Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Snow at Ron Smith

We had such a wonderful experience on the 7th of August with an unexpected change in the weather.  We were all busy in OT with various activities when the first flakes of snow fell.  I took the bravest resident out for a bit of sensory stimulation :)  His face lit up as he looked up and saw the tiny flakes falling down.  He remembered his first experience with snow.  "I can remember being on a farm when I saw snow for the first time.  I forgot how beautiful snow is."

The grounds of Elphin Lodge turned instantly into a Winter Wonderland. 

Another bunch of people who really enjoyed the snow were the enthusiastic third year Occupational Therapy students.  They were immediately out in the cold, running around and catching as many snowflakes as they could.  

Zainab, Nicole and Fae enjoying the snow  (and freezing to death).

Winnie was very happy about the snow.

Some staff members enjoyed the snow a bit too much and might have ended up with a bit of flu 
(so worth it).

Even though the residents did not make snow angels, the sisters on the ward made them all aware of the beautiful scenery outside and there was a kind of magic in the air that only snow can bring...

A bit of entertainment...

On the 10th of August, six Grade 10 scholars from Germiston High School came to do some volunteer work at our care centre.  They were doing this in honour of Madiba's 94th birthday, but they decided to give a whole day instead of the normal 67 minutes.

In the morning, they made popcorn for the residents for the Friday movie (Meet me in St Louis).  They served the popcorn and warm blankets and made sure the residents were comfortable for the movie.  They then came to assist with the group in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Ward where the residents really enjoyed their company.  They learnt a bit about sensory stimulation and how you can use it to stimulate a resident living with dementia.  They soon started dancing with the residents who were able to do so.

They then had an hour to plan a concert for the afternoon and they really put a lot of effort in.  The concert started off with an adapted version of "Amazing Grace" they worked out.  They then read a selection of beautiful poems to the residents and ended off with a dance number.  They performed this concert in some of the wards and their audience was very appreciative.  They sang along with Amazing Grace and gave the students a big round of applause after the poems and dancing. 

Thanks to Rumbi, Lerato, Nonhlanhla, Busiwe, Mosa and Siyabonga for the time they gave to do something special for the elderly.  We really appreciate this!

In the words of Mrs Beryl Moll:  "How marvellous."

Happy Birthday

On the 17th of August, one of our residents, Mrs Marjorie Gittings, turned 90 years old.  This milestone was celebrated through a special tea in the Riverlodge 2 lounge.  OT was closed that morning as we were all invited to celebrate with Marjorie and her family.

This beautiful birthday tea reminded me how each and every resident has a life story.  Sometimes we forget that when we spend time with the residents.  We see them when they come to the dining room or to OT or the concerts and hear bits and pieces of their memories and experiences, but we never truly realise that they all have their very own special story...

On Friday, I saw Marjorie in a different role.  I saw her as a mother and a grandmother and I could see how great she must have fulfilled those roles when I listened to the beautiful tear-filled speeches.  I saw her as an active church and community member and heard the testimonies of her friends and fellow church members about  how she changed their lives in a unique way. Her life story became real in front of my eyes and I was amazed by what I saw.

Let's never forget to find each resident's story and treasure it and make it part of our everyday interactions with them.

Happy birthday Marjorie.  May all of our stories one day be as beautiful as yours...

Marjorie and her beautiful card made for her by the church members.

Marjorie's family - from daughter through to great grandchild.