Life is all about relationships and they remain just as important in our later years, helping to enrich each day and make it more sociable and rewarding.
When each new resident arrives in one of our care homes they not only remain connected with existing family and friends but are introduced to new friendships that include other residents and members of our care team. It is a wonderful way of feeling at home and part of a wider family, particularly if someone has previously been living by themselves.
Knowing an older relative has someone they are close to, can give family members a real peace of mind.
The blend of relationships
This ‘blend’ of relationships and companionship can also include familiar ones; those people who have played a special part in a person’s life like a spouse or sibling or lifelong best friend. After all, moving into a care home doesn’t mean you have to be apart from someone you love. Some of our residents who have moved in ‘together’ share each moment of every day with one another whilst others enjoy the variety of life that a care home offers whist being able to keep close and connected to someone they hold dear.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day we have created an online book dedicated to some of the everlasting stories of love and friendship in our homes.
Here is a an introduction to some of those stories and and how living in a care home has helped continue and nurture these relationships.
Bob and Mary’s story
Bob and Mary Owen, have been married for 67 years, and after years apart they were finally able to live together once more.
Mary, 88, has lived at Doulton Court for over seven years and although the couple had kept in touch during the pandemic, they were desperately missing being with one another; sharing a hug and holding hands.
So when the time was right and Bob also needed care he naturally wanted to move into the same home as Mary so they could continue to share their love for one another.
In January of this year, Bob moved into Doulton Court in Sutton-on-Sea to live with his wife.
Geoff and Rosemary’s Story
Geoff and Rosemary Bryant decided to make the move into Beech House Care Home in Barton-upon-Humber in December 2020 when they felt they both needed more support with day-to-day living. Geoff is 86 years and Rosemary is 81 years young.
Their closeness and enjoyment of being with one another is delightful to see and the home makes sure that their relationship and daily life nurtures their love and devotion for one another.
The couple share a room at Beech House and Rosemary says “We have found it easy to adjust to living in a care home as we still have each other. I think if someone feels that they or their partner could do with more support then moving in together is a really good idea.”
Geoff and Rosemary have a great social life at Beech House and meal times is a great opportunity for them to sit and chat with fellow residents. The full activities programme keeps them both busy throughout the day which they intersperse with regular walks together around the gardens of the home to ensure they both keep as active and well as they can.
They have both been able to continue enjoying their hobbies and interests especially their love of reading and word puzzles and both enjoy chatting about local history and life growing up in Lincolnshire with other residents.
H3 - Joyce and Jean
Of course many of our residents move in to our homes without a partner or loved one with them. Whilst it is ensured that residents keep in touch and still share their life with their friends and family it is also a great opportunity to forge new friendships and companionship.
Two lovely ladies Joyce and Joan from Hollie Hill Care Home in Stanley, County Durham met in the home a year ago and to the joy of their families have become inseparable since.
Extending the Four Seasons family to other homes
At the beginning of the pandemic, we launched a Postcard Pals initiative to bring alive community spirit and support our residents in feeling connected with their community. We asked local groups and residents to share postcards, letters and drawings with one another.
This proved very popular and residents thoroughly enjoyed receiving post from local school children, scout groups and others in our community so we extended this lovely initiative to be an 'inter-home Postcard Pals activity and many of our homes now have ‘Hello’ postcards so residents can keep in touch with those residents at our other care homes. There is nothing nicer than making new friends and residents can share interests and connections to local places.
The elderly have a lifetime of experience when it comes to love and companionship. Our residents are getting ready to celebrate cupid’s favourite holiday by reminiscing, sharing stories of their first dates plus their secrets to a happy marriage. Keep up-to-date with our latest activities in our homes here (link to news page).
Please do get in touch to talk about the support and care you require.
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