Care home did my late pal Jimmy proud

Strathearn Herald - - HERALD VIEW -

Dear Editor,

I’m writ­ing this to ev­ery­one at Ash­dene Court on be­half of my late friend Jimmy Hooper, who was re­cently in their care. I be­lieve that he’d want me to write this and it’s im­por­tant that I do this in his mem­ory.

Jimmy was di­ag­nosed with de­men­tia in 2014 and the past year and a half in par­tic­u­lar had been so bad for him, hav­ing to go in and out of hospi­tal and move into a care home.

The first care home he moved into was re­ally un­suit­able for him and he was in a bad place. Jimmy had al­ways been a pri­vate man and as his de­men­tia pro­gressed, as is very com­mon, he re­gressed and found all the change very dif­fi­cult.

He would spend all his time in his room and he was not in­ter­ested in talk­ing to any­one or set­tling into the place. In this time I felt that his de­men­tia got much worse very quickly and I feared that all of my mem­o­ries I had of him would in­volve him be­ing un­happy.

I made the de­ci­sion to move out of Glas­gow to Cri­eff and, dur­ing this time, I dis­cov­ered Ash­dene Court care home. I knew im­me­di­ately that this would be right for Jimmy, so I took him to see it and he fell in love with it.

Within a few weeks of mov­ing into Ash­dene Court he im­proved dra­mat­i­cally and set­tled in very quickly. He loved the place and I felt that he treated it as his home. In hospi­tal and in his pre­vi­ous care home he would al­ways ask about go­ing home, but he didn’t do this at Ash­dene Court and he opened up to ev­ery­one in a way that I had never seen be­fore. He en­joyed speak­ing to the staff and other res­i­dents, and would en­joy sit­ting in the din­ing room and tak­ing part in ev­ery­thing.

When we were out for walks he would say things like: “I hope no one’s sit­ting in my chair” and: “I hope their still open when we get back.” This was com­fort­ing to me, know­ing that he felt safe and set­tled. This was a joy to see and will make for some great mem­o­ries, af­ter all the bad things that had hap­pened in the year lead­ing up to this.

All the staff were so wel­com­ing to Jimmy and I, and I felt that they treated us both as fam­ily. Ev­ery­one went above and be­yond the call of duty and made us feel so much at ease. The at­ten­tion and warmth shown to us made this dif­fi­cult time much eas­ier and en­sured that Jimmy was happy in the fi­nal stage of his life.

I don’t feel that enough recog­ni­tion is given to care staff and the very dif­fi­cult job that they do. The ser­vice was top qual­ity and I know that noth­ing more could have been done for us and I am truly grate­ful for ev­ery­thing. I would highly rec­om­mend Ash­dene Court to any­one in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances to us and again I wish to ex­press my grat­i­tude to ev­ery­one who Jimmy and I had the plea­sure of meet­ing over the past few months.

I will not only miss Jimmy now that he’s gone, but I will miss ev­ery­one at Ash­dene Court who had come to feel like fam­ily. The place truly is a one-off and I will miss not hav­ing it in my life.

On be­half of my­self and James Steven­son Hooper, who died on Oc­to­ber 13, 2017, aged 85 years, thank you Ash­dene Court.

Ge­orge Stewart

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