I started visiting Marie as communicator guide in her nursing home in December 2013. I took this up as part of my care role at the Sense Tanglewood residential home, mainly to do something a little different. Marie’s previous communicator guides had to travel a long way to be with her and I lived quite close by. It was through this role that I had the opportunity to assist Marie on a rare visit home.
Going to visit Marie in a nursing home could still be restricting. However, even if I’d just had a quiet couple of hours sat with her, at least I knew she’d known someone had been with her. The staff are used to me asking to hoist her into a wheelchair so we can go out for some fresh air and sit in the sun.
The start of the year I was asked by Marie’s daughter if I would be happy to escort her from the nursing home back to her family home. She wanted her to visit her husband for his birthday, who is now unfortunately quite ill himself. Of course I wanted to do that.
Marie had no concept of where we were going on the day, and I don’t think she knew where she was. The look on her husband’s face though, and the way it lit up as he spoke her name, just hit me in the heart.
He remembered his wife after probably not having seen her for a few years. We were only there two and a half hours, but so many family members turned up in that time to be part of it. We were served posh Marks and Sparks sandwiches, and of course there was birthday cake.
Having worked in care most my life, we forget and take for granted the most basic things we help enable other people to do. That day definitely took me back, and to be part of such a special event in someone else’s life was a privilege.
We hope to repeat the whole experience in the summer months, and just have lunch out in the sunshine. Of course I can’t wait.
Interested in helping people to communicate, express themselves and connect with the world? Find out more about rewarding roles in care and the people you would help on our jobs pages.