Dorset care home celebrates ‘amazing’ lives of residents

A dementia care home in Dorset has held an awards ceremony to recognise the ‘amazing lives and experiences’ of its residents before staff got to know them.

The team at Colten Care’s Fernhill home near Bournemouth wanted to celebrate the wide range of careers its residents have pursued including journalism, sport, fashion, zoology and banking.

The home also homes a resident who was a World War Two codebreaker based at the Bletchley Park intelligence gathering centre in Buckinghamshire.

The staff team gave out 11 awards and recipients were chosen based on family input and biographical information from their care files.

Staff thought of the idea following a dentistry appointment with one of their residents, Dr Meg Skelly who is an expert in the field and knew the dentist holding the appointment.

Kate Morris, Fernhill’s companionship team leader, said: “When we arrived at the dentist’s, Meg received what I can only describe as a hero’s welcome. I then discovered that she had taught her consultant in years gone by. The dental nurses who greeted us all had one of her handbooks and referred to it as their ‘bible’.

“I knew Meg had been a dentist and had written a book but to witness the impact that she had on this team of people really touched me. I related the story to my colleagues and the idea emerged of an awards ceremony to recognise the lives and achievements of residents before we knew them.

“What an amazing and diverse wealth of professions, hobbies and lives we have here at Fernhill. It just goes to show that we are not defined by who we are today but by the lives and experiences we have had all along.”

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