A team from Winchester Rotary, who supported Westacre Nursing Home and other local homes with PPE provisions during the height of the pandemic, are aiding the nursing home once again by reaching out with letters to vulnerable residents.
Westacre Nursing Home provided Rotary with information on the residents receiving letters, such as their likes and interests, and memories that the residents reminisce about. Reminiscence therapy is a unique form of dementia treatment that Westacre adopted, using all the senses to help individuals with dementia recall memories.
Letters began with an introduction from the sender, including their name, family situation, where they live, and their special interests. To strike up a conversation and help the residents recall special memories, the Rotarians were encouraged to ask questions referring to a list of hobbies, travel, music, and literature that Westacre supplied.
The letters were delivered throughout August to residents who are still having to shield as a safety precaution. The letters were sanitised before being given to the residents, as is every item that enters the home.
Upon receiving her letter, Cecilia Turner, a resident at Westacre Nursing Home, said:
“I was delighted to receive my letter from Sandra at Winchester Rotary. It made me feel engaged at a time when I was feeling lonely due to not being able to see my family face-to-face. I have now written my own letter back to Sandra. We might even become pen pals!”
David Farthing, Scheme Coordinator and Past President of Winchester Rotary, said:
“We recognised that many nursing home residents are especially lonely due to the restrictions on visiting imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This inspired us to reach out to local homes, such as Westacre, and engage with the residents. The Rotarians are pleased to see that the letters are having a positive impact and we’re delighted to be receiving replies.”
This letter writing follows an initiative at the height of the pandemic when, to help alleviate a shortage of PPE, Winchester Rotary arranged for emergency deliveries of scrubs and face visors to many of the care homes in the area.
Lynne Seymour, Manager of Westacre Nursing Home, said:
“All of us at Westacre are very grateful to Winchester Rotary for their support during the pandemic. The resident’s faces lit up when they saw a big pile of letters for them. Social connection is essential for those with dementia and the letters really helped to keep our residents connected with the world outside the home.”
For more information on Westacre Nursing Home, visit: www.westacrenursinghome.com