Graeme and Andy move to Donec Mews
Moving home is a huge life event for anyone. For Graeme and Andy, it was even bigger – as they moved across the country 200 miles to our Surrey care home Donec Mews, so they could stay together.
We spoke to service manager Karen about how they supported Graeme, Andy and their families through such a big change.
Service manager Karen said: “Graeme and Andy have been friends for more than 40 years. When we knew their care home in Cheshire was being closed as it needed extensive renovation and was no longer fit for purpose, it was a no brainer that they wanted to move somewhere together. We suggested Donec Mews as we had two rooms available here, and even though it’s a long way from their previous home in Cheshire, they grabbed the opportunity with both hands, as there were no local opportunities for them to stay living together. One place they went to look at offered them a shared room, which would have been completely inappropriate!
“In a transition as big as this, as well as making sure Graeme and Andy feel at ease, it is also so important to make sure their family feel supported and informed at every step. We’ve had Zoom chats, calls and are communicating with their families as much as possible to make sure they know what is happening at each stage.
“We’re strangers supporting their loved ones so it’s about building up that rapport and trust.
“Every transition we have ever supported someone with has always been completely different and individual to the person. Some people like to move in as soon as possible, others can take up to six months to move. It is person-centred and is just part of the process of making sure the people we support feel comfortable with the move.
“For Graeme and Andy, they came and had a couple of overnight stays in January so they could see what their new home would be like!
“The pair only moved a few weeks ago but they are already settling in so well. Graeme likes to pop into Andy’s house to visit, and Andy has been to Southsea with his new housemates. They’re already making new friends. We love having them at Donec, they liven up the place and they have taken the move in their stride.”
Andy said: “I don’t know why I haven’t moved sooner, I always said I liked Donec!”
Karen added: “Andy’s room was fully furnished and decorated to his choice before he moved in, and Graeme’s chosen his colour palette and is looking forward to telling the decorator how to do it properly!
“My team have been so brilliant in helping Graeme and Andy adjust to their new home. We have a big staff team , and staff have made sure to introduce themselves before their shift and get to know them.
“They are a brilliant team anyway, not just through helping people like Graeme and Andy transition to Donec but also with everything else they have been through, like covid. They just pull together and get on with it, that’s what makes them amazing.”