I have been working in an old folk’s home as a healthcare assistant for 8 years. It is a hard but very rewarding job and you can really make a difference in people’s lives.
The reason I started working in a home is because of my grandma. My grandma became frail in her later years and when we couldn’t look after her at home anymore and she needed professional help, we found a care home close to where we lived and she was well cared for.
The healthcare assistants in the home cared for my grandma as if she was a member of their own family. I had heard some horror stories about care homes, but we were so lucky to have found this home. My grandma was in great hands.
The home had something called active care. This meant that the residents helped do laundry, worked in the kitchens and generally anything to help keep them active and healthy. They were not made to do these things, it was purely to keep the residents mentally and physically active and it worked. I saw my grandma do these things and she went from sitting around all day to helping to cook her own meals, assisting with bingo calling and she seemed healthier and happier.
The day came when we got the call we were dreading grandma had had a fall and she had been hospitalised. My grandma was so poorly and frail, she never recovered and sadly, passed away a few days later.
We had the funeral and a lot of the carers came to the funeral, she was well loved and the guys wanted to pay their respects and say goodbye.
This was the time I decided to do my training as a healthcare assistant. My grandma was beautifully cared for and I wanted to help give this type of care to other people’s relatives.
I wanted to repay the kindness others had shown and this was my way of doing it.
I saw the affect the activities had on my grandma and even though she was really too frail to show too much improvement, for some residents this had a profound affect. I spoke to the care home manager and said I would like to donate some of the money my grandma had left me to the care home. The manager said actually they had been considering a gym for the residents and the money I had offered would pay for the entire thing.
I told them of a great website to get things started I had bought some fitness equipment from it and thought it would help them.
I know it is what my grandma would have wanted and she would have loved this.
A room at the home was converted into the gym. It was filled with treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines. It looked amazing and would be put to great use.
A specialist activities coordinator/personal trainer who specialised in elderly care was recruited to help run the gym.
Making a Difference
Within a year of me working at the home, it was a livelier more active place. The atmosphere had changed completely. There was really something to this keeping active to help stave off depression and dementia and if you already had it, activities could help stop these illnesses progressing.
I am no expert, but all I can say from being there I witnessed the improvements first hand.
My grandma had played a part in this and I couldn’t be more proud.