Fulfilled living in later life

Monday 7th June 2021

Meet a Hummingbird, Vanessa at Finborough Court

Vanessa is a Hummingbird at Finborough Court, our home in Suffolk. In this role, she provides emotional, spiritual, and practical support to those living with dementia

Pilgrims Friend Finborough Court Vanessa

Vanessa wakes up and feeds her cat, Cleopatra, and her degus – a type of small rodent. She then has breakfast with her husband. On her drive to work she takes time to thank the Lord and soak in the beautiful countryside, which inspires and humbles her.

Vanessa arrives at Finborough Court and begins her working day, leaving all her troubles and worries at the door, starting the day with a smile and an uplifted spirit. After she changes into her work dress, she greets everybody with a bounce in her step. Once in the lounge/dining area she plays relaxing music and greets family members individually, asking if they would like a cup of tea, and assists those who need help with their breakfast.

She then visits family members in their rooms, to catch up and listen to their concerns, water their plants and, on occasion, read Bible passages.

Vanessa organises a service. She prepares a prayer, chooses a hymn and Bible reading, and asks family members for their contributions. The service begins and is played over the speakers so that those in their rooms can listen.

While writing up her progress notes, Vanessa enjoys a cup of tea.

Alongside the care team, Vanessa assists with giving out drinks and serving lunch, making sure everybody is okay. She lends a hand with those who need a little extra help eating or cutting up their meals.

Vanessa sits down to eat her lunch quietly, taking time to reflect on her morning and what family members have said, and how she can improve their everyday life and make their day better.

After lunch she helps everyone back to their rooms, or the lounge. At this point she visits those who she did not get a chance to catch up with earlier in the day. Again, she sits with them reading the Bible, praying, and bringing them comfort and company.

If the weather is nice Vanessa takes family members out for a walk, or in a wheelchair to the village. She might set up a game, such as beetle drive.

When there is some quiet time in the afternoon Vanessa writes her progress notes.

Meeting new family members is always a delight; Vanessa helps them complete a ‘This is me’ form which gives staff an insight into the new family member, their family, previous employment, hobbies, and denomination. The form really helps build a rapport and gain a deeper understanding of the whole person.

After work

She loves walking, birdwatching and enjoying the great outdoors. Nature is such a joy to her and she loves being able to share her love of wildlife with young people in her role as a Girl Guide Assistant Leader.

Being part of her church community is very important to Vanessa. She used to sing in the church choir and hopes to go back to singing when Covid restrictions ease. She also enjoys flower arranging at church.

Vanessa’s Favourite Hymn 'The Lord Bless You and Keep You' by John Rutter

Proudest Achievement Adopting two boys after adoption training, and her wonderful granddaughter who keeps her very busy.

Vanessa’s Favourite Bible Verse “Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” - Psalm 96:12

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