Tag Archives: care home

The toast test

Care should be about dignity. Simples. I call it the toast test.

A nursing home in the Home Counties. A confused resident wakes late – nearly time for lunch. He requests toast. The care staff (Polish, Filipino, Indian, one Brit) are “toileting” everyone before their meal.

As activity coordinator I am on my break but fetch a piece of toast for him. It isn’t my job but it makes the resident happy. He is in control of very little but he has exercised a choice. I then get a mild telling off for spoiling his lunch. It is sometimes the resident’s  job to fit into the (admittedly benign) routine rather than for him to do what he likes in his own home.

Another resident “plays up” during the forthcoming lunch and the struggling staff wheel her back to the lounge and briefly leave her crying in front of the compulsory kilometre wide telly.

Another resident is in the last few days of his life. He doesn’t like the food (which to be fair is normally pretty good). He has a fancy for fruit cake. I sign myself out of the Fort Knox style world, keypad security on each floor, fingerprint recognition to get in and out of the building and traipse down the drive to purchase a fruit cake from a nearby shop and smuggle it back in.

The resident and I enjoy our subversive fruit cake together.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments
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