The staff at Ashton Manor go out of their way to make the residents happy

10 Nov 2020

This is the case study for Mrs Phyllis Bishop, Known as Phyl Written by her Son David Mantell & Mrs Sally Mantell daughter in law July 2020

Mum moved into Ashton Manor Nursing Home in May 2020 at the height of the pandemic crisis. For us it couldn’t have come at a worst time because it meant we were unable to view the home before Mum moved in.

Mum was diagnosed 18 months ago with Alzheimer’s. She remained independent despite being quite frail and suffering with arthritis which required her to use crutches to get around.  She wore a ‘Lifeline’ pendent to raise an alarm if she ever needed help, sadly she sometimes forgot to wear it. On the 3rd May 2020 her home carer visited in the morning to provide her medication, Mum was found on the floor; she had fallen and fractured her left arm which required admission to Frimley Park Hospital.

After a couple of days Mum was moved to a rehabilitation unit in Fleet Hospital for recuperation and to get her used to using a zimmer frame including exercises to strengthen her mobility.  Mum wasn’t there very long when at short notice we were informed she was ready for discharge! We went into panic mode because we knew she was not strong enough to return home and she would need to go into a care/nursing home for a short period to build up her strength and able to operate independently at home.  The news regarding what was going on in Care Homes was worrying to us but we felt we had little choice but to try and find the right home for Mum.

We have had some experience in the past of looking for the right care home for relatives and knew what we needed to look for, but time was against us and we were in a rush to find a suitable care home with spare capacity and who would take Mum at this difficult time. Someone in Fleet Hospital suggested we tried ‘Careseekers’ and I discussed possibilities with them; three Care/Nursing Homes were identified that would be able to take Mum.

We made contact with them all but settled for Ashton Manor Nursing Home, we couldn’t go and visit and look around, but Susan, the Assistant Manager, was great. She provided us with a virtual tour of Ashton Manor via video link where we were able to see the room Mum could have, the communal areas of the home, activities taking place and how staff interacted with the residents.  Everyone seemed very nice and caring and Susan could not have been more helpful in answering our questions and alleviating  any concerns we had.  She would always (and still does) respond to our queries promptly and efficiently.

We have extended Mums stay several times because we feel she is safe at Ashton Manor Nursing Home and, after assessments, still needs a more time to recuperate.

Mums confidence and self-esteem has dwindled over the years and she has tended to shy away from social gatherings and isolating herself somewhat from others. This was a change because when she was younger she won Gold medals for disco dancing, went for long walks, played the organ beautifully and played lawn bowls.  When she first joined Ashton Manor, she had to be isolated until two Covid-19 tests both showed negative. After this time, she tended to prefer staying in her room but recently we are starting to see a difference in her, she appears less anxious and more at ease and joins in the activities provided by Ashton Manor. Mum appears more accepting of the situation and we can see a little of her ‘old self’ coming back.

For obvious reasons we haven’t been able to visit Mum in the home but we have had several garden visits and we have been able to see for ourselves how relaxed she has become and how comfortable she is with the staff.   From a distance we have been able to observe staff interactions not only with Mum but with other residents as well and have noticed the subtle things they do to meet residents needs and make them feel valued, such as crouching down to their level to get eye contact before speaking. In Mums’ case making sure they are speaking close to her so she can easily hear what they are saying.  We have observed staff taking residents for walks around the garden whilst watching, listening and responding to the resident’s questions and wishes.

The staff at Ashton Manor go out of their way to make the residents happy, they are kind, passionate, provide a good quality of life and help residents maintain their dignity.  We are very pleased with the care Ashton Manor is giving to our Mum and would recommend the home to anyone requiring a nursing home for a loved one.

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