The ‘we are all family’ approach in action at Landermeads

It’s hard to single out anyone in particular as every single member of our team brings something special to the Landermeads family.

Nicky and Juliana in the Kitchen Team are massively important to us.   They are so warm and welcoming to anyone who comes into the main kitchen, which in many care homes would be regarded as a ‘staff only’ area.   But why would you make the kitchen a ‘no go zone’ when in most people’s houses, it’s the heart of the home? Sometimes some of our family members (people living in our home) will go into the kitchen not really knowing what they want at first.   Nicky or Juliana will take the time to find out if they want something to eat or perhaps want to help out with one of the jobs in the kitchen.  They understand the importance of people having purpose in their day.     John knows it is somewhere where he will feel included and needed.  He might grate cheese and make his own sandwiches or find another snack to eat.  Dan, who is 91 hasn’t been eating very well and is very frail now, but he’ll go and find Nicky and enjoy some ice cream.   It’s interesting that a lot of the men seem to like going to spend time in the kitchen.  It’s maybe that it gives them a sense of independence or perhaps they are seeking out the comfort of food and friendship when they are feeling a bit bored or restless.  Is the way to a man’s heart through his stomach?

All our homemakers are amazing.  They don’t just see themselves as doing things in the houses like supplying food and drinks.  When time permits, they will often take people out to do something they enjoy, to play a game of pool, go to the pub etc.

Our maintenance man (also called John) is a great character. One of the women living here took a fancy to him as he reminded her of her husband as he was also tall and bubbly.   John was happy to take her around the home with him when he was doing some jobs.  She would give him a big hug or they’d have a dance together. He was very happy to make her feel like she was with family. Recently, one of our gentlemen, Pete was feeling unsettled because he couldn’t find his glasses.  We tried to find some for him, but none of them were quite right.  John thought out of the box and took the lenses out of his own reading glasses and gave them to Pete, who told him they were “perfect” and joked he could see “two fingers” again!  He’s really happy with the glasses and is still wearing them now.  Pete used to be an electrician and had a job in a care home too, so John takes time to talk to him about some of the jobs he’s doing and to ask for his expert opinion on things.

What we love about working at Landermeads is that we all pitch in together, and there’s very little sense of hierarchy. At the end of the day, we are all part of the family, and find ways to bring fun, friendship and purpose to every day.

Mandy Giles and Georgia Bowers, Landermeads Home, Nottingham, UK

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