After rescheduling and rearranging appointments and visits, I set off alone into Canada armed only with printed Google directions (satnav still vehemently denying the existance of Canada). Driving on the ‘wrong side’ of the road, in an unfamiliar and automatic car, was a daunting task, but one that I gladly accepted. I spent the morning being amazed and inspired by the work of Diane and Elaine of the Alzheimers Society. Whilst they face many of the same barriers as we do in the UK, they fight until they get what they want! They seek funding wherever they can to augment and supplement their federal funds, and the Montessori Home Kits that they have made up to lend out to Homes or individuals are nothing short of fantastic. They also have ‘babies’ and robotic pets which became so successful they actually have ‘adoptions’. Two very passionate ladies changing lives day by day.
In the afternoon, I met Gail Elliot – Dementiability – for a visit to Royal Rose, and a productive car journey. Gail is a leader in the field of Dementia, and the information she shared with me will be invaluable. On our tour of the Royal Rose Home, I observed Montessori & Dementiability in action. There were activites set out accessible to all, and a group of residents were working independently around a group table. As they each did their own work, they were chatting together. Those folding towels & sheets were not just keeping busy – this was the Homes laundry that was being folded – a task the residents do every day. The Housekeeper is on hand to check that hands are clean etc before starting, and that residents do not feel overwhelmed. The Home also partners with the local college to have student volunteers who work either with residents, or revamp/redecorate the areas. Again, I couldn’t help but notice the air of calm, and the restful, muted colours in the Home. With all of the Homes/Communities I have visited ‘risk over reward’ is prevalent. Residents are able to move around as much as they want, with or without walking aids – no-one ‘hovers’ over them in case they fall! ” The more we do for them, the more we steal from them” is the underlying motto.. This should be an adage we all follow in the care industry