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When Phyllis was diagnosed with early on-set dementia, a joint decision was made to move Phyllis into an independent living apartment at Richmond Villages Bede so that she could benefit from the caring and activity programmes available and the Villages’ strong sense of community.
Phyllis experienced great enjoyment while living independently at Richmond. The transition was made easier with the news that Chloe, Phyllis’ King Charles Spaniel, was also able to join her and so she would often walk Chloe through the Village’s extensive grounds and orchard.
Throughout her time at Richmond Villages Bede, Phyllis was able to continue her lifetime hobbies of gardening and knitting, regularly helping tend to the Villages’ beautiful flower beds and attending regular ‘Knit & Natter’ sessions.
During her time attending the Knit & Natter sessions, Phyllis’ family has since praised them for providing her with the opportunity to socialise at ease with her friends when she was comfortable to do so. Her family have commended how Phyllis would regularly look forward to the activity during her time in the village, thanks to the support and companionship it provided.
Louise Smith, Senior Village Adviser said: “Our ‘Knit & Natter’ sessions are hugely popular with residents and were created to encourage those at the village to socialise in a low-pressure environment, whilst doing something they enjoy. Knitting is a brilliant activity for residents, and group sessions really help to combat feelings of loneliness. Phyllis was an integral member of our sessions and will always be remembered for her kind and warm heart.”
Born in Welwyn in Hertfordshire in 1933, Phyllis spent most of her life and upbringing in Burnham Green. When the time came for Phyllis to move out of her home, the transition to Richmond Villages Bede was made seamless by staff who warmly welcomed Phyllis and encouraged her to join in with activities and spend time in the restaurant with the other residents.
Phyllis’s family and friends would visit her regularly and have since praised how they enjoyed seeing her in an environment where she was happy. In particular, the family have remarked that they enjoyed sharing meals with her in the restaurant and spending quality time with her whilst attending many social events at the village.
As Phyllis’ dementia progressed and her condition worsened, she moved into an assisted living suite at Richmond Villages Bede in November 2019, and then subsequently on to the care floor in November 2020, following a sudden deterioration in health. Throughout this period and beyond, Phyllis’ family have admired how the staff at the village supported them during this particularly difficult period.
Throughout her time at the village, her family has praised the Richmond Villages team for their brilliant support. The Romain family commented: “Mum had the best care that we could have possibly asked for during her time at Richmond Villages Bede. The option to bring her much-loved dog, Chloe, to the village with her was integral in providing a smooth transition from her home in Welwyn. As a family, we are so appreciative that she received the support and companionship she did during her difficult battle with dementia.
“Richmond Villages Bede really did provide a safe and sociable community space for mum to reside and enjoy her final years. We are thankful that she was close by, and that she was able to live comfortably in a caring and supportive community. For this, our family would like to give thanks to all of the staff and residents at the village for allowing this to happen.”