Rollercoaster Fun

Sunday was a day for R&R. Russ and I took our raincoats (forecast showers) and headed off to Kennywood Park (just outside Pittsburgh) . There were rollercoasters galore – and even Russ “I don’t do Rollercoasters” went on 5 rides! I’m having trouble downloading the digital onride photos from their site, but I’ll put the others up so long

Russ doesn’t do Rollercoasters!

I rode the Phantom TWICE

Passavant Senior Community

As we pulled into the Community after our drive from the airport, I was gobsmacked – such a descriptive word for how I felt – by the size of the building. Passavant covers 42 acres and has over 600 residents who vary from independent living, through to nursing care. The buildings are awesome. The ground floor is laid out like a town street with shops, the library, fitness centre, Bistro etc. The second floor has independent elders, who may need the services of the care staff, so choose to stay in the main building rather than the houses in the grounds. the third floor houses the dementia residents, as well as being the Montessori floor. There are also nursing wings on each floor.

The garden area with fishpond and tributes
The music Area

Working closely with Mary Anne, the Lifestyle Director, I spent the last two days helping to organise the Sports Club room activities and displays . I attended a music session, two team Huddles and worked with some of the residents in the Garden room. I cannot believe how calm and peaceful the atmosphere is on each floor. Staff are calm too. The building is huge, and tastefully decorated throughout. Montessori activities are laid out where they are accessible to all. All care staff engage in the programme with the elders, encouraging them and working with them throughout the day. Wayfinding signs and visual cues are strategically placed so that elders can move around effortlessly and independently.

Cleaning utensils
Wayfinding & Visual cues

Workshop Graduates!

we did it

Day 2 of the workshop was a resounding success. Jennifer presented us with the tools to go out and change our communities so that the Elders in our care have the greatest possible quality of life. Off to Pittsburgh tomorrow

Workshop Day 1

After the worst taxi ride of our lives, we arrived in Crossway for the Workshop. It was great to finally meet Jennifer in person, after over a year of emails. Day 1 started with a tour of the Montessori school, and then down to business ‘Montessori for Ageing and Dementia’ One unexpected side discussion revealed a conclusion borne out by research, that far too many individuals are prescribed thickened fluids when it is not necessary. This is an area I should like to investigate further.

The Crossway Community is an excellent example of Montessori (and the accommodation is stunning). A few of the other delegates are working in Care facilities, one has an intergenerational project on the go, and others are interested in learning more about the topic. Besides myself, other international delegates are from Puerto Rico and Canada

Safely in Washington DC

Saturday morning and for once I was RTM (ready to move) on time. After an uneventful early morning drive to Heathrow, we boarded our flight to Washington. Noisiest plane I have been on – sat next to the window the air noise was constant! Then mid-flight, the call over the intercom that I’ve only ever heard in the movies ” Captain would like to know if there is a Doctor on board” The rest of the flight was uneventful, and we landed on time, flew through customs and were greeted by our taxi driver. A 40 minute drive to the hotel, and a quick check in.

Hotel employees are so helpful, but really laid back. The room is huge, but the Hotel really could use a refurb in the hallways etc. Our room is well appointed, and the breakfast is enough to get you through the day.

Day 1 in Washington was wet. In the words of the shuttle driver ” I have never known it rain so bad this time of year, and I was born here” We took the Metro into DC and walked around the sights. Capitol Hill, White House, Washington Memorial, Supreme Court and numerous galleries and Museums. We got soaked, bought an umbrella, and ate maccy d’s.. ‘David Baily’ was on her game despite the weather – 129 photos. Back to the hotel for a soak in a hot bath as jetlag caught up with us.

Drowned rat at the White House

Day 2 in Washington saw the sun make an appearance and the temperature soared. We made our way on the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery. WoW what an impressive way to honour those who served. Why can’t we do something like this for our Serving personnel? The size, and cleanliness was breathtaking – and all so precisely laid out. The gravestones and monuments are gleaming, and at the tomb of the unknown soldier, a soldier stands guard, marching up and down all day.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Lest we forget

Sightseeing over for a while as the reason for the trip takes over. A two day workshop in Maryland tomorrow, then off to Pittsburgh for a weeks research in the community.

What a logistics expert

Well, thanks to my logistics expert our cases are 99% packed – and we don’t fly till next Saturday! Just the paperwork to double check now. I went and had my hair done today – Thank you Ione from Celly’s Torquay. Russ surprised me with an early birthday present (although he also bought a new travel rod…..)

Hair by Ione
Happy birthday to me !
Russ’s new travel rod