Nancy cooking at Radius Care resthome with two other residents.

Like a Duck to Water

When Nancy’s family suggested to their mother that she needed rest home care, Nancy was hesitant. But since moving into Radius Lexham Park in February 2020, Nancy has taken to her new lifestyle “like a duck to water”. Nancy is now sitting back and thoroughly enjoying life thanks to the wonderful staff that give 150% every day to ensuring their rest home is like one big family.

The best part about it? Juliet, Nancy’s daughter, is an enrolled nurse in charge who has worked at Lexham Park for 11 years, so she can share a cup of tea with her mother every day at work!

Nancy kissing her granddaughter on the cheek.

Taking the first steps

Prior to Lexham Park, Nancy had been living with Juliet. However, Juliet increasingly noticed that her mother was not happy being alone during the day, and she was also prone to falls. Juliet arranged for an assessor to review Nancy’s needs, but it wasn’t until one particularly nasty fall that the decision was made, on the instruction of a GP, for Nancy to move into Lexham Park.

Juliet and Nancy have a close relationship – so understandably Juliet was shouldering a lot of guilt around this decision. But from the get-go, it was evident that this was the right decision for Nancy. Nancy was still unwell from the fall when she first arrived, but that didn’t stop the other residents to visit her in the rest home wing and welcome her to her new home.

When the Covid-19 lockdown occurred nationwide in March, the rest home wing residents and staff bonded closely, supporting each other through a tough time without visitors.

A busy new lifestyle

Nancy kissing her granddaughter on the cheek.

Nancy, who didn’t have a lot of time for socialising as a busy mum of seven, now spends her days attending activities arranged by staff, enjoying meal times with other residents and chatting to the different Health Care workers who look after her. “I’m so busy Jules”, says Nancy when Juliet can track her down.

Like many other residents, the major highlight of Nancy’s week is Thursday – when the hairdresser arrives. At the in-house salon, the music blasts and the residents sing along, Nancy describes the whole atmosphere as “groovy”. Then on the weekends, Nancy will put on her apron and join in the baking and cooking with the activities staff in the west lounge.

It is the small touches that really impresses Nancy and make her feel a part of the community; how the Healthcare Assistants fold her bed down, place her pillows, and tuck her in at night. She also enjoys the hearty and variable meals – especially the lamingtons.

90 years young

Nancy with her family for her 90th birthday

The last remaining sibling in a family of 14, Nancy turned 90 on the 11th October 2020 and celebrated this with many of her family – some who came to the Bay of Plenty from around New Zealand. The great Lexham Park staff helped Nancy to dress up each day ahead of the weekend festivities, which included the big birthday bash with all the family at Mt Manganui.

Juliet loves to see her mother sitting back with her feet up, getting her nails painted and being pampered, because Nancy has always worked hard through her life.

Nancy moved with her husband to Awakino in North Taranaki to farm when her daughter Juliet was just a wee dot. Nancy was a hard-working woman who ran the household. She raised, fed, bathed, and clothed seven children. She spun wool and knitted clothes. And she cooked for and hosted visitors and farm workers. Nancy would only get one new frock and a pair of stockings per year.

Nancy’s new lifestyle has been a positive change for herself, and for Juliet, who can now spend quality time with her mother, while also having time for herself. The pair say that it’s very reassuring knowing that Nancy is being looked after by the Lexham Park family. The staff and the other residents are wonderful and make the place what it is.

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