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Occupation

Not all residents appreciate the same things.

Mrs Greens’ radio was blasting out within the lounge. In the opposite corner, residents complained loudly. The manager intervened, offering a  solution; ear plus, restricted playing time or use of the radio within her room. Ear plugs were selected.

When Annie who was deaf and 90 years old, played the piano, it received mixed reactions. She enjoyed it and it did not last for long. Similarly, staff or residents’ singing was not appreciated by everybody.

Whilst playing skittles or pass the parcel, comments of “babyish” were heard, from the residents. However, those involved thoroughly enjoyed it.

Residents committees may provide the means by which grumbles may be heard and positive action taken. One committee achieved a ramp for individuals in wheelchairs to go outside independently and an outing to the seaside. However a drinks bar and fish and chips from the chip shop have yet to be granted. This committee was not established without initial mistrust from staff members but all were proud of it eventually.

Residents can also occupy themselves. All was quiet within the lounge. Mrs Hudson shared her packet of biscuits with five other residents and a nurse who just happened to be there.

It was Ednas’ birthday. Her relatives bought a large cake for her and she shared it in the lounge with whoever she pleased. She also had a cake from the home.

It was New Years Eve. Some residents stayed up later to ring in the new year with a party given by the night staff.

Margaret frequently had no cigarettes left so sent Fred, a resident, out to buy some. At least it gave him an incentive to go out even if she could go out herself.

Cigarettes were discouraged by the manager and locked within the cupboard. This often did not stop Arnold from smoking rolled up paper. Francis borrowed them from staff but never returned them. In a hurry to hide her lit cigarette, she occasionally burnt her nightie.

Mr Dear has a loaf tin attached to the side of his chair. There is  a solution for everything- it is for holding his pipe!

Some residents have  a bartering system for cigarettes exchanging them for chocolates of handkerchiefs.

Mrs Simpson who can hardly move, changes nursing home every two years because she likes a change and it relieves boredom. Nice if she has the funds.

Then there are marriages that occur between residents. They often create dilemmas regarding bedroom arrangements or relatives. Unfortunately one couple were obtaining a divorce after meeting within the home. There may be further problems if the couple argue and require separate rooms.

There are also staff who meet and marry. The residents seem to enjoy the weddings.

Mr Shin was banned from activity sessions by a horrified care assistant because he made frequent advances towards  a female resident. The problem was solved by educating the care assistant. Francis was banned from the same sessions because she was always complaining.

2am, some of the night staff were having a break. Outside snow had fallen so they went to build  a snowman. Some residents enjoyed watching through the windows. An old set of dentures, belonging to  a previous resident, created the mouth. Unfortunately, the care home inspector arrived the next day.

Mrs Bun sat watching the television; her favourite occupation. A nurse sat next to her obstructing her view. “ Move out the way!” bellowed Mrs Bun. The nurse willingly moved elsewhere feeling pleased that Mrs Bun felt able to respond freely.

The older residents sat within the lounge. Realising that cartoons were on the television, the nurse turned it over. “Hey I was watching that!” exclaimed an angry Mr Jones. You must never assume anything!

Elsie never came out of her room, eating her meals there. Suddenly she became very friendly with Agnes and went everywhere with her. Neither of them would go for dinner in the dining room. A little psychology worked, “Elsie, Agnes is waiting for you”. “Agnes, Elsie is waiting for you”.

Mrs Haven always goes to Mrs Davies’ room to eat her meals there. Are they such good friends? Apparently, as Mrs Haven explained, that end of the home is served meals and drinks first so they always receive warmer meals and the best selection of biscuits.

The rather well informed, polite member of staff who opened the door and welcomed visitors, was in fact  a resident.

Mrs noon and Mrs Drew had lived at Flower nursing home for 4 years. They sat near the reception desk in the entrance hall everyday, rain, hail or shine.

“Do you have any hobbies?” nurse Stye innocently asked Doris. “Why should I bother? I’m 89” shot the reply.

It was the homes annual bonfire. Unfortunately, most food was eaten by people from the neighbourhood who attended free of charge.

Mr Grill aged 84 wanted the activity co-ordinator to name all the American states. When she asked why his reply was “Why did Hilary climb Everest? Well that is why I want to do it”

Edith and Gladys never had time to be bored. They read 30 books between them every month and even reminded the receptionist when they were due back at the library.

Off she goes! Mrs Green age 70 out for the afternoon driving her car. No it does not all end in a nursing home.

Mrs Trim,a resident in Blue nursing home,  goes on holiday on her own every year and takes Mrs Sims with her.



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