What's our Daventry columnist got a Bee in Her Bonnet about this week?
Here's the latest from our Daventry columnist Kirsty Beeson.
If you are going to be anything in this world, be patient and kind. This resonates so loud with me right now.
Last week I was called ‘The exercise lady’ at work. Those of you who know me outside of my job will understand the hilarity of being given this name. Voluntary exercise and running are not my thing. So why has this name been given to me, why has it struck me so and why is it important?
It was given to me by a resident at the care home I work for, right here in Daventry. This resident wanted to find me and involve themselves in some physical activity, so asked where ‘The Exercise Lady’ was. This resident lives with dementia. The recognition felt like a breakthrough because it evidences how important keeping active, seeing the same regular person, and being stimulated is for those in residential care. For this resident.
After 13 years looking after my family, I have taken the plunge back into full time work and have been providing activities and exercise to those in the care home, working and spending time alongside people who have dementia. It is both emotional and very rewarding. Dementia is a cruel disease and more needs to be done to create awareness and break down stigmas. Part of my role is to actively form ties with our community and local businesses and work together to break down barriers surrounding dementia.
On that note, very recently our activity was to be creative and paint pebbles. These lovely painted pebbles will now become #pebbles4dementia and the residents were very excited to hear that they will be hidden around the country park ready for this half term. They loved the idea that children could go and find their pebble. However, the way dementia can sometimes work means that they may not recognise their pebble or remember the activity, but they may recognise the emotional connection made in doing it.
So, if you find an Astley Hall #pebble4dementia it would be nice if you could post a picture of you holding it on to social media, with the hashtag #pebbles4dementia. Don’t forget to re-hide it for someone else to find. Upon receiving these pictures, I will show them to the residents on our communal television for all to see.
The way it goes with dementia is that perhaps, like my name, these pebbles won’t be in the forefront of the resident’s minds, but perhaps repetitive viewing of these pictures may spark an interesting conversation about the memory of painting them. Like remembering you need the exercise lady to have some fun.
My focus on my new role is so important to me that I am also going to take a break from column writing. My activities need my attention, to bring joy, soul, stimulation, and positive well-being to all these lovely people I meet. The knowledge that my presence and an activity mean something to someone is enough. Being patient and kind goes a long way.
I will miss writing my little musings and I hope to return sometime in the future.
Until then, Bee patient, kind, thoughtful and respectful to each other Daventry