Choosing Claremont Court For My Dear Dad
Families are an integral part of our home. Here Clare shares her story of caring for her father with dementia and how she chose Claremont Court.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have devoted ourselves to keeping our treasured residents safe and connected to their loved ones. Here Clare, whose father Frank has lived at Claremont Court since February, tells us about the positive impact we have had on their lives.
How did your need for care come about?
My father had a stroke 10 years ago and then in 2017, he was diagnosed with dementia. I promised I’d keep him at home and independent as long as I could, which was challenging as his condition got worse – even with carers visiting twice a day. But I couldn’t do anything because I was 200 miles away in London, so we decided to bring him down here. I’m thankful every day for Claremont court, it’s the best decision I made for dad.
What were your first impressions of Claremont?
I wanted somewhere that didn’t feel like an institution, and when I walked into Claremont there was just something about it, it felt warm! Simple things, like, it had carpet, not vinyl flooring. I wanted it to feel like his own little flat and it does – it feels like a community. You walk through the door and instantly feel calm and part of a big family.
How has your father been since joining Claremont Court?
Dad is very independent, he’s ex-Royal Navy, so in his mind, he can do stuff for himself, even though he can’t. Now, thanks to Claremont, he feels better than when he arrived! They’ve made my dad feel useful and given him a purpose again. He does the gardening and has started growing strawberries and tomatoes, which has turned into a hilarious competition with me growing veg at home. He is so animated now – it gives me joy, it makes my heart burst!
How does the care your father is receiving affect your life?
There is a ripple effect when a loved one moves into a home and I’ve just felt an overwhelming sense of calm since he moved in. I know he’s safe there. I slept through the night for the first time in a year! I don’t have worry anymore and can now focus my attention on thinking of nice things I can do with him.
Before Claremont I was an emotional mess, I had a stressful job and a father slowly deteriorating; he’d lost weight and wasn’t taking his medication properly. Then within three weeks of moving in here, he was almost back to his own independent self. He’s got his spirit back. Dad’s 83 in a few weeks and he said “I feel really strong!”
How would you describe the team?
They’re all amazing. Every single last one without exception. I’d be absolutely lost without them. They’re kind and treat my father with respect; they talk to him rather than let him sit there lonely and bored, and care about his needs. Thank you is a great word but it hasn’t got the punching power we need to express how we feel about everybody at Claremont who looks after dad.