In normal life, I’m a Project Manager in the Development team at Linc, but since Covid-19 has put that side of the organisation on hold, I have been redeployed to help out at Penylan House Nursing Home in Cardiff.
When I started helping out, I was a little nervous. This was going to be very different to my usual day job and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
On my first day helping on the dementia unit, I realised I had nothing to be nervous about. It is an experience I’ve found incredibly humbling and rewarding. I look forward to spending my time there and that’s thanks to the wonderful residents who always make me smile, and the hard-working staff who are so passionate, kind and committed.
My day starts when I assist with preparing breakfast and deliver it to the residents. There are a few residents who need a little bit of help with eating their breakfast, so I sit with them to give them a helping hand. This has been a good way of building trust and letting them know that I’m there for them, as we sit together at breakfast time, we really get to know each other.
From there I do some cleaning up, make fresh tea and coffee and socialise with the residents. I’ve been spending time with Beryl, who has the most endearing Scottish accent, and Matt, who enjoys sitting out in the garden and having a chat about his Dad who was a keen gardener. Both Beryl and Matt really enjoy this time and I am grateful for it too.
I’m also spending time with June, a resident at Penylan for respite care, sitting with her drinking tea and doing some colouring in, which she really enjoys. Moments like that make it so worthwhile and it’s such a joy to be June’s new friend.
It has been really emotional to think about how the families of these amazing characters must be feeling, not being able to visit them as they used to. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to sit with them, make them tea, have a chat and hopefully brighten their day.
If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this experience, it’s that my colleagues working in Linc’s nursing homes are simply incredible. The hours they put in, their positivity and the way they treat the residents like they are family is inspiring.
I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. Thank you.
Andrew Bale is a Project Manager in the Development team at Linc