Michelle was living in a care home in London but after receiving the news that the home was to close, her family began to look at options closer to their Hampshire home.
Michelle and her family visited Whitegates to meet service manager Mandy, who reassured them that we could meet Michelle’s needs. Once the decision was made, we visited Michelle in her London home and arranged for her to visit Whitegates to begin the transition. To help introduce Michelle to her new house mates and staff team, the team made up a picture book of everyone that lives and works in her new home.
The hard work put into ensuring the transition went smoothly has helped Michelle settle in, and having her family just twenty minutes away has made a huge difference for everyone.
Ann, Michelle’s mum, is now a regular visitor and able to pop in without having to make arrangements well in advance. Her family were able to attend her birthday BBQ in August and Michelle will be spending time with her parents on Christmas day for the first time in many years.
It was on one of these unplanned visits that Ann walked into the Michelle’s home to raucous laughter coming from the kitchen. Ann was surprised to hear that it was her daughter laughing at the staff dancing to her favourite singer, Rick Astley.
Ann said “On Saturday, while I was visiting, she started to laugh, real belly laughs, which I have never heard from her before. There have always been smiles, laughs and her excited movements in her chair but never the deep guffaws she gave out on Saturday.
Mandy said “The family were understandably very apprehensive to begin with because Michelle had lived in the same care home for 20 plus years, so they were really concerned about the change. But building that relationship with them before Michelle even moved in and then seeing how we’ve supported Michelle and building that trust with them has really helped.
“Michelle’s mum, dad and her brother have all said now that they’ve not seen her this happy for a long time, so that’s lovely to hear.”
The team are now in the process of arranging a motability vehicle for Michelle so she can get out and explore more of Hampshire and have just booked tickets for a Rick Astley Christmas concert in London.
Would you like to join Mandy and her team at Whitegates?
Mandy said: “We are looking for more caring and creative people to join my team. It doesn’t matter if you have worked in care before or not – if you are determined to make a difference, we want to hear from you.”