From theatre trips to seaside visits and harbour walking, memories are coming alive for residents at Sovereign Lodge Care Centre, thanks to a new project.
The team at the home, which is part of the Healthcare Homes group, launched the ‘Make a Wish Come True’ initiative with the aim of granting a wish for a resident every month.
Activities Coordinator Tracy Wenham speaks with residents to learn more about their past and their happy memories, then plans trips, visits or activities to make their wishes come true.
Varied ‘wishes’ have already been granted, with residents enjoying all kinds of visits and experiences, based on their requests. 80-year-old Jenny Tanner, who has been at the home for three years, has always spoken to staff about her love of dance, having learned various styles at drama school and growing up in a ‘dancing family’. Jenny’s wish was to see the Nutcracker on stage, so she was taken to see the performance at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne in December. She last saw the performance 20 years ago and said, “It was a dream come true.”
87-year-old Thelma Lipp has fond memories of walking down the Eastbourne promenade with her late husband, Laurence. They would walk hand in hand admiring the carpet gardens. Their favourite place to eat was Harry Ramsdens, so the team took her to the promenade for the afternoon before dining at their beloved fish and chip restaurant.
79-year-old Robert (Bob) Jones has fond memories of his happy childhood and particularly remembers the fun he had going fishing with his father. Bob wanted to visit Eastbourne Harbour, so staff took him out on his birthday for a walk around the harbour in the sunshine, watching people fishing, admiring the fish and the boats, and talking about his past. He also enjoyed dinner at a waterfront restaurant. Bob described it as “a perfect day”.
Next in line for a special day is resident Joyce who will be taken for afternoon tea with her son and his wife at the Hydro Hotel later this week.
Home Manager Sam Kirwan explains, “Many of our residents live with dementia, so we spend a lot of time exploring memories and triggers of happy thoughts, which can have a significant impact on their wellbeing.
“Many have vivid memories of happy times from over the years, so we came up with the idea of granting wishes that will transport them back to their favourite moments and enable them to reminisce about their pastimes and loved ones.
“The feedback we’re receiving from the residents and their families is just overwhelming, so the ‘Make a Wish come true’ project is now a regular part of the home and something we all look forward to every month.”