Milestones Trust

It’s a beautiful thing

Nina, Jonna, Francina, Kinga & Diane's story

People can have the same quality of life in care as they had at home, there should be no need to compromise.

Kinga, learning and engagement officer

Abbey House is a residential home that caters for people with dementia and has a friendly and hard-working team that continues to provide a high standard of care. The Abbey House staff team are a diverse bunch of dedicated individuals who know exactly what it means to be working in a care home and how every individual deserves to be treated.

Nina has been looking after the elderly, including those with dementia, for the past five years. She understands that some residents are more challenging than others, but they are all equally special to her. She loves it when there is a moment of recognition or understanding in her job: “when you get a breakthrough, it’s a beautiful thing”. Abbey House is a place where most of the residents will spend the last years of their lives, so it is down to Nina and the rest of the team to make them as happy as possible.

Jonna has been working with Abbey House since it first opened back in 2016. She believes that the residents are all individuals which means everyone needs a different approach. This unique understanding of care work is exactly what makes Jonna’s job so satisfying.

Nurse team leader Francina is a former theatre recovery nurse who has a passion for caring. She loves Abbey House for its warmth when you walk through the door and credits the supportive team greatly for the high standard of care that they provide to residents. Although the home may feel like a hotel in many respects, it is not an impersonal place and is valued by its unique approach to the care of every individual.

Deemed the ‘Dementia Champion’, learning and engagement officer Kinga thrives to makes sure the residents at Abbey House are living fulfilled lives when living in the home. She firmly believes that care homes should not be perceived as a ‘waiting room’ for the twilight years, where individuals aren’t even allowed to hold their own knife. People have led busy lives so shouldn’t be stuck to limitations: “people can have the same quality of life in care as they had at home, there should be no need for compromise”.

With the help and support from activities co-ordinator Diane, Kinga has been developing a range of activities and pastimes that go above and beyond those you might expect to find in an everyday care home. They now have a sensory garden in the home as well as a ‘boys club’ – with a dart board and pool table – and even a resident pet rabbit. Kinga also aims to run Dementia Friend courses at the home in order to give others a better insight into the illness and educate those who may have relatives affected by dementia.