Guest blog from Sammy Comber, Wellbeing Lead - Compton House Christian Care Home
Dignity Action Day occurs once a year on the 1st of February and serves as a reminder of how important Dignity in Care is. The definition? Choices, making your own decisions, being happy, thinking positively, having your loved ones visit, all of the above?
Here at Lindfield Christian Care Home (affectionately known as Compton House) we have learnt throughout our many years that Dignity means something different to each individual and each definition is as important as the last.
We believe it is something that should be present every single day of the year, using the 1st of February as a reset button to start afresh with new ideas and opportunities for the year to come.
In 2019 we decided to create a Dignity Wish Flower. Every resident made a wish and this wish was written up on a large pink leaf and made into a Dignity flower.
When the wish came true, it then became a green leaf. Throughout the year all of the wishes were granted and by December we had a beautiful green flower proudly displayed in our dining room. The wish could be anything from a trip to the village pond and having a coffee to having their family in for an afternoon tea in our beautiful garden.
We had trips to the pub for a bowl of cheesy chips and a glass of white wine as well as all day breakfasts and visits to some local churches. It was great working with those living at Compton House to decide on their wish and all of the staff here loved making them come true – many of the Care Team volunteered on their days off for the trips to make it extra special.
This year we celebrated over two days and have decided to make some new wishes and turn them into a Dignity Sunshine – the wishes will be written on the rays. We have also made some star badges and the residents wrote on them what dignity means to them and wore them for the day.
We spent the day prior creating some personalised tote bags which was great fun and took up the entire afternoon. We bought some plain cotton tote bags and a pack of transfer paper to jazz them up a bit. Each resident then chose an image they liked and we printed it out for them to iron it onto the bag (under supervision) or watch – they came out really well! We then used fabric pens to add their names or initials and everyone absolutely loved their new eco-friendly personalised bags for them to use in the home to bring things from their room to the lounge or for any outings they have with us or their loved ones. It was wonderful watching the creations come to life and everyone liked choosing their individual images and colours for their bag, and serve as a reminder of everyone’s uniqueness.
Dignity comes in all shapes and sizes but it is something that is always there in the background creating a safe and kind environment for seniors to enjoy their time in care.