There can be something of a stigma about having an elderly loved one move to a residential care home. A sense that they are being ‘tucked out of sight’ preparatory to the end of their life. But this is not correct at all. Most care homes – such as these care homes in Minehead here – offer older people greater security and comfort. As well as giving them a new lease of life during which they can return to old hobbies. Take up new ones and enjoy these along with some new friends. Let’s take a look at a day in the life of a care home resident.
Up and At ‘Em!
Most care homes have an earlyish start, waking the residents between 7am and 8am. Offering help with dressing to those who need it, organising wheelchairs for those who are not mobile. And putting on breakfast in the communal dining room. At this time, medications to be taken with food are dispensed.
Depending on the care home and the status of the residents. Some residents may drive themselves to the shops or off on trips to the dentist or doctor. For other residents, often an in-house doctor or dentist will call to the care home and see the patient in the privacy of their own room.
This is also a time when care homes arrange activity sessions. These can range from singing and music to age-appropriate exercise classes, in-house bingo games and many more. Most care homes offer activities of some kind as it has been proven to maintain and improvement cognitive abilities. Perhaps even delaying the onset of dementia conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Lunch and Tea Times
Tea and lunch are opportunities for socialising with other residents, and even with some of the staff too. Dietary requirements are noted and those with special requirements are catered for. And each meal is designed to offer maximum nourishment along with deliciousness: older people will rapidly lose interest in eating if they are offered poor quality food – and this can create a knock-on effect causing them to fall ill, and lose even more condition. Good nutrition really is the best remedy for a number of small ills.
Gardening, arts and crafts – of all types, jigsaw puzzles and gentle exercise, which can include walks, chair aerobics or even swimming sessions are offered to the residents who would like them. Sometimes, the care home will arrange for a hairdresser to come in to trim and style the residents’ hair. And once again, more mobile residents might head off to do their own thing for a short while, signing in and out to let staff know where they are.
Evening and into the Night
As the temperature begins to fall, even in summer, residents return inside. While some might retreat to their own rooms, where they might have a TV of their own, most gather in the communal lounge to chat, play cards, do puzzles, or watch TV together, enjoying a sense of companionship.
Capable residents can put themselves to bed when they feel like it. But less able residents will be bathed (if needed and wanted) and helped into their nightclothes and into bed: left settled for the night with a call-bell to hand in case they have need during the night.
There is no reason why any care home resident cannot enjoy a full and fulfilling life while being looked after by caring staff who will make sure that they are well-fed, safe and in as good health as possible.