The day services leader at Northwich Older People Enjoying Life Group recounts her week
Monday: Today I go to Chester to help the day centre move into new premises. After all the bad weather we've had, the sun decides to come out today and it is one of the hottest days in ages. But we get everything finished by late afternoon, despite the soaring temperatures.
Tuesday: I visit my group and brief my team for the day ahead. I then set off to help the Chester day centre leader settle her group into its new location. The clients are delighted with their new surroundings: they have a separate dining room for meals, a conservatory for activities and a beautiful garden to enjoy.
Wednesday: Today we make some last-minute adjustments to our plans to take my Thursday group to Southport for the day. Such outings are hard work, but the clients look forward to them: some have no relatives to take them out. I finalise the plans with the hotel we are visiting and then check with my volunteers that they are up for the challenging day ahead.
Thursday: I nip to the shops to buy sweets for the journey and then we are ready to go. One volunteer leads a singalong session as we drive up the motorway. We arrive at the hotel and the manager ushers us into the dining room. We have a two-course meal followed by a 60s disco, complete with DJ dressed in a gold lame jacket. He could not believe that our clients, including those in their nineties, were so ready to get up and dance.
Friday: I'm inundated with phone calls from grateful relatives telling me what a wonderful job the team had done yesterday. But there's no time to rest because one of the clients is 94 next week and I have to get her a card and present. Next week I have a small company coming in to sell chutneys, jams and other preserves. They are all gift-wrapped and the clients like to buy them for friends and relatives. I must make sure they bring in their favourites - I don't want any fighting over the last jar of whiskey marmalade.
Northwich Older People Enjoying Life Group is part of Age UK Cheshire, which supports older people
Debbie Preston is day services leader at Northwich Older People Enjoying Life Group