make decisions for her, but she is happy that I made this one…she says “If I can’t be in my own wee flat, this is the best place”. Her flat was in Colwyn Bay in North Wales, but she asked to come near me.
I feel honoured that I have the opportunity to visit Mum every day; not many relatives, I know, are in that fortunate position, due to work or distance.
The staff are brilliant. They have a genuinely caring and compassionate attitude to all in their care. They are even very considerate to relatives, knowing how we must feel leaving a loved one ‘in care’, and indeed how important it is that residents can enjoy the company of all visitors. Members of staff are clearly well able to be laughing and joking with residents and visitors alike one minute and then gently encouraging an unsteady or reluctant resident to ‘eat just a little more’ or take their meds or remain seated until a member of staff can safely provide an escort to wherever. It has been an eye-opener watching and listening to these caring members of staff go about their daily challenges…not least of them being those of us relatives who turn up at all times of the day!
The activities staff, Elsie and Hazel, are powerhouses of activity when it comes to keeping minds and spirits active and bright. Those who witnessed their exciting Easter bonnet party will testify to the planning etc that goes into all they set out to accomplish for residents; staff join in and enjoy the music and dancing that happens due to their enthusiasm, and visitors are made to feel that they’re welcome to be a part of the ‘whole family’ of St. Winifreds.
A new, and very welcome addition to routine, is Tracey, her assistant McKenzie, and their ‘trusty trolley’. Tracey is not only great at making sure everyone drinks plenty of liquids (as we know, vitally important to the health of the plumbing of our less active loved ones), but alongside morning coffees and afternoon cuppas she offers cakes and slices of melon, pear, apple etc.
Although my Mother has suffered poor appetite for years, she is nevertheless encouraged to try to eat some of the good, wholesome meals cooked and served to her and her fellow residents. The chef and the others who work preparing and cooking the meals can be commended. Indeed I have no complaints about the quality when I sometimes share a meal with her there; for Mum it’s a nice change and like a family meal of old.
Of course, undeniably, any ship is steered by its captain and first mate. In the ship of St. Winifreds that would be the manager, Nicola, and the assistant manager, Katie. Everyday decisions, ongoing plans and innovations are all the final responsibility of management.
On that note I would like to thank them and all members of staff, which of course includes office staff and the wonderful girls in housekeeping who, behind the scenes, keep things running smoothly and safely for all who live, work and visit in Deal’s premier care home St. Winifreds. If all that seems pretty perfect, it is, but only due to all mentioned.
There is one little problem, car parking space, which must be secondary to the care of your loved ones and mine. Sometimes we each have difficulty finding a parking space, but we are used to moving cars to make way for others. I’m just glad I can count myself blessed that I can arrive and leave in a car…residents would love the independence to do just that.
God Bless them all, and thank you to all you who make it possible for them to live safe, sound and content.
LB, daughter of resident, April 2018, St Winifreds Care Home.