Debbie Westhead is the Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care North Region for the Care Quality Commission. She joined in at a Shared Reading group in a care home in Wigan.
“I was impressed with the professionalism of The Reader and how they engaged with people most of whom were living with dementia. The group was small; seven residents, one relative and care assistant. A poem was read out and people were invited to discuss. The concentration amongst the residents was immense and you could hear them thinking.
Every now and again one word sparked something in the memory. For example reference to the lake referred to in the poem reminded one person of Ireland and they spoke about holidays there as a child; reference to the water reminded another of the times she spent boating; a sentence in the poem ‘deep hearts core’ really resonated with people with one saying it was where memories were stored that were good and another stating the memories could be good or bad and there could be hurt with the memory.
It was truly fascinating and I would encourage any care home to make contact with The Reader as the service is free and it is making a difference, if only for an hour, to people’s well-being.”