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“I know I make a difference here”

28 Jun 2023

“I am studying psychology at Kingston University and during term time I work on Audrey Household two days a week. Now exams are finished I can work more regularly and this week I worked 4 days. This is my first experience of Person Centred Care working directly with people with dementia and mental health issues. Some of our Residents get quite anxious and can be prone to depression. Learning how to deal with these issues and put into practice the theories I am learning is very fulfilling. Even after a 13 hour shift when we are all quite exhausted, I call my mum and tell her how fulfilled and positive I feel.

I know I make a difference here, no matter how small. For the Residents on Audrey it is their final Home and I want to make it as special as possible for them. I always try to make their day a little bit easier. If I sit next to Judy, her mood immediately lifts and she seems brighter. Marion loves the garden and when I take her for a walk, I love watching her enjoy the flowers and smile. Tiny little things like this make a huge impact on the Residents and on me too, as I know I am making a difference to their lives.

When I first started working here, my biggest challenge was knowing how to react to the different Residents and their needs, and how best to support them. Now I know them much better as individuals, I know which Resident doesn’t like to be touched when they are anxious, and which one needs more reassurance and hand holding. I would like to be a clinical psychologist in the future and this job really helps me to understand the psychology behind the individual, and to recognise how different everyone’s needs are.

When I was searching for a job, I was so impressed with how warm and welcoming Hammerson House was, and I thought the website displayed a very open happy Home. I feel the work I do here provides the practical learning of all the theories I am discovering in my course. I really hope I make a difference to the Residents, I know they have had a huge impact on me. I feel much more confident and this job has given me a real purpose.” – Ashley, Care Team Member on Audrey Household