Not everyone needs hands-on support to get dressed or take their medications. But there aren’t many who say no to some quality time with a person they trust and can have a good natter with once or twice a week.
We have Wellbeing Companions who visit people, at home or in a care home, and share some quality time.
Wellbeing Companions are chosen carefully - we match personality preferences, interests and hobbies.
They develop a long term relationship with the people they visit – one that is based on deep trust and a shared connection.
“When you’re low on energy, do you prefer someone bubbly to help chivvy you out the door, or someone who will follow your lead and cosy down for a cuppa and chat?”
We pay attention to how often and when in the day a Wellbeing Companion should visit. Sometimes it’s better to come after a person’s favourite radio show as they want something different to look forward to afterwards. Others prefer to share that radio show with someone, have a chat about it and then take a nap.
Most importantly, it’s about spending time doing something they both love. Usually there’s one or two activities in particular that light a person up. Companions might bring in a dog for a cuddle for the doggy enthusiast, or sachets of coffee beans from the next country on the list to the self-professed “coffee snob”, or a new book from the library on The Romans for the history-lover… the possibilities are endless.
Part of a Companion’s aim is to reconnect the person with the wider world beyond the their own home or care home. Taking into consideration physical health and budgets, that might mean taking the dog out for a walk, or going to a local coffee shop with the best Italian Roast and authentic pastries, or to a museum exhibition on the Romans!
“We all need something to look forward to. When we tell Margaret that that Suzie is coming to visit him, she's a much happier lady that morning and it all goes more smoothly!”
Wellbeing Companions look out for ways to help the person build relationships to others around them. This might be with locals or care home residents, club members, or professionals. That way some of the magic can continue between visits, and the Companion provides that extra-special one-to-one meaningful attention that keeps the creativity and flow going.
We’re not afraid to dream big, either. We want to ensure, enhance and then exceed all expectations for wellbeing in later life.
If it’s at all possible, then we’ll find a way to get a person into a full-time doggy share scheme, to join a weekly coffee club, or go on holiday to Rome!
Dreaming big isn’t always ‘big’ in a real-world sense though. For some living in the later stages of dementia, it’s fundamental sensory stimulation that brings a smile to a person’s face. If you haven’t already, please read Carrie’s wonderful stories of connecting with Emma through sounds, lights and smells, while she stays warm and comfortable in her care home bed. Read Emma's blogs.
The statistics from the Campaign to End Loneliness are pretty sobering, but no matter the circumstances, there is absolutely no need for anyone to be lonely in later life.
If you think someone you know would benefit from spending quality time with a Wellbeing Companion please get in touch.