Mr M. Clarke

3 Aug 2023

Mr M. Clarke has been a resident at Robertson Nursing Home since November 2022, following an extended hospital stay Mr Clarke could no longer return to his assisted living accommodation therefore his family wanted to find a suitable home that could cater to his needs. After spending time in hospital in Watford, Mr Clarke’s family were anxious to have him closer by and due to the deterioration in his health, they wanted to be sure he would be well cared for and comfortable.

Mr Clarke’s granddaughter, Jade works within the care industry and her mother worked as a nurse in hospitals for much of her life, so they knew exactly what they were looking for in terms of the right care for Mr Clarke. They were very thorough in their search and wanted to ensure they found the perfect home for him.

“We looked into about 20 homes in the area and visited 5 or 6 in the end. I work as a carer so Mum wanted me to be involved in the search, we wanted to find a home that would be perfect for him. Finding somewhere that felt homely and friendly was our top priority and somewhere where we knew his needs would be met. He had previously been living in an assisted living accommodation near Luton which unfortunately didn’t cater to his needs. There was a lot of pressure to find the perfect home, we didn’t want to let him down.” Explains Mr Clarke’s granddaughter, Jade.

“Some of other homes we visited felt dark and not very homely, but at Robertson we were greeted really nicely by all the staff as soon as we arrived. They asked how we were and enquired after my grandad, offering us a cup of tea and really making us feel like part of the family from day one. Grandad was in hospital at the time and they reassured us they could give him the care he needed. We really liked the area, there are lots of places to visit nearby and both Mum and I live close by.”

Taking a tour of the home can really help prospective residents and family members get a good feel for what the home is like, seeing the residents go about their daily routines and watching how our staff interact. “When we visited we could see the other residents were happy there, we walked past the lounges and could see they were all engaging with the staff and laughing, not just sat in an armchair starring at the TV.”

Mr Clarke’s family made the decision that Robertson was the right fit for his needs and were looking forward to having him closer by so they could visit regularly. The move was not a smooth one, the family faced issues getting Mr Clarke discharged from hospital, and a 2 hour journey from Watford during the oil company protests was problematic, but he was able to safely arrive at Robertson.

“As soon as he arrived the staff at Robertson let us know and we went there to see him. They had asked us to bring all his own belongings and they set the room up for him before he moved in, so it felt like his room as soon as he arrived. This helped to make the move feel as smooth as possible for him.”

“He hadn’t been cared for properly at the hospital and looked rather scruffy, the only time he had a shave is when I would visit and help him. After he arrived at Robertson he looked like a new man, he was washed, shaved and dressed in his own clothes. He was very ill when he first moved in but has really bloomed in this environment.”

We are very proud of the fantastic team we have at Robertson Nursing Home, staff in all departments are dedicated to making sure our residents are comfortable and well looked after. “The staff are absolutely brilliant, and very friendly. You can tell they look after each other and are a team. Mum is a retired nurse and she noticed how good the communication is between the staff. They seem more like a family within the home than a team.”

“When you walk in and they talk about what they’re doing, you can tell they genuinely care. They are always in high spirits and happy, it’s nice for residents to see them smiling, it brings joy to everyone. It is a lovely home and so nice to know they care about how we are feeling as well as my grandad.”

At Robertson Nursing Home we are able to offer care for individuals with a variety of medical needs. Our staff are fully trained in care and nursing skills, therefore they are able to ensure our residents are comfortable and happy. “They have been able to cater for all his needs, I am very protective of my grandad and because I work in care I would notice if anything was a bit off. As soon as I ask for something to be done or checked the staff are on it straight away and come back with answers, this is really reassuring for my Grandad. They keep us informed about everything going on with my grandad, even small things like the TV remote needing new batteries.”

“It’s good to know they notice everything and keep us informed, especially on the status of his health. We didn’t have good communication from the hospital when he was admitted there, they didn’t keep us informed on problems with his heart and the status of his vascular dementia. At Robertson we get answers really quickly, we asked the nurses to check something with the GP and got an answer within a few days.”

When any new resident joins us at Robertson we work closely with the resident and their family members to develop a care plan specific to their individual circumstance and needs. We identify areas we need to focus on and any special support that resident requires. “Physio has worked to help him get back to being mobile and doing as much as he can possibly do. The fact that he went in bedbound and needed a hoist to get out of bed but is now using a walking stick in his room and a walker to go out in the garden, is amazing. When he moved in he was bed ridden, after three days he was out of bed and within a week was moving around using a walker with the help of two carers, he was so much better in such a short time. He arrived with a catheter and after a bit of time at Robertson was able to have that removed, he can now go to the bathroom independently, but has a bell if he needs help.”

We feel it is important for our residents to have a sense of independence and control over their daily lives as much as possible, we do everything we can to cater to individuals’ preferences and offer flexibility. “They cater to Grandad’s routine, he’s asked to have two showers a week and they make that happen. He likes to get up early in the morning, so they will go to him first thing to help him get ready for the day and they make sure he can have breakfast at 6.45am. There is a good choice of food at the home, Grandad always says how lovely the food is and how much he enjoyed his meals. Sharon, the chef at the home, makes sure he gets his glass of red wine at 4.30pm every day. It’s the little things like this that show how person-centred the care is. It’s nice that they cater to his preferences on his daily schedule and they are flexible to him, rather than him having to change his routine to fit the home.”

As Mr Clarke’s mobility gradually improved it became clear that it was in his best interests to move to a room on the ground floor of the home where he could move around more freely without having to wait for the assistance of staff, so we arranged for Mr Clarke to move rooms to somewhere that would be more comfortable for him. “The move downstairs was a big thing after his mobility improved, the staff noticed it was an issue and addressed that quickly. The move was dealt with within a week, and then he was able to move around the home easier and go to the dining room by himself. Due to his dementia he would become easily frustrated having to wait for the staff to help him, but the move has really cheered him up and helped the depression which he suffers from at times.”

At Robertson we are proud of the strong relationships we are able to build with our residents’ families, we do everything we can to make sure family members feel comfortable that there loved one is being well cared for. We also support the residents to spend quality time with their family members, doing anything we can to help facilitate this. “If we plan to take Grandad out for an activity with the family, we let the staff know and they make sure he has had lunch in time so he can go out. They want to make sure he can enjoy spending time with the family. When I visit, he wants me to call him to let him know I got back okay, something he has always done throughout my life. I call through to the staff when I arrive back and they always take the phone to him and let him know I got home safe. ”

We have a varied programme of activities for residents at Robertson Nursing Home to enjoy, with something to suit different tastes and abilities. “Grandad really enjoys sitting with the activities team staff members and the other residents while they read books together. One of the activities staff brings his dog into the home which Grandad always loves, he also really enjoys the visits from the pet therapy animals, it brings him a lot of joy. Now his mobility has improved and he can move around on his own, he enjoys watering and taking care of the plants in the flower bed outside his room. Grandad loves old music like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, so he really enjoys the musical entertainers that come to the home. They even had a Frank Sinatra tribute performer who sang all of my grandad’s favourite songs.”

It has been wonderful to the team at Robertson to see Mr Clarke settle in so well here and the positive changes in him as he has become more comfortable at the home. We are also pleased to be able to provide some peace of mind to Jade and the family, that he is comfortable and well care for here.

“It is a brilliant home and we are so glad he’s here. Being only a minute round the corner from me means I can easily get here if there are any problems or he needs something, as can Mum. As terrifying as the journey from the hospital was, we really wanted him to be nearby and are so happy now he is settled. It is a lovely feeling whenever we walk into the home, they offer us tea and cake and always treat us like one of the family. Due to Grandad’s dementia he can say some slightly offensive things sometimes, but the staff never hold that against him or treat him any differently, they just brush it off and move on.”

“Grandad only really speaks to people he knows and likes, it has been great to see that he has opened up with the staff and become really comfortable with them. We know he is being looked after so brilliantly here and you can tell that from his appearance, he feels like himself, has independence and lives as he wants to within a safe environment. I think it really does feel like a home from home to him.”

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