Staff and residents at Fleming and Balmoral House in Castledare have witnessed a series of very positive changes in recent months thanks to the Montessori approach of Care with Purpose, having helped to transform the day to day running of both. A major part of the change has been revitalising the dining experience at Balmoral House and much of this has been driven by Lifestyle Facilitator Helen Haynes.
“I joined all the tables together and made sure all the cloths, napkins, salt and pepper and name plates were matching. I then went out and bought all new crockery, put artificial flowers on the table and it looks lovely! Residents and relatives were asking what the special occasion was and I just replied that it was always going to be like this!”.
The next change was to prepare the dining room for breakfast at Balmoral after dinner by laying out sugar, jam, butter, bread and cereals etc. This way the residents could help themselves first things in the morning and the residents really enjoyed being able to make their own toast immediately and spread away.
Helen Haynes explains the next step is to set up a permanent outdoor area so the houses can take it in turns to enjoy the sunshine and alfresco dining. She also wants regular coffee mornings and afternoon teas in the fresh air.
In addition, the residents of Balmoral are managing to embrace the care with Purpose approach, despite limitations due to physical abilities. They are helping to lay the tables, polish the cutlery and do the laundry, as well as the fun creative side, like building cake tears and sing-alongs.
In Fleming, where the Care with Purpose ethos is well-established, staff can see residents loving the sense of purpose it provides.
“When I last went into Fleming, everyone was doing something; Bernie was sorting buttons, Thelma and Etty fight over doing the laundry and Etty irons her own clothes then automatically hangs them in her room. Kym has everyone crocheting and Father Peter insisted on wearing a napkin on his head, so they crocheted him a beanie, which he now never takes off.” Ms Haynes said.
She says there seems to be a lot more laughter and happiness in both houses and that people seem to have more energy and be much more self -motivated.
“Increasingly the team are coming on board, which is great, and I think everyone is realizing this is not a hard or useless thing that we are bringing to Catholic Homes. The smiles on the faces of our residents and families are the proof!”