As families came together over the festive period it can often prompt conversations about their loved ones care needs. Lilian Faithfull Care have brought together the experiences of three families, who offer advice to others that might be facing similar situations. Virginia shares her experience of finding day care for her mum at one of Lilian Faithfull Care’s Day Hubs, Brenda talks about her recent respite stay and Kate shares her family’s experience having both parents cared for at the charity’s residential and nursing homes.
Lilian Faithfull Care is a charity with 76 years’ experience of providing care, support and a ‘home for life’ for people in Gloucestershire. Proudly caring for over 250 remarkable residents across five care homes and two adult day hubs in Cheltenham and Stroud.
Finding Adult Day Care; “What a relief and what a joy”
In the past, day care for adults has often had a dreary reputation so there can often be considerable barriers to encouraging those who would benefit that times have changed. The Secret Garden Hub in Cheltenham and Uplands Hub in Stroud are warm, welcoming family-sized day care, where guests enjoy companionship, home cooked food and a range of activities.
Virginia first introduced her mum, Gaynor, to the Secret Garden Hub in the summer;
“It was a gargantuan effort to get Mum to even consider attending, such a wobbly start behind the scenes. When mum realised that I wasn’t stopping for lunch during her first visit she suddenly wanted to cancel, anxiety clearly taking over. I felt like an over-bearing an insensitive daughter… How terribly guilty I felt and how anxious I was when dropping her off but oh how relieved and delighted I was that it has paid off.”
“Following her first two visits to hear the words ‘there is really nothing I can fault, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, everyone is absolutely lovely and nothing is too much trouble,’ has been music to my ears. Further positive comments relate to the quality of the food, the cleanliness of the building and all the facilities. What a relief and what a joy!”
“Mum continues to speak incredibly positively and enthusiastically about life at The Secret Garden after every single visit. From a mental health and wellbeing perspective, I always notice how animated and engaged Mum is following her visits. I truly believe that the companionship and stimulation of the day makes a huge positive impact. Long may the positivity and happiness continue.”
A Respite Stay; “It would be very easy to come back”
Respite stays can give the opportunity to recuperate or rehabilitate after illness, give a holiday from the daily routine and offer a break to carers. Brenda shared her experiences at the end of a four week respite stay at Faithfull House residential care home in Cheltenham.
“I came here because I needed somewhere where I could rest. In the last year I had a bad time getting over a stroke. It has had its odd repercussions in the last few months. I live alone and I got that I was actually finding it a job just to cope. I am nearly blind so it doesn’t help. I was getting fed up with looking after myself at home. I think I just I said to my boys ‘I need looking after’ so we sat and thought about it, they said ‘what you need mum is a place for some respite’. They themselves did some investigating, a bit of asking around and we settled on this place. We came to have a look at it one afternoon, was very impressed with the whole place, and certainly with all the staff and just how helpful everyone is.”
“I am an independent person, and that is very important to me. I thought it was going to be, ‘That’s it she’s gone now – she’s gone to a rest home and we won’t see her again’ but it doesn’t make me feel like that at all.”
“The staff are all amazing. They are all so obliging, they’re friendly and they’re tolerant, I couldn’t praise them enough to be quite honest.”
“It’s been an enjoyable stay for me, it’s been a new experience, I’ve never been into a respite place before. I think it would be very easy to come back if I want to even for the short term for two or three weeks if I need another break. It will be easy for me to stick up my hand and they’ll be pleased to see me.”
Respite care is available at all five Lilian Faithfull Care homes for residential and nursing care.
Residential and Nursing Care; ‘If we’d known these places existed we would have done it sooner’
Over the last three years Kate and her brothers have had to find care for their Dad and Mum, who were both initially very against any help.
“In 2019 dad broke his hip and was in hospital over Christmas and needed nursing care. As a family it was a huge relief when he came to St Faith’s. Dad settled in straight away. The way they treat him is so lovely. I feel so reassured that he is there. I know when he is happy and he is happy there.”
“Mum was then at home on her own and her dementia got worse. We were struggling as a family to care for her. It was getting worse and the worry was huge. Mum is naturally a happy person but we would find her crying and it got to the point when she had stopped caring for herself too.”
“We looked around a couple of care homes and decided it wasn’t appropriate for mum but as soon as we walked into Faithfull House we knew this was the place. The relief was huge. Our troubles had gone.”
“Mum came in for respite initially. She is a very proud lady and doesn’t want to be helped – she has spent her whole life helping other people. But at Faithfull House they encourage her to help. She doesn’t feel like she is in a care home. The staff have all adapted to mum and they are so flexible. She has a wonderful room and a beautiful view over to the hills.”
“It is wonderful to see her happy again and having a joke. She is always dressed beautifully, hair and nails done and this has always been important to her. She gets involved in the activities and we take her each week to see Dad at St Faith’s, our dog and tortoise visit too!”
Kate’s advice for those families going through a similar situation; “Go and look around because there is hope – there really is. If I’d known these places existed we would have done it sooner.”
To find out more about the two day care hubs, five care homes and their charity’s ‘home for life’ promise visit www.lilianfaithfull.co.uk