Since 2003, Helen has lived at Mimosa Lodge, our residential care home in Hampshire. Helen is autistic and non-verbal, so receives one-on-one support to complete daily routines and access the local community. Sadly, during the multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Helen was unable to see her dad in person. Staff used Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, phone calls and window visits so Helen could keep in touch with her dad, but nothing could beat the real thing.
Helen is very close with her dad, and they usually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together as they are Irish. Mimosa Lodge did celebrate the holiday on the day by putting banners up and wearing hats, but it wasn’t quite the same without her dad.
A garden visit for a belated celebration
After months of not being able to see her dad in person, it was finally safe enough to plan a garden visit! Helen was keen to celebrate a belated St Patricks Day with him. It had been over a year, but Helen finally got to see her dad. Everyone at the service knew how much it meant to Helen and helped make Irish themed decorations. They got creative making green pom poms and even made them own shamrock potato stamp for the posters they attached to the gazebo outside.
Staff could see the excitement on Helen’s face as her dad arrived at the service. Helen and her dad have a very special relationship, and Helen has her own form of signing which she uses communicating with her dad. Being able to meet face to face made it a lot easier for her to communicate in her own special way.
The two had lunch and went for a walk around the garden. “The staff team were absolutely wonderful, but where was the Guinness?” Helen’s dad joked.
Helen ended the St Patrick Day celebrations with her two favourite things – her dad and a cup of coffee!
Back into a routine
Helen is now seeing her dad every single Friday, ensuring they plan their visits in COVID-19 safe places, following all guidelines. Being able get back into a routine of seeing her dad again has really improved Helen’s mental health and wellbeing. She is more relaxed and sleeps a lot better. Helen and her dad have many walking trips planned in the future, as they’re ready to get out and about in the community again.
We’re keeping you safe at Voyage Care
Please note: This article is about events that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the safety measures based on government advice during that specific time period. Please be assured that at all times, Voyage Care follows the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures to keep our staff and the people we support safe. To find out more about our COVID-19 safety precautions, please visit our COVID-19 resource area.