On May 29th 2016 I will be running the Wells 5 to raise money for Highlands Care Home in Exeter, Devon. Having raised money previously for Parkinsons UK Charity, this time around I am donating to a place close to my heart...
In 2013 my Grandma was diagnosed with Lewy Bodies Dementia & Parkinsons disease. 2 years of mini strokes were to follow causing enormous worry for the entire family - including one Christmas Day spent in Exeter A&E. May 2015 saw her worst stroke to date. Our worry about her balance, memory loss, nightmares and hearing voices were replace by something far worse. The stroke had taken away Grandmas ability to see clearly and speak in sense. After months in hospital our family, along with my dear Grandad, made the heart breaking decision to move Grandma to a care home. An extremely hard decision for anyone to make concerning the woman who is the loving centre of our family.
The situation was made all the more easier by Highlands Care Home Ltd. The home specialises in caring for residents with Dementia & Parkinsons. Visits are often difficult, a lot of the time she sleeps throughout the time you are there. But other times are better. It is hard to understand what she is trying to say and she gets frustrated with herself. But her laugh is still the same and is an amazing comfort to hear. The carers at the home are so inspiring and are always pleased to see us no matter what time of the day. They constantly tell us about how much they love having Grandma there and fill us in on the 'good days' we may have missed in between visits. (Turns out Grandma often breaks out into song - with the voice of Hilda Ogden! - thoroughly entertaining the other residents!)
The care my Grandma, and all the other residents, are given at Highlands is second to none. Nothing is ever too much of an ask and it is clear the carers love what they do. No matter how difficult a visit can be, we always leave happy in the knowledge Grandma is in the best place.
Like all homes, Highlands is Government & Resident funded, giving them just enough to ensure the residents are cared for to the highest standard. But it's the little things that make life for the residents even better. I want to raise money to give the home a separate funding to use for treats... To take the residents on days out to Exmouth beach or picnics in beautiful gardens. To pay for more entertainment in the home (they do love a good old sing-along!). To have that extra bit of money to make this Christmas extra special for everyone.
Watching the carers at Highlands look after my Grandma is inspiring. This funding is not only to give the residents special treats, but to thank the staff for their incredible passion and dedication to simply caring.