Rachel - House Manager
Rachel talks about Lucille's volunteering experience.
At Abbeyfield, we don’t believe that ageing should be a barrier from the things you have always enjoyed, or that having dementia should limit people from taking part in activities and hobbies. Staff at Abbeyfield often go the extra mile to make it possible for residents to continue doing the things they love.
Staff at her home in Usk are active in encouraging residents to get out and about in the local community. House Manager Rachel explains:Lucille has early onset dementia and moved to Abbeyfield when things became difficult on her own. She said: ‘I longed to have people around so I investigated Abbeyfield. At first, I didn’t think I’d settle here but after meeting all the new people, it felt like home and now I really enjoy my life here.’
‘We encourage every resident to enjoy their hobbies and support them to rediscover old pastimes where we can. Our aim is for them to have as much independence as possible and enjoy life to the full.’
Recently, Rachel helped Lucille find a volunteering role with the local Rainbows group. She said: ‘After chatting with Lucille, she mentioned how much she used to enjoy working with children and I could tell it was something she was passionate about. I enquired in the local area and after I found the Rainbows position I knew it would be the right role for her’.
Lucille is a trained nursery nurse and has worked with children throughout her life. She said: ‘The only thing I have ever wanted to do since school was work with children and I am so grateful for the chance to do this again’.
Lucille has now been volunteering with Rainbows since January and loves the time spent with the children each week. She said: ‘It has made such a difference to my life; I feel needed and accepted again’.
Rachel has noticed the positive change this role has made in Lucille. She said:
'I think previously she felt like she didn’t belong... now she looks forward to her volunteering days and her face lights up when she talks about it. The kids love her too!’
Lucille knows how beneficial volunteering is and she encourages everyone to give it a go; ‘if you ever have a chance to volunteer and do something you enjoy, then go for it!’