After family, friends are usually the most important people in our lives. Modern family life can often mean our loved ones are geographically spread across the country. When we are older our children will likely have their own very busy lives to run. All of this may mean that they can’t see us as often as they would like and this is when our friendships become even more important. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. They support us in times of need. Often just knowing that they are there for us is enough to make us feel better.
Think about some of the best times you have ever had in your life. Undoubtedly some of those times will have taken place in the presence of friends.
They’re there for us in the best and worst of times. That’s why we foster and value friendships between our residents and carers at Peverel Court Care. Here are some of the reasons we think friendships here are so incredibly important.
Friendship helps our staff do their jobs better…
The main purpose of any staff member here at Peverel Court Care is to provide high-quality care to the elderly people who live here. Friendships help our staff to do that.
“I do consider myself to be a friend to them because I feel it from my own heart. I could not do the job that I do, which is quite solitary at times in the lounges, without having those genuine emotional feelings towards our residents.” – Peverel Court Care Carer
When you offer the kind of comprehensive care we offer, it helps greatly if you have a genuine relationship with the people you are caring for. If you feel as though the person you’re taking care of is your friend, you are much more likely to give the best care you can at all times.
Some of our residents here are uncomfortable in social situations…
Some of our residents just can’t bring themselves to join in with the group activities we offer here. Some of them just don’t want to. For these individuals, the carers visiting their rooms are the only people they see all day. Those interactions need to be friendly otherwise those people are going to feel incredibly isolated.
Some of our residents don’t have anyone else…
Our job is to make sure that those who live with us have a high quality of life. For residents without family or friends of their own left, it is important that they feel as though they have valuable and important relationships with our carers. We don’t just want them to feel cared for; we also want them to feel cared about. We can’t give our residents the high-quality care we are striving for unless people really do care about them as individuals.
It’s important for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients…
We can’t sum this up any better than one of our carers did when we asked her about genuine friendships at work.
“There have been many times when a resident has literally poured their heart out to me with real visual emotion in their expression or body language or chatted away to me ten to the dozen smiling and laughing. Sometimes I have not been able to understand what they are saying. It is so important to maintain an interest, give direct eye contact, verbalise laughter and support, handhold if appropriate and show a keen interest in what they are saying. That is friendship. That is caring. No matter how severe the level of dementia or Alzheimer’s may be, they will know if we are not responding to their needs at that time. As human beings, we would offer this support to our own friends. If we didn’t then they would not share their problems with us again. To give great care, we need to offer this level of support and friendship.”
It’s in our nature and good for our mental health….
The Mental Health Foundation says that friendship is vital for mental health.
“Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us. Our friends can keep us grounded and can help us get things in perspective. It is worth putting effort into maintaining our friendships and making new friends. Friends form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us.”
For the mental health of our residents, it is vitally important that we foster meaningful and fulfilling friendships with our residents.
We’re all about friendship
Being around strong, meaningful friendships makes Peverel Court Care a happy place to be. There is an atmosphere of genuine care here because our carers really do hold our residents’ dear and they want to make sure they are doing the best for them. Sometimes when we are faced with difficult situations or sadness, those friendships can make our jobs more difficult, but still, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Friendship in care is the way forward. As they say; “When it hurts to look back and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your friends will be there.”