Care HomesNews

Hertfordshire Care Home Resident Publishes Book to Mark National Storytelling Week

With this week (January 29th – February 4th) marking National Storytelling Week (NSW), a Hertfordshire care home has shared the incredible story of one of its residents, whose transition into the home has helped facilitate and reignite his life-long love of writing, resulting in the release of his first book of poetry and musings.

Self-proclaimed bookworm and author, Hilmar Warenius, 80, has utilised his lockdown experiences at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, as the motivation that helped him fulfil a childhood ambition. Used as an exercise to boost positive wellbeing and mental stimulation, Hilmar recently took turns sharing his sonnets with other residents to mark NSW.

Titled ‘Smidgens of Verse’, the former doctor and scientist’s book of short poems include themes of love, loss and the passage of time. The diverse catalogue of reflective writing ranges from a hymn about a hated seagull to thoughts on the role of modern science and the deep intuition in explaining the nature of the world we find ourselves in.

Reflecting on key elements of his life, which includes several memoirs to his late wife, whom he shared 44 years of marriage, Hilmar has contributed 47 pages of reflective poems, which stem from his fascination with interpersonal communication.

Hilmar arrived at the family-run home in 2021, having wanted a change of setting after a prolonged period of isolation throughout the nation’s first official lockdown. Having sold his house and yearning for a sense of community, Hilmar quickly rediscovered his passion for writing in a supportive and thriving environment that he now proudly calls home.

Recounting the motivation behind his array of poems and musings, Hilmar said: “These short poems arose spontaneously in my mind within minutes of certain experiences. Recently, they have been reflective lockdown-evoked poems. Others are from earlier times and particularly, a wonderful wife who transformed my life for 44 years and left a grief-filled chasm when she died.”

The multi-talented writer also puzzled over the relationship with God, scientific explanations of existence, and even toyed with ideas about artificial intelligence.

He continued: “I hope that these short ‘smidgens’ will provide ideas and feelings to share and discuss, and maybe even trigger dreamy thoughts in the reader’s mind.”

Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “Hilmar is an individual who has truly lived an extraordinary and wonderful life, so we’re extremely proud to have played a part in him achieving a life-long ambition. Being a family-run home, it’s important to us that we help empower our residents and make them feel right at home when they join our extended family. We’re pleased our strong sense of connection and community has helped facilitate Hilmar’s incredible achievement of seeing his life’s experiences published for all to read, and we’re all just so proud of him.”

Hilmar’s eagerly anticipated memoirs is also to be completed this year, and will soon be made available for the public to buy. More to be announced in due course.