Becky Embracing Frome Family Member

Talking to Becky, our Care Practitioner

Being a part of the team at Frome Nursing Home is far more than ‘just a job’ and that’s what everyone at the home will tell you! Becky, a Care Practitioner, has been at Frome Nursing Home for over six years. She shares her thoughts and experiences of being part of the Frome family and the advice she’d give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in health and social care.

Tell us about your working role at Frome Nursing Home?

“My role as a Care Practitioner is amazing, fulfilling and heart-warming. We enable and empower the people that live with us to live with independence, happiness, and dignity. I love that my role isn’t task driven. My day revolves around the people who live here which means every day is different! My role is to support the nurses and the care team, just a small part of this support can be to ensure those who live at the home are engaged in occupation.  This can be as simple as knitting, reading a book, listening to music or just holding hands. Just as you would if you were doing this with friends or loved ones.”

How long have you been at Frome Nursing Home?

“I’ve worked at Frome Nursing Home for over 6 years now. I started as a Care Assistant in 2013, then after signing up for our Leadership Programme, I became a House Leader.  Today, I am a Care Practitioner – a position I have worked hard to gain. This enables me to support the clinical team in ensuring that people remain in good health as well as continuing to provide wellbeing support with the care team.”

What do you enjoy most about your working day?

“I love that I get to be a part of those special moments that happen each and every day here at Frome. That can be sharing an embrace, a trip out for the day or joining in with a crossword! It’s the connections with the people that live and work in the home that make being part of Frome so incredible.”

How did you get into the care sector?

“I watched my closest relatives become poorly and need help. That experience was what made my decision to pursue a career in care. I studied health and social care at school and then at Sixth Form. I had friends who were working here at the time and they always gave positive reviews of the home. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to look after people how they want to be looked after, and here at Frome, I realised I could.”

What would you recommend to anyone looking to work in the care sector?

“If you are someone who is passionate about helping people, value-driven, compassionate and caring, wants a rewarding experience and loves connecting with people then I’d recommend the care sector to you! At times it can be emotionally challenging, but the training we receive provides us all with the skills we need so we can support everyone who lives and works with us.”

What is the vision/future for Frome? 

“Our vision for Frome is for everyone to love, take part in occupation, have purpose, share laughter and tears. That we continue in this vein to enhance the lives of those living with us, whether that be for a short time or for anyone wanting to call Frome their home. There are exciting plans for Frome over the coming months and I look forward to being part of that future.”

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David King in Naval Uniform

A Day of Remembrance

On the 6th August 1945, the world was changed forever. Thousands of lives were lost within an instant. A city wiped out in the blink of an eye. However, the end of war was in sight.

The terrible tragedies in Hiroshima that day and then again, three days later in Nagasaki saw Japan surrender as the allied troops began to take hold of the war in 1945.

One of those closer than many to the tragic events of that day was Frome Nursing Home family member David King, 93 years young, who was serving on the HMS Venerable in the South Pacific on that fateful day.

“I was actually serving in the South Pacific, when they dropped the first atomic bomb,” David said.

David’s Naval service had begun in 1944 and serving on the flagship of the fleet he travelled to the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal and into the Pacific Ocean where he spent the majority of his time in service.

Serving with his younger brother Trevor, David was on one of three ‘light fleet carriers’ that served in the British Pacific Fleet.

A light fleet carrier was a ship that was home to two different types of aircraft, Corsairs and Barracudas that would take off and land on the ship.

The dangers of wartime Naval aviation..

Although in modern day naval aviation technology allows for aircraft to land and take off safely from aircraft carriers, back in the 40’s and 50’s crashes were far more common as the technology was less advanced.

David King in Naval Uniform

“We used to get bad crashes in my day, terrible,” David said, when asked what he remembers most from his Naval service.

Although the War concluded in 1945, David continued to serve in the Navy mostly in the Far East, travelling to Australia, Fiji and back to the UK via Malta. David’s eyes light up at the mention of his day’s spent on the water and recalls many a happy memory from this time. His favourite of all his destinations during his touring was Australia because it was most like his home of England.

David and his wife Pamela have lived in Frome, Somerset, all their lives and have seen the town transform and evolve throughout their time spent there. He attended the former Wesley Boys School in Frome before spending his senior school years at Sexey’s School in nearby Bruton.

David is now a well-loved family member at Frome Nursing Home where he has lived since September this year. Pamela, although 92 years young, visits David every other day and is embraced as part of the Frome family.

Remembrance Day at Frome Nursing Home…

Friend of the home and Frome’s Royal British Legion Chair Jane Norris donated the home a wreath so that everyone at the home could pay their respects and honour those who gave their lives in military service. Frome Nursing Home can’t thank Jane and the local Royal British Legion enough for giving all in the home the opportunity to join the local community in commemorating the sacrifice of servicemen and women in this country.

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Head Chef Ben cooking with the ever popular veg

World Vegetarian Day at Frome Nursing Home

October 1st was World Vegetarian Day, the yearly celebration promoting the ‘joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities’ of vegetarianism.

Frome Nursing Home head chef Ben Kerslake has ensured that any vegetarians at the home are catered for with every meal.

In fact, some of Ben’s vegetarian meals are proving so popular that even those who eat meat are ditching it in favour of his own meat free alternatives!

Betty Bateman, 94 years young, who is a regular beneficiary of Ben’s culinary prowess, is one of them, often opting for the veggie option for lunch. When asked about the food at Frome Nursing Home, Betty responds, “edible,” with a twinkle in her eye, as she looks up to grin at chef Ben.

Betty, along with many of the family members at Frome Nursing Home, is a big fan of Ben’s special Vegetarian Lasagne.

Doreen Wilkins is another family member who often chooses a vegetarian option when she eats and happens to think Ben’s cooking is eggcellent! Doreen’s three favourite things to eat are poached eggs, scrambled eggs and omelette, which of course, are all vegetarian. She described the food at Frome as, “fantastic, blooming brilliant!”

Head chef Ben, who last year finished as a runner-up in the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian and Vegan Care Catering competition held at the houses of parliament is proud of the impact that he and other staff have achieved in diversifying the menu at Frome.

“It was a proud achievement because going back 12 to 13 years ago where we had no vegetarian options available, to being awarded for what we do now was great. We cater to our family member’s needs and they enjoy it!”

As well as being tasty, researchers suggest that increasing our vegetable intake can boost the health of our brains and could even reduce the risk of dementia. Eating wholegrains, vegetables, nuts, beans, and lentils regularly have been found to improve brain health.

Whereas large consumption of high cholesterol, saturated fat and iron, all of which are high in meat products, have been found to increase the risk in Alzheimer’s, the most common form of Dementia.

Although Ben spends a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food, he still finds time in his day to go out and socialise with the family members at Frome.

“I love it, spending time with the family members. I call it my second home; the family members are just amazing and the model of care we have here is brilliant.”

At Frome Nursing Home we refer to those who stay with us as family members rather than residents as we feel that best reflects the household model practiced in our home. For Ben, this rings true.

“We’re all one big family – I’ve got my aunties, my nans, they look at me as a grandchild as well, it’s all about that connection.”

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National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day at Frome Nursing Home

Karen Tidy – Carer of People, Rhymer of Words

October 3rd was the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day and the theme of this year’s literacy celebration was ‘Truth.’

Karen Tidy, a Senior Governance Nurse who supports Frome Nursing Home, has written a collection of poems about some of the stark realities for people living with a dementia.

Karen, who was thrown into caring for her family after her father had passed away when she was aged ten, made the transition into professional caring when she became of age.

The poetry she writes comes purely from emotions deep within and from past experiences whilst giving end of life care before her time at Frome Nursing Home. During this time, she observed many people confined to their beds who were unable to verbalise or feed themselves anymore, which prompted her to wonder what they were thinking about and what they were feeling.

She says it is imperative that the people she cared for were still spoken to and included in everyday discussions. As soon as you stop doing that, she explained, that person becomes part of a conveyer belt system, on their way to their end, rather than thinking of them as a living person, complete with their feelings and frailties.

Karen reads her poetry to those who she cares for and loves, to whom so many have been so lucky. An excerpt from Karen’s poem, ‘What is Time to Me?’ is featured below.

What is Time to Me?

A second, a minute, an hour a day

What does it matter to me anyway?

I get up in a morning, have a cup of tea

The time of day doesn’t matter to me.

It seems like a rush, I feel like a number

Just leave me in bed to finish my slumber

Don’t rush me along and then down to the table

Let me take my time – you know I’m not able

To give myself food or make myself clean

Well I am 94, have you not seen

How feeble I am and how slowly I walk

All you do is rush and consistently talk

About which one is next, or what else to do

You just make me feel like a burden to you

I’ve just settled down and sat in my chair

To have 40 winks and then someone’s there

It’s my bath day today I wish they wouldn’t hover

And rush me again it’s just so much bother

Its mid-afternoon I just want to nap

Not be pestered and tugged and dunked in the bath

Leave me ‘till later when I go to bed

But please do not hurry, go slowly instead

And seeing as you’re listening, I might as well say

Don’t put me to bed to get me out your way

I know I might hinder you as I wander around

But I like to feel free to walk up and down

Or to watch the TV once in a while

I’m sorry if this cramps your routine and style

But try and imagine just how I feel

When time dictates every drink, every meal

Every conversation – and sometimes they’re few

Is dictated by how much you’ve got to do

©Karen Tidy 2011

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