Choosing Acorn Court For My Dear Dad
Families are an integral part of our home. Here Gill shares her story of caring for her father with dementia and how she chose Acorn Court.
How did your need for care come about?
Dad had been unwell for a while and we’d been looking after him at home. He then had the diagnosis of dementia and ended up in a home that wasn’t meeting his needs because of his complex behaviour, so we were looking for an alternative place.
What were your first impressions of Acorn Court?
I remember visiting one lovely summer evening and the relief I had from meeting the team – they were so understanding. I was fearful of handing Dad over to someone else but they really reassured me that they were specially trained to look after people with dementia and meet their needs. I looked round Acorn Court and it smelled nice and clean, you could hear chatter and laughter and you could see people were comfortable there. They spoke of how they link with the community, and it just blew me away.
How has your father been since joining Acorn Court?
He’s doing well. His anxiety has lessened because the team know how to calm and reassure him so that his quality of life is the best it can be.
When Dad was at home and his dementia started to get worse he could never remember people’s names. But he’d only been at Acorn Court a few weeks when names started coming back to him. That was huge! The fact that he felt at home and was making human connections with people, said a lot to me about the home and how they work.
Acorn Court really is like his home and so, as his family, we’re welcomed too. After visiting him I used to get choked up with relief because I knew he was being so well cared for.
How would you describe the team?
They are so friendly, happy and smiling – that was one of the things that struck us; when you walk into the home there’s a sense of warmth and family. They’re advocates of the rights of the people who live there, making sure they have everything they need. It’s also a place of fun. Dad has a cheeky sense of humour so they have a lot of banter with him.
The social activities they offer are just wonderful, and because of dad’s mobility restrictions, they bring things to him, like at Easter they brought baby chicks to visit him! They make everything accessible and inclusive, it’s lovely.
How does the care your father receives affect your life?
The impact it’s had on our life as a family has been phenomenal. The relief we feel that he’s in a safe place where people care about him is huge. That we can trust them to give him everything we would, if he was still at home, from an emotional point of view, it’s been a great thing for us. It means we can go out for the evening or go away for the weekend and know he’s in really safe hands! So that’s quite liberating for us, it’s given us some freedom.
How has Acorn Court kept you all connected during lockdown?
Dad’s become part of the FaceTime generation! It’s so lovely to see him and he really appreciates seeing us, which is amazing. We can call Acorn Court any time for an update on how he is and the manager has been fabulous sending emails, it’s been really reassuring communication. Given everything that’s been going on in the past few months, life continues as normal for the residents because of the strength of that team, making sure everyone is safe and happy and loved. I’d quite like to stay there myself!