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Transition from your own home to living in a Residential Care Home

1st December

Increase in life expectancy has been confirmed by public health experts, these figures really tell us something about the health of the whole nation. Whilst research continues into medicine and treatments, life expectancy is expected to hit the 90’s.

Multitudes of older people are loved and supported by devoted partners or families, or they live in care homes. As we know the 2 areas of fear of people as they become older is loneliness and loss of independence. Making choices as it becomes difficult to live alone is not easy. Having support and companionship overrides most fears.

What I enjoy about my role at Swarthmore:

We all have the ability to help others in need. It is so rewarding. I welcome new residents and help them settle into the home. I am not a carer or trained to give personal care, having the privilege to get to know someone and their family is a pleasure. Being able to make new friends and reassuring them that they can make new friends too. Sharing stories takes away the feeling of isolation and loneliness, I hope that I can make a difference if its only for half an hour a day. Conversations put smiles on faces and allow people to express their feelings. Its good to share.”   Sally

Activities provide so much to suit all abilities. We have days out when the weather permits! We make new friends and share laughter together. We celebrate all occasions together, no one is forgotten. Resident feedback

Across Europe, governments have been measuring ‘life expectancy’, alongside ‘healthy life expectancy’. This measures how long we are expected to live without any disabilities as we age; how long we can carry on living without assistance. The results show that we are living longer with disabilities. Of course, this comes with life changes to accommodate our lifestyle.

It’s important to talk, remember that older people are grown up versions of You and Me! Everyone wants to look and feel good in some way, whether it’s having their hair done, continuing a lifetime hobby such as gardening. It matters, and it makes us all feel good whatever age we are. In fact, research also shows that we look forward to retirement so we can start to enjoy more holidays, relax, spend more time doing the things we enjoy the most. Research shows socialisation is important; the more we interact and keep fit in our youth; we have more chance of enjoying our later years.

Talking about things in the past make people feel good. Reminiscing is a huge part of our day, and it makes people feel good talking about the past. Memories are important facts of life. If you can break a barrier in someone’s life and get them to open up, especially on a day when they don’t necessarily feel great. Try asking someone ‘what makes them smile’? You can make a difference.

Keep moving and exercise if you can. Exercises that have the most effect are those that contain some work on your balance, for example standing on one leg. Regular exercise is also important, its also important to use an instructor to make sure you are doing the right exercise. Exercise can be done from a chair for those who do not have the mobility to stand for long periods of time.

Here at Swarthmore, we encourage residents to walk, join in an activity, share sadness and laughter and offer support where needed. Preserving independence is one thing; getting back on track when things sometimes go sideways can be a challenge for all. Chair exercises, a brisk walk around the grounds or the home even if its 10 minutes here and there. This will keep your muscles working and is also good for self-esteem. Staff are available to walk with you, they are also here if you want to someone to talk to.

I just want to be in a peaceful place, where I can read a book. Nowadays, time is for talking to people, if you live on your own, this isn’t always possible. 

Time shared between fellow residents, staff and friends gives us lots of different things to talk about. Older people shouldn’t be separated from younger people; Swarthmore have recently engaged with a local Montessori school. Everyone is enjoying regular visits where residents and children can spend time together. Swarthmore is situated close to a high street with cafes and shops, close transport connections into London and beautiful countryside and a stunning garden to enjoy the seasons.

If you have any worries or concerns about moving into a Residential home, we are available to discuss. List your questions and then make a list of Pro’s and Con’s to help you decide if this is the right move for you.

A few words from our residents:

What’s important to me? “Having my independence, being able to continue to go out when I feel like it. Living in my own home, became a burden. I was frightened for some time after having a fall at home. I am now in a place where people are always around to help when I need it. I feel secure.”

It’s also important to get to know people, ask questions about their likes and dislikes. Create a life story about each person where possible.

I feel that the precision of running a home is very important to the management and to the residents. I am amazed how well the housekeeping runs at Swarthmore. The housekeepers go to great lengths to provide a smooth service. The care team are always courteous, and I feel this is so important. I feel comfortable as a new resident.

Today I fancied going for a walk along the patio in the winter sun, I mentioned this to a carer, and they said of course. To my delight they offered to accompany me, and we held a delightful conversation on the way. Staff are very helpful and kind at all times.

Having experienced many things in my life and brought up my own family, its important to be treated with respect. It’s important for anyone growing old and in a care environment that they remain to be treated as an adult and not an old person or made to feel inadequate. Staff here at Swarthmore are very kind and helpful.

Swarthmore is a happy home, and the care is wonderful. My experience here is that staff are very caring and always understanding. Staff are very careful with responses; you are never made to feel stupid with age. Even when our body doesn’t allow us to do something, but in our mind, we feel we can do it. Staff have so many different levels of care to provide, chef has different choices in food, but nothing is too much trouble for anyone.

What worries you the most about looking for care? Day-to-day chores becoming too much? Do you feel isolated? These are questions that most of our residents experienced when considering care. It’s not an easy decision but having someone to discuss all your concerns helps lighten the load. Discuss with families and friends and feel free to contact Swarthmore Residential Care home to arrange a viewing or discuss your requirements.

It’s a new chapter in life, like a jigsaw puzzle when you are looking for the right pieces to come together. Contact us on 01753 885663. Come and try a month’s respite, hopefully this will give you an insight about residential care. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Swarthmore interaction with local Montessori school 

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Swarthmore Residential Care Home provides person-centered respite for carers in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire