A Day in the Life
Welcome to our Centre!
We open at 8.30 a.m. for all the staff. Our Clients (Club Members as they like to be called) arrive from 10 a.m. onwards.
David our Mini Bus Driver and one of our Carers get ready to go out to collect the Clients who require transport. Flasks of Tea are filled and warm rugs are placed in the Mini Bus prior to setting off shortly after 8.30 a.m. The remaining team prepare the Centre for the arrival of our Clients. One team member is assigned to the kitchen to prepare the Breakfast that is given to the Clients on arrival at the Centre.
We then get ready the Bathrooms, leaving towels and clean clothes etc. for the allocated baths of the day. The Sitting Room fire is lit and the lamps are turned on and the Main Room is set up for the days Activities.
The ultimate aim of the Centre is to ensure the Clients feel safe and welcome. To aid this feeling scented candles are lit and Potpourri are placed throughout the building. Oils such as Lavender are placed in the Bathrooms and used during bathing. The mood we set is one of relaxation and mellowness. The scents, colour scheme and furniture all combine to create this atmosphere.
From 10 a.m. onwards our focus will be totally on each Client. Staffing levels allow us to provide individual attention where needed. This has proven to be of great advantage to the Clients as there is nothing that can replace the safe feeling which individual attention creates.
The activities that are carried out daily very much depend on the Client's present. We have Knitting, Painting, Pottery, Reminiscence Therapy, Music Sing Songs, Crosswords to name but a few.
Most days if the weather is fine we go for a walk. Luckily we are close to the Seaside where a walk on the Promenade is loved. Unfortunately not all our Clients are fit to walk, and they remain in the Centre where they take part in a gentle exercise programme with some of our staff. There are usually two or three activities on the go at anyone time - this ensures that the differing needs of all the Clients are being met.
There are facilities for the ladies to have their hair done, to have a Manicure and Massage Therapy. The gentlemen also benefit from these therapies.
Lunch is served in the Dining Room at 1 p.m. where the table is fully set with napkins, glassware and flowers as the centrepiece of each table. All this encourages enjoyment of the meal. Our main meal is catered by Joan and her staff from nearby Louth Co. Hospital and the Centre provides the starter and dessert. Some of our Clients require assistance with their food and others need their food blended. Again their dignity is maintained while they are being fed.
The afternoon is generally quieter and more restful after the busy morning. The Daily Paper is read aloud while all the Clients stretch out in their armchairs after their dinner. A singsong may take place or some reminiscence therapy could develop form the songs. Generally it is the quiet activities that take place at this time -e.g. manicures. On a wet afternoon we sit by the fire and watch an old musical on T.V.
Afternoon Tea is around 3.15 p.m. and we follow this with our final singsong for the day. The song "At the end of the Day" has become our National Anthem, which all the Clients recognise as the time that signals going home. Again David and carers escort all the Clients to the Minibus and deliver them safely home.
The changing seasons have a bearing on our activities. The winter is the hardest as we may not be able to get out. The gardens at the Centre are beautiful and from spring onwards we weed and plant both flowers and vegetables. All the Clients love working and being in the garden.
We also celebrate each Birthday and Public Holiday - in plain language we mark all occasions.
This is just a snapshot of what may occur in a day in our Centre. Behind scenes very hard work and total dedication go into ensuring each day is enjoyable for our Clients. Supporting the Team are a Management Committee and Branch Committee who are responsible for fundraising to keep the Centre open.
The work we do focuses on both the person with Alzheimer Disease and their family members. We also provide a Listening service and practical help where possible. Our Clients dictate our day's activities. I know that our service is working by the simple fact that the Clients have taken ownership of the Centre and call it their "Social Club".
In reading this account of our day one may get the impression that all our Clients need little care. This is far from the truth. Some of our Clients require a great deal of care but the atmosphere in the Centre does not highlight their differences. It allows all to blend in and thus creates a Home from Home atmosphere.