We, as the Rest Homes team, visit many nursing, care, and rest homes across the city and beyond. Last week we were visiting an Elderly and Mentally Infirm (EMI) home in Hove, who specialise in dementia. After singing in the lounge, we were asked to visit a resident is her room. The resident is bed bound and the staff are very concerned that she is spending too much time in her room on her own. She is the only resident who isn’t mobile, so the activity coordinator doesn’t have much time to spend with her as her time is needed for the majority of residents who are are able to congregate in the lounge. We were taken to the resident’s room and we sang ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ together, which was followed by a little chat and, as is normal with dementia, the conversation was a little disjointed. However, what the resident did say was “everyone should be allowed to speak”! Everyone in the room was so moved by this as it was her way of saying she hadn’t had anyone to speak to.
So often, people, apart from immediate family, stop visiting those suffering with dementia. They need company and someone to take an interest in them, as we all do. They may not be able to hold a conventional conversation or remember being visited, however the good feelings of being loved and cared for last long after the memory of the visit has gone. We would really appreciate so many more volunteers to visit people in the rest homes because “everyone should be allowed to speak”!
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.