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Activities Leader at Amelia House raises money for battle against dementia

Jennifer Rayner, Personal Activites Leader at Amelia House Care Home in York, is following in the footsteps of her late father by returning to his old climbing routes. Jenny explains how retracing his steps has made her feel closer to the man she remembers.

Martin Rayner's diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease at the age of 52 came as a devastating shock. His family had noticed some changes in his behaviour: he would struggle to concentrate and on a few significant occasions seemed uncharacteristically forgetful.

It became clear something was definitely wrong when the devoted walker and mountain climber started to lose his bearings.

Jenny explains: "He started losing concentration and not understanding where he was. He lost hisa sense of awareness. He would go out wandering and forget where he was going. That wasn't my dad.

“When dad was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, he went into shock. It was very upsetting. He realised he couldn't go out walking anymore, that really had an effect on him.”

Martin's condition quickly declined and heartbreakingly he forgot most of the life he’d had after his twenties. While he remembered his wife Muriel, he stopped recognising Jenny.

Three years after his diagnosis, Martin sadly died from pneumonia. He was only 55 years old.

Jenny struggles to reconcile the difference between the father she knew and the person he became as a result of the disease. Soon after her father's death Jenny took up his hobby of walking.

"I wasn't into walking until he passed away and then I started getting the bug," she said, "My mum showed me lots of pictures of him walking."

With the aid of diaries he had kept, she set about retracing her father's footsteps on his many adventures.

"It's bringing back my dad's memory," Jennifer said, "I'm gutted I couldn't do these walks with him. It's quite poignant. When I go on walks I feel close to him. You feel like he is sat beside you."

After her mum found a picture of Martin on the challenging Amphitheatre Buttress climb in Wales, Jennifer has become determined to complete the climb, with plans to complete it on her 40th birthday in July in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.

"Of course being the adventurous type I thought I would give it a go in his honour," Jennifer said, "It will be a tough challenge but it’s great to know that I will be raising funds to help support people to live well with dementia today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow."

We'll keep you updated with Jenny's progress.

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17 Dec 2017

Residents, relatives, the care team and local community have all been helping get Riverside View Care Home in Darlington in the festive spirit.

Claire Westmorland, Home Manager, said: “Firstly we want to thank the local Co-Op who raised a lovely £180 for our resident’s fund. This will go towards our Christmas entertainment. On behalf of everyone in the home I want to thank Co-Op for their kind donation.”

Christmas has definitely hit the home, as they all got ready for their Christmas raffle. Complete with their very own naughty elf.

Claire added: “I want to thank everyone who donated to our raffle. The monies raised will go towards providing special experiences for our residents over the festive period. Merry Christmas from everyone at Riverside View.”

Are you looking for a care home in Darlington? Riverside View Care Home provides support for residential care, dementia care, respite care, end of life/palliative care and intermediate care.


16 Dec 2017

The team at Laurels Lodge Care Home in Woodside pulled out all the stops last week as they took part in Laurels Lodge has got talent.

It was an afternoon full of fun and laughter and the team were up for the challenge and showcased their talents amazingly.

Children from Donbank Nursery also joined the residents that day and they got involved and joined in dancing to the birdie song with the Marlene Smith, Personal Activities Leader. Relatives who came also joined in the dance and had a fun afternoon.

May Duncan said “this is great”! as she danced the birdie song.

Other relatives such as Lorna Graham and Irene Sivewright commented on how good the show was.

The headline acts included:

  • Linda Mason (Deputy Manager) and Lynn Smith (Home Administrator) - ABBA
  • Morag Leslie (SNCA) & Jenny Watt (Care Assistant) – as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
  • Rhodora Antiojo (Staff Nurse), Felix Mahinay (Care Assistant), Ewa Misztal (Care Assistant) & Arlene McGillivray (Care Assistant) as the Village People danced the YMCA music
  • Nomeda Jackstienne (Cook) as Madonna
  • Jolanta Nieckarz as Lady Gaga
  • Marlene Smith (PAL) dressed up as Chicken
  • Sheila Gesma (Home Manager) as the DJ

Marlene Smith, Personal Activities Leader, said: “The whole show was fabulous! The teachers from Donbank Nursery said to me that what we did was fantastic and they were very happy that the kids thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Sheila our manager was our DJ. It was also great to see relatives participating; it was indeed an afternoon full of fun and entertainment!”

Are you looking for a care home in Woodside? Laurels Lodge Care Home offers support for dementia care, nursing care and respite care.


16 Dec 2017

The Rookery Care Home has been fundraising to get some new activity equipment to provide special experiences for those in their care.

Susan Dyke, a member of the team made a big sacrifice and as a result raised over £400 for the cause.

Gail Llewelyn, Home Manager, said: “Sue decided she’s cut her hair off for the cause. She used to have hair that would rival Rapunzel and had never been to a hairdresser, so to have it cut off into a pixie style was a big deal for her. On behalf of everyone at The Rookery I want to say thank you!”

Are you looking for a care home in Ebbw Vale? The Rookery Care Home offers support for dementia care.


15 Dec 2017

The team at The Sycamore and Poplars Care Home in Mansfield celebrated a huge 120 years’ worth of experience last week, as 5 team members received long service awards.

Karen Gilbert, Home Manager presented the7 team members with their Long Service Certificates and gifts as a thank you for their continued dedication and hard work.

Karen said: “It was a pleasure presenting the team with their awards. I want to say massive congratulations to them all for their continued dedication and hard work. They’re all thought of very highly here in the Sycamore and Poplars by the rest of the team, the residents and their relatives.”

Are you looking for a care home in Mansfield? The Sycamore and Poplars Care Home offers support for all types of care including residential care, dementia care, nursing care, respite care and end of life/palliative care.

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