Care for the elderly in Northumberland.
The pupils from Year 4 at Corbridge First School visited Charlotte Straker House last week. They had a chance to watch volunteer John Maude press some apples, and hear all about how the machines work. Then they sang some harvest songs to our residents.
Many thanks to Miss Ainsley and Mr Harrison for helping to arrange such a great morning, and to all the children for listening carefully and singing so beautifully.
(All photos are by Ian Wylie)
Merilyn Jewitt is one of our “newer” employees, having worked as a senior carer at Charlotte Straker House for just over 2 years.
Merilyn is a senior carer (and trained nurse), and she is responsible for supervising a team of care assistants, as well as supporting all our residents with their medical and personal care and all other aspects of daily living.
Her parents have lived in Corbridge for over 40 years’ and after her mother died and her father was diagnosed with Parkinsons’ disease, the family decided it would be better for him to move into Charlotte Straker House.
Merilyn says, “It was where my Dad always wanted to go. My Mum and Dad have lived in Corbridge for a very long time, and he always said that if he had to go into a home he wanted to go to Charlotte Straker. To be honest, it’s where everyone wants to go!”
Her father Brian is 89 and loves joining in all the activities and social visits, especially playing chess, indoor gardening and he goes to every single organ recital at St Andrew’s Church in Corbridge. Brian used to play the organ, so he adores music and enjoys listening to the Proms and other music programmes. He was very keen on the visit to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle earlier on this year and enjoyed inspecting the shipping and engineering exhibits. He is visited regularly by his close family, including his daughters and their children.
Merilyn explains “He was a civil engineer and had a long career visiting some of the more far flung places around the world. He is still very proud of the buildings and structures that he helped to build. Although his Parkinson’s is slowly becoming more advanced, he still loves to chat to the carers and visitors about his earlier life.”
Merilyn now lives with her husband in Barrasford, but has spent many years living in Spain, organising bird watching holidays. She still goes out to visit central Spain as much as she can, and is also preparing to go away to Australia to see her youngest son.
“I have three grandchildren”, she says “and I’m kept very busy at work and at home! I think it helps that I’m a pretty active person. Being a senior care assistant is such a rewarding job, but it’s physically demanding, and you spend a lot of time on your feet. Perhaps when I’m retired I will have more time for gardening and walking, but I do love working at Charlotte Straker House. The team of care assistants and nurses are great fun and really supportive”.
She adds “I think my favourite part of the role is building a relationship with each resident. You need to put yourself in their position. I’ve always tried to live my life by the maxim “do as you would be done by”, and I think that applies very much in my role today. I try to work out how to help each resident as an individual, take the time to get to know them, and provide as much support as I can.”
Thank you very much to Merilyn for her hard work and her commitment to Charlotte Straker Project.