Every Tuesday at 11.30am Elvira, a person we support, receives a visit from her mum, also called Elvira, at our service in Sketty, Swansea.
On these visits, without fail, Elvira’s mother (Vi Senior to avoid confusion!), brings a gift for her daughter – often flowers and cakes or whatever looks the most enticing in the local shop that morning! However, recently, Vi Senior has been suffering from dementia and is finding it increasingly hard to remember to bring something. While Vi Senior makes these weekly visits with both her sisters – Auntie Pauline, 83 years old and the designated driver, and Aunty Margaret now in her mid-90s, it has become increasingly difficult to remember to bring a gift for her daughter.
At Walsingham Support we understand that your relationship with a family member is paramount which is why we take pride in finding new ways to increase the quality of life and happiness of the people we support.
In Elvira’s case, a consistent routine is key. “Elvira was so disappointed when her mum didn’t bring anything to the visits” says Tracey, Locality Manager. With this in mind the staff decided to make it their mission to pop to the local shop every Tuesday morning and pick something up just in time for Vi Senior’s visits. These family catch ups tend to take place in the nearby pub or the local Wyevale garden centre. They play an integral part in her happiness and, along with baking and making cups of tea, are something that brings out the cheeriest side in Elvira.
This is now such an entrenched routine that Elvira, who has cerebral palsy and is in an electric wheelchair, takes delight in choosing what gifts she will receive from her mum every Tuesday. During the daily phone conversations between Elvira and her mum, they often discuss what treat to bring next for Elvira, which our staff take note of. If nothing is mentioned then they simply use their knowledge of knowing what Elvira loves. Last week it was cream cakes!
Walsingham Support understands the importance of caring for a loved one and the dependability a person we support can often feel towards a family member or friend. Our service in Swansea is a team of 10, including 8 support workers, who are on hand to help not only on Tuesday mornings but all the time. Every night the team rings Vi Senior at 6pm. It used to be the other way around. The staff appreciate the meaning of familiarity and are constantly finding alternative ways to put smiles on the faces of the people they support. With the aim of preventing any unnecessary stress or anxiety on both the families, carers and the individual we support.