My Week: Alastair Addison

The head of activities at Nightingale care home recounts his week

Alastair Addison
Alastair Addison

Monday: The week starts with a team meeting with our residents services department to review how we are meeting the needs of new residents and our client group. We focus particularly on a couple who have recently been admitted and who are living apart in different areas of the home because of their individual support needs. We explore different ideas to help them find quality time together.

Tuesday: I spend the morning making contact with some of our partnership projects, including Dulwich Gallery, where residents have the opportunity to enjoy exhibitions for free. My labour pays off - I discover a city farm that is interested in developing an outreach programme that will bring rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals into the home so residents can engage with them therapeutically in the lounges.

Wednesday: A small group of residents have a trip to Harrods - it's really heartening to see the staff welcome them so warmly. The experience is bathed in sensory awareness, with lots of pampering in the beauty section, and we are greatly entertained by a young lady who explains the vast range of bags that are available. It was difficult to choose between all the different designer handbags - a snip at £4,000 a time.

Thursday: Another group of residents are invited to have tea in the home of one of our volunteers. We are treated to wonderful food and there's great energy as everyone sits together, reminiscing and enjoying a sing-a-long beside a grand piano. I come home feeling that we all had the opportunity to discover new friends.

Friday: I like to keep Friday clear and have a walkabout in the building. The day ends with preparations for the Jewish sabbath - but things don't quite run to plan. The officiator who is to lead our service hasn't turned up. One of our gentlemen saves the day by agreeing to step in and lead the prayers. I make sure to say "shekoich" to him - a term of endearment used to congratulate anyone who participates in the synagogue.

Nightingale care home provides care for older members of the Jewish community

Alastair Addison is head of activities at Nightingale care home

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