“Mum was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago, and now she’s 93. She still has all her determination but lives life moment by moment. She says to me, ‘I feel as if I’m not recording information. I can’t hold the thread’.
“I went to visit one care home and it was a state-of-the-art facility with kind staff. But it was very clinical, with a large flat-screen tv on all the time in the lounge. Outside was only a small, concreted area to sit in.
“Simeon Care is so different. Last weekend I went to see mum and there were three people in the lounge. Susan was prepping red currants they’d picked in the garden, there were flowers in a vase on the table and a cat asleep on the chair by the fireplace. It feels like home. Because mum lives moment to moment I think her surroundings are so important…she experiences them so vividly.
“The staff are always patient and attentive. They understand mum’s past and they let her do things that are purposeful, like help fold the laundry. And they are very patient and caring. Every night they put my mum’s hair in rollers because they understand how important that simple thing is to her peace of mind.
“I think that’s what’s so special about Simeon. The carers there are taught to acknowledge the human being inside and they take the time to be with people. Taking the route of residential care can be seen in our society as the family failing the elderly. However, with the care that Mum receives at Simeon, I feel both our lives are enriched, and our relationship preserved. I would be happy there myself at that age.”