Jane's story: placing her father in care

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Sanctuary Care resident Trevor enjoys a birthday barbecue with his family and friends at Hatfield Residential and Nursing Home.

We speak to Jane Lewis on the experience of placing her father in care at our Hatfield Residential and Nursing Home

Jane’s father Trevor received dementia care for over two years at Hatfield Residential and Nursing Home in Hertfordshire and Jane speaks extremely highly of the nurses and care they provided.

91-year-old Trevor had vascular dementia and moved into the home in September 2008, where he lived for over two years. Jane says: “Dad – fondly known as Gramps in our family - wouldn’t have lived so long if he hadn’t been so well cared for.  We could never have provided that level of care ourselves; it was the best environment for him.”

Remembering happy times at the home, Jane says: “These pictures were taken on Dad’s 90th birthday. It was a Sunday in June 2009, a gloriously sunny day, and the care home manager at the time suggested they throw a barbecue to celebrate which was a brilliant idea. The home’s residents, the team, myself and my husband John and our children Ruth and Ken all got together and had a fantastic day in the sunshine. I’ll never forget it.

“Although Dad had advanced dementia then, he was aware of the day and the circumstances and had an absolutely wonderful time – we all did.  Daddy even managed to cut his birthday cake. The photos say it all really.”

Trevor blowing the candles out at his 90th birthday celebration. Alan Moody, activities leader at the care home, had an especially good relationship with Trevor while he was a resident at the home. “Trevor was a former headmaster and you could tell,” Alan fondly recalls. “He was always getting involved and keeping us on our toes! He had also been a keen hiker so he and I used to take long walks together.

“He was a lovely man – a very special man. He touched a lot of hearts. I feel proud that we were able to make his last years enjoyable.”

After his condition deteriorated, Trevor spent a week in bed at the home before he passed away in May 2011.

On the end-of-life care Trevor received, Jane adds: “The nurses were very perceptive and could see the early signs that he was slowing down. They were excellent with him and communicated so well with us – always available to give Dad what he needed and very good at passing on information to us so that we knew exactly what was happening.”

Jane’s mother-in-law Christina, who moved into Hatfield in 2012 shortly after breaking her hip, also received end-of-life care at the home when her health started to deteriorate.

On the team at Hatfield who looked after both her father and mother-in-law, Jane says:

“Their care gave us understanding and confidence. They were so sensitive and aware of our parents’ needs, taking every precaution when caring for them. We cannot express how much we appreciated the care given to them both – nor how important good end-of-life care is.

Jane still visits the care home today to hold knitting clubs for residents on the unit on which her father was cared for.

“It’s lovely to still be part of the Hatfield community. We can’t thank Sanctuary Care and Hatfield enough for their support and care.”

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