April Blog 2020

This has been a really tricky blog to put together.

On the one hand we are really pleased and relieved to be able to report that at the present time we have all avoided the virus that has wreaked such havoc across the globe. On the other hand of course, it has meant some big changes for some of the residents and daily activities have been affected by our inability like everybody else, to socialise outside.

Here at Wordsworth we took the decision early to try to contain our wellness within the home by minimising the risk of infection from outside and that meant we had to make some really difficult decisions regarding visits to the home.

We truly appreciate how difficult this must be and can only reassure you that we are all doing everything we can to keep life at Wordsworth ticking along, with good humour and of course some truly dreadful singing from the staff!

We are having to learn like everybody else, how to keep in touch through technology wherever possible, and thank you all for your patience not only with your loved ones, but also with staff as we are all literally in this together.

The management would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for the tremendous work that goes into not making this crisis into a drama, whilst juggling their own concerns. We are all looking forward to a time where we can start to get back some semblance of normality. Until then, we can only Care and Carry On.

Best wishes to all of you, from all of us.

Wordsworth House.

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Companion’s log – February 2020 by Martin Northey

I was sent to a boarding school two months after my 8th birthday and for the next 9 years hated every single minute of that experience. When I see new residents arrive I can sometimes see on their  face many of the emotions that I felt on my first days at school.

In my loneliness I did not cry because I had learnt that ‘boys should not cry’, but I felt desperately miserable inside. I see my function as ‘companion’ as being that of the friend that I needed in those first few days and weeks. 

When I was a resident in a care home, because I was used to getting up early in the morning I would often get up at about 5 am and wander into the lounge where I would find one of the night staff who would make me a mug of coffee and talk to me. This conversation I would find very helpful and it quickly dispelled my feeling of being alone in a strange environment.

During the last month of my two years in care following my second brain surgery I began to feel the need to help other people and did so by talking to them when they arrived. My daughter had complained that I wasn’t getting enough exercise and so I had started going for walks with the ‘activities lady’ which was nerve racking for her as I was still using a stick and not entirely steady on my feet! But our walks and our conversation did me a lot of good.

Whilst the weather this last autumn was lovely, this winter we have had a lot of rain and walking has not been a good idea, but now in mid-February the days are getting longer and the temperature warmer we can start looking forward to some beautiful walks. The photograph below I took in October is the view from close to Wordsworth and we can soon start enjoying this beautiful landscape on our frequent walks. We are never more than a quarter of a mile from the house and I always have my telephone with me so that in the event of a resident feeling unwell I can telephone the office and ask for a carer to bring a wheelchair. I never walk with more than one resident so my companion has my undivided attention.

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January Blog

Welcome to Januarys blog. 2020 can you believe it?! We have had a quiet month in comparison with December which was jam packed, this month we have stayed indoors out of the horrendous rain and wind only venturing out for our regular trips to St Mary’s church for the all things bright and beautiful service .

We welcomed back Phillipa Topham who works with our residents using music to bring back memories of years gone by and for a bit of fun.

I’ve been trying to keep the residents fit and busy with chair aerobics, table tennis, indoor bowls and balloon tennis which is still a favourite amongst our residents.

Our residents have been helping to brighten their home with flowers that they have arranged, polishing the silver, collages and selecting favourite pictures from the past year, cutting them out and putting into frames for display around their home.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we decorated a Chinese dragon to put up on our display board.

We have done some baking which always brings back memories of younger days often back to childhood. The residents enjoy using their hands to create and get  even more pleasure when they are able to eat the end result.

Memory box, quizzes, ‘pamper and polish’ and ‘treat trolley’ continue to punctuate our days.

One of our residents ideas for activities in February was to have a dance which is being held on Valentines day so we are very much looking forward to that and maybe some better weather.

Take care, from all of us at Wordsworth House

Until next month..

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Activities blog December 2019

Hello, welcome to the activities blog for December 2019. We have had a month packed with Christmas outings and visitors. We are thankful to The Swanage School for inviting a group of us to their Christmas party where they fed us, and the children entertained us with music for the afternoon. We would also like to thank the Royal British Legion for inviting us to their tea party where our residents enjoyed a drink and buffet along with live music and Margaret won a prize in the raffle. 

We ventured down to the Emmanuel church for the Christmas Tree Festival and happened to be visiting at the same time as some of the local nursery schools so not only did we have the beautifully decorated trees to look at but we got to join in with some carol singing with the children and then of course, sat down for a hot drink and a lovely slice of cake.

St Marys welcomed us back for a special Christmas ‘All things bright and beautiful’ service where our residents enjoyed tea, Christmas cake and crackers.

One evening we went on a bus ride over to Corfe castle and back to see all the beautiful Christmas lights with some of our residents.

Along with all our outings we’ve also had music from the Dave Marshall Duo early in the month and Simon our motivational therapist came and got our residents thinking and moving with quizzes and activities. 

We were pleased to welcome back local choirs for carol singing, starting with the Emmanuel Baptist church who also brought along their Labradors so after they finished singing the dogs performed some tricks to the delight of our residents. 

Swanage Primary school choir came to see us one afternoon and were superb, and our residents enjoyed chatting with them in between the singing. Mayday Singers also came to entertain us and enjoyed mulled wine and minced pies with our residents after they finished singing.

In between all of this, we managed to make some delicious gingerbread men and some Christmas cards. We have also been keeping up the quizzes and music and movement to keep the mind and body active, pamper and polish to keep our ladies beautiful and memory box exploration to help us reminisce. 

The Monday before Christmas we had our residents Christmas party. Chantoozy provided live music, a beautiful buffet was laid out and the afternoon finished with a raffle. Our residents do enjoy good music, and many had a dance I believe a good time was had by all.

On Christmas day our residents enjoyed a delicious roast dinner (the way it should be) and were visited by Santa in the afternoon who gave out their presents!

December finished up with a New Year’s Eve’ party where we made new year’s resolutions; played fun games and quizzes; listened to good music and toasted in the new year in Hong Kong in together.


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Wordsworth House Activity Blog November 2019

Hello, welcome to the activity blog for October and November 2019 from Wordsworth House.

As the late summer evenings drew to a distinct close, October slipped by in an autumnal blur, with our usual indoor activities to prepare us for those shorter days to which we have to adjust. The heating thermostat crept up and the curtains in the lounge have been closing that little bit earlier each day. Suzanne from the activity’s office is not one to miss an opportunity to dress up, and she really did look the spookiest of witches as she took around the treats trolley for Halloween.

 We had several birthdays to celebrate in October, which we do particularly well here at Wordsworth House. Our cakes are a dream and always well received. One of the birthday girls was Mrs Nan Hart, still full of wit at a marvellous 103..she was delighted to be sung to by all of us who gathered to celebrate with her and tucked heartily into a lovely tea with friends around her.

October then slipped into a wet and sometimes wild November as the weather outside reminded us how lucky we are to have a snug home to live in. Our days have been dotted with events that keep us all active, both mentally and physically. Chair football, skittles and balloon tennis has kept us moving, working on the eye coordination, spatial awareness and a general competitive spirit, whilst quizzes help us to reach for facts and prods our memories and knowledge.

We had a marvellous afternoon of music from The Dave Marshal Duo, which inspired a lot of dancing, arm waving and singing along as they serenaded us with some of our favourite songs, such as Sweet Caroline brought out a touch of Elvis in some of us.

Pat, one of our residents was particularly taken with our therapy dog visitor in November, as Jade made her way around the room and the bedrooms of those who chose not to be in the lounge, lapping up the attention.

Movie night was celebrated with home made chocolate brownies and as November drew to a close, the lovely Stanley celebrated his 93rd birthday in Wordsworth House style. Happy birthday Stanley, with love from all of us.

Flower arranging has become something some of us enjoy and small arrangements are to be found around the home, in the reception area and on the dining room tables.

Next month….Christmas!

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The Wordsworth minibus story so far…

Since the demise of our old minibus at Wordsworth House, we have been actively fundraising to try to replace it with a new model.

The whole home will benefit from having a new bus; for the short trips to take residents to appointments locally, and those longer days out, enjoying the surroundings in our beautiful locality, popping to the seafront for ice-creams or heading out for small group activities.

Presently we rely on the local charity transport and the medical transport or taxis to get residents to appointments and activities and this requires a fair bit of forward planning as well as having to hope that there is adequate availability when it is required.

Active fundraising over the past year has involved many of the residents, relatives and staff and we are very grateful for all the support and encouragement given.

We held a large raffle at Christmas last year, with lots of prizes donated or supplied which raised a significant sum. There was a barbeque and country music open day in the summer and some very kind and thoughtful gestures of support from relatives in lieu of flowers on occasion.

Of those generous supporters, we would like to thank especially, the family of the late and much missed Doreen Gomm.

Doreen’s family have been instrumental in donating raffle prizes; purchasing tickets; winning them back and returning them to be re re-gifted into the raffle. Sadly, Doreen passed earlier this year but John and the rest of the family generously asked for donations to our minibus fund rather than floral tributes, and also secured a donation from the Lodge of Meridian 6582 which took us up to our fundraising total of over £3,000 to secure the deposit.

Erin and Kellie will be moving the purchase forward after Christmas and we are looking forward to getting residents out and about in our bus we are already fondly referring to as ‘DG’.  We look forward to bringing you news and pictures in the new year.

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Activity Blog September 2019

Hello, welcome to the activity blog for September 2019 from Wordsworth House.
We have all enjoyed a great summer and made the most of the warmth and sunshine, getting out and about or just appreciating the garden, the peace and the beautiful surroundings.
This month, residents have enjoyed a smashing trip out to The Village Inn, a local pub at the other end of town, for lunch and a visit to the well-known attraction Durlston Castle, which is right on our doorstep.
The views from Durlston Castle were amazing and gave our residents on the trip, the chance to get closer to nature through its wonderful well-managed countryside. Durlston Castle itself, was holding an exhibition in its gallery and we were able to appreciate the artwork on display.
We really are very lucky to have such a marvellous attraction so close to us, and there is always something new to see or do with the changing seasons.
During our visit to The Village Inn at Ulwell, we enjoyed a lovely lunch and a beer, and as ever, the memories of days out with old friends and family were recounted fondly.
It was good to see Gill from the pet therapy sessions, she brought along Jade for her first visit to the home and she made an impact on the residents. We are very happy to have these visits, as some of the residents fondly remember their own pets and appreciate the physical contact and connections. Gill works hard to make sure that her lovely dogs don’t overwhelm residents and we are seeing great results.


We have enjoyed our regular sessions with Simon, Phillipa and the Dave Marshall, all providing their own specialist entertainment and activities for our residents, and these are always well received.
A definite highlight of the month was a visit from relatives of one of our residents, who kindly offered to provide us with a blue grass music performance in the lounge. Professional entertainers; they held the residents spell bound with some favourite tunes including a Cliff Richard medley, which had many of us singing and clapping along. It really was a lovely gesture, and much appreciated by their audience. Thank you to our musical family, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
This month also saw the return of the highly contested Activities Team Scrabble competition. On this occasion, Suzanne and her team narrowly beat Tracie’s team…well done, Suzanne, but we are sure that Tracie and the Scrabblers will be back for revenge.
Church visits; baking of lemon drizzle cake and jam tarts; quizzes and treat trolleys continue to keep us busy and of course the rugby world cup is on the television for those interested.
We have also been enjoying listening to the local radio station, Purbeck FM, broadcasting from the pier and enjoy their wide range of music and chat throughout the day.

We are making plans for autumn and all the occasions we celebrate and will be seeing our autumn entertainment diaries fill up in the coming weeks. Take care from all of the Wordsworth House Team
Until next month…

*Note from the Editor,
October is rapidly approaching, and things will be a little quieter on the entertainment front here for a short time as Suzanne takes a brief, well- earned break and Tracie is off for a while, becoming bionic. We wish Tracie a speedy recovery and look forward to her next blog.

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Martin Northey – House Companion

Most people are expected to have some sort of training and / or experience prior to starting any job, as the ‘Companion’ at Wordsworth House I am no exception to that rule. Three years ago I became very ill as a result of getting an infection in my brain following neuro surgery to resolve my having Hydrocephalus (too much cerebral fluid in a part of my brain that should have been self draining).

This infection gave me a lot of the symptoms that are normally associated with dementia. I could only walk with the help of a stick and even with my stick moving from my bed to my armchair was an adventure! For my own safety I went to live in a care home first of all in Portugal where I had been living and then in Dorset so that I could attend the neuro department at Southampton Hospital. Much of this period I cannot remember except that I was incontinent, had great difficulty in writing, had very little appetite and became very thin. I found something as simple as writing in a diary too complicated.

During two and a half years as a resident in a care home I had two operations on my brain and three days after the second operation I found that I could walk without my stick (carers were constantly saying to me “Martin where is your stick?” And I began to realise that I was much better. I complained that I wasn’t getting enough exercise and the care home arranged for me to go on regular walks with their Activities Lady, my incontinence ended as did my constipation. My capacity to make decisions returned and I began to realise that I must get on with my life and hopefully work again, I didn’t want to go back to my previous job as an Examiner for the Royal Yachting Association but thought I would like to be either a carer or an activities person in a care home, in order to show that I might be able to do this work I had been trying to help in my care home by taking people to the loo whenever the opportunity arose, I realized that my efforts had been noticed when the head carer said to me that he was going on holiday for a week would I like him to leave his uniform behind for me to wear!

This gave me the confidence to ask the managers if they would employ me as an Assistant Activities Person and whilst they showed some initial interest they were then told by the owners of the home that it was against the rules to have a member of staff who had previously been a resident.

My next step was to google Care Homes in Swanage, I telephoned one towards the top of Google’s list which was Wordsworth Care Home and a few days later went up for an interview. I was asked if I could dance and sing to which I replied “No but I don’t mind looking stupid!”

To my amazement I was offered the job of Assistant Activities person, that was 14 months ago and since then my job title has been changed to ‘Companion’. I am now 75 years old and have much in common with the residents at Wordsworth, I like the same music, remember the same films and enjoy the same food. So we have a lot in common to talk about. We have entertainment at Wordsworth that involves the residents and staff dancing and singing, it is therefore true to say that I look and sound quite stupid on a regular basis! On one occasion about a year ago I was dancing with one of the ladies who told me that she hadn’t walked for several years and dancing was just a distant memory.

It is an enormous privilege for me to spend 5 days a week with these wonderful people, I take them for walks, go with them on trips, accompany them when they are taken to hospital by ambulance for appointments, drink endless cups of tea with them, have lunch with them and thanks to the excellent food provided by our two chefs have noticed that some of my clothes seem to have shrunk during the last 14 months! It is the most rewarding job that I have ever had.

Best wishes, Martin.

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Activities Blog – August 2019

Hello, welcome to the activity blog for August 2019.

August has, as ever been a full and busy time for us in the activities department, as we take full advantage of the good weather and lovely environment around us.

Residents of Wordsworth House have been able to enjoy another excellent trip to Harry Ramsdens in the town, where we not only enjoyed a very tasty fish and chips lunch but also reminisced about seaside holidays and the resident’s memories of the town as they used to know it.

We have enjoyed our morning breakfast club to get us off to a good start and followed this up with activities such as scarf dancing and chair yoga for those that have felt the urge to get moving and stretching.

Simon from Brighter Days Motivation has been keeping us all laughing and literally on our toes, bringing entertainment to our lounge.

The Dorset Memory Box Library activities continue to stir up thoughts of the past with the use of the assorted contents from a by-gone era. On this occasion a wedding outfit and associated garments from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. 

We have taken turns to attend the twice monthly visits for a short service followed by cake at St Mary’s Church. We are very grateful to the organisers for accommodating us and making us welcome.

Having asked what activities residents would like to do in August, we followed up on the choice of one of our residents, and spent a very pleasant day at the Margaret Green animal rescue centre at Church Knowle, getting to know some of the rescued animals and talking about their own  pets and animals that have been part of the lives of residents and their families over the years.

Some of the residents have been helping to bring new life to one of our old bird boxes with some woodwork which we will be putting back into the garden ready for the autumn.

Baking; skittles in the lounge; chatter, natter social mornings; quizzes and the ever-popular treat trolley have continued to punctuate our days and evenings and we have enjoyed keeping cool on the warmest days, with ice lollies and cold drinks.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about just some of what keeps us all busy here at Wordsworth House.

Take care, from all of the Wordsworth House Team

Until next month…

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Activities Blog July 2019

Hello! Welcome to the Wordsworth House activity blog for July 2019. 

Wow, what a smashing month we have had, starting with our much loved and eagerly anticipated boat trip around Poole harbour with the amazing Dolphin Boat trips. Everything was in our favour, the sun shone, the picnic was perfect and most importantly of all, the residents were happy and could really enjoy the freedom of being out at sea in safe hands.

We are extremely grateful to the Friends of the Dolphin Boat Trips for making our sea excursion experience so marvellous.

July saw us hold our annual Open Day, where we invited all of our residents; their family and friends; members of the public and particularly the other Care Homes, to join us for our Rock and Roll themed BBQ. The band who came to play for us (Jurassic Rock) were fabulous and entertained us superbly, encouraging lots of dancing and singing and playing along. We had a bouncy castle for added fun and a giant Jenga game supplied by Castlemania. 

The Chef’s did us proud, providing a terrific BBQ with side dishes and of course the obligatory cakes for dessert. It was another of those days when we can really appreciate the team that work at Wordsworth House, and the pride in which we hold the home and residents.

Amongst all the extra activities, we do of course continue to hold our usual activities and pastimes with entertainers Dave Marshall and Simon, who perform and interact with the residents for an hour of fun and games. 

A new addition to the activity calendar, we have introduced the Sweet Trolley, which takes a trip around the home to visit all of the residents and offers extra special treats which can be either savoury or sweet. We have had some great feedback.

So, as far as August is concerned, we have another visit to Harry Ramsden and  a trip to Margaret Green animal rescue centre to look forward to, alongside local trips to the seaside and enjoying the garden.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the blog; sharing some of the many activities that the Wordsworth House residents get up to and we will be back with more next month.

Keep on enjoying the summer.

Until next time.

Take Care, 

From all everyone here at Wordsworth House.