Tamar House provide respite care to those living with dementia and after a recent Dementia Café meeting where they discovered there is a shortage of respite care facilities throughout Plymouth. Those who attended decided it would be a great idea to share their stories and experience of Tamar House’s respite service, so others in the local area can learn more.
The meetings are held at Moments, a café with a social conscience. Moments offer a safe environment for people to meet, eat and socialise and all of their profits go towards Memory Matters. Memory Matters provide support for people living with dementia in the community, as well as offering free advice services in their Memory Matters Hub – located above Moments Café.
Since receiving these testimonials from family members, Tamar House have seen an increase in the use of their respite suite. This is increasing all the time which is fantastic – we hope to reach more people to make them aware of this amazing service being offered.
When my Mum was diagnosed with Dementia the doctors advised that she shouldn’t live alone anymore as it appeared to them that she was getting confused with her medication, either not taking it or taking too much. She had lost a lot of weight and they thought that she may have been missing meals or not bothering to eat. My Dad had been admitted to a Nursing Home the month before.
As a working mum of 3 in an enjoyable, but demanding job, I knew I had to find a balance to be able to make this extra caring responsibility work. With a husband who works away from home for many days at a time and older children at university in the Midlands and up North, it became very important for me that I could take time out to be able to spend time together as a family or visit my children while they were away.
I needed to find somewhere where I knew my mum would feel safe and happy. My Mum is very shy and gets quite nervous meeting new people. This has become harder for her with dementia.
When I visited Abbeyfield, Tamar House it felt and smelt like a real home. We were warmly greeted and offered a cup of tea as soon as we walked in. Their respite room is on the ground floor so there wasn’t any need for me to worry about when Mum went for her night time wanders that she may fall down any stairs as she would be confused about where she was in the night.
The respite room is a good size, not too big to be overwhelming for Mum and felt cosy with space for personal belongings.
When I took Mum there for the first time she was very nervous. We settled her into her room, hung up her clothes and then she was taken into the sitting room with the other guests. The handover with Mum's medication was easy and they asked what her favourite foods were and whether she preferred tea or coffee etc. All this put me at ease and I knew that Mum would free safe.
When picking her up after our trip, Mum was sat in the lounge listening to music and singing with the other guests. She looked so happy and more engaged than I have seen her for months. The handover back was smooth. They ran through their observations, how Mum got up confused in the night but was well looked after and settled back to sleep. During the hot summer my Mum had asked to go outside in the garden to sit. This meant that a member of staff had to go with her. On her enjoyment of the lovely gardens, Tamar House will now be putting up a secure fence so the guests can go into the garden at their leisure.
The next time Mum stayed so I could visit my son’s at their universities to bring them back for Christmas, my Mum remembered where she was and she was quite excited about going there. We were welcomed at the front door by our names and she was whisked off for breakfast. A few days later when I picked her up, she looked rested and happy. Before we left she went to ‘say goodbye to my friends’! My Mum had enjoyed the activities although she couldn’t quite remember what she had done.
I will continue to be able to visit my sons and spend time as a family whilst knowing that my Mum is happy and safe with people who care and understand when she gets confused or wanders at night.
– Family Member
I want to say thanks to all of the team at Tamar House for the wonderful care you give to Mum each time she comes to stay for respite.
Mum was finding life increasingly difficult, living alone, so moved in with my husband and myself just over 2 years ago. We then retired from our Business and it was important for us to find a Residential home with respite facilities where Mum would be happy. Luckily for us all, we found Tamar House. My daughter and I spent many weeks visiting homes within our area and as soon as we entered Tamar House, we both know it was the right place.
Mum has stayed on many occasions and each time she is made to feel so welcome and part of the family atmosphere that is created. I have met many of the staff and each and every one of them are wonderful. Mum has a dairy intolerance and the Chef comes to her room when she arrives to discuss what he has bought in especially for her.
I can not recommend Tamar House highly enough and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the professionalism, compassion and care.
– Mrs Q, Family Member