Sheldon House – a help in our solitary years
11:11am Wednesday 9th May 2012 in Letters
I WATCHED two telelvision programmes last week about the care of dementia patients. One was very shocking and brutal (Panorama) and the other showed humane loving care of those with the illness (Louis Theroux, albeit in America).
I am moved to describe the exceptional care I see given to dementia patients in Sheldon House here in Falmouth.
My husband has been a resident at Sheldon House for four-and-a-half years and is mostly bedridden. He can no longer see, walk or talk, but I think he can hear and respond to touch and taste.
He is a person with great human dignity and courage, as are all those who live there. Each resident is treated with respect as the person they continue to be – until the end. Their names and their lives matter.
Although they can no longer engage in many activities, familiar activities and interactive chat goes on; entertainers are enjoyed.
I noticed one young man carer was very awkwardly learning to knit, and if he has a spare moment he sits and does a couple of rows, someone else sings and another one practices on the piano.
The girls who clean have done a wonderful touchy/feely mural of the beach along the corridor. We don’t know how much this is appreciated by the residents, but it has a happy spacious feeling which is now part of the home – an old impractical hotel; and all is kept clean and fresh.
But it is the dedication, the professionalism, the kindness, the endurance and the effort of the staff, the carers, nurses, managers, cooks and all who work together there, which make it so good and this is responsible for the special atmosphere at Sheldon.
It is person-centred and everyone is special, including the relatives. I am able to enjoy an excellent home-cooked meal with my husband and I am warmly welcomed at any time of day or night (and I go in at many unusual hours).
This care has greatly helped both of us through these solitary years and I want to say a public thank you to these special people who are doing their work so well, as it needs to be done.
Diane Platt, Stratton Place, Falmouth