03 July 2019
Tina Benson, Promedica24 Team Leader, talks about her experience during a surprise ice cream van visit to care clients’ homes
We were given the opportunity to do something rather nice for our clients and came up with the idea of hiring an ice cream van for the day! We thought ‘what a treat’ it would be for some of our clients, so a route was planned that would get us to as many clients as possible within the day. We thought about how it would make the clients reminisce and had prepared some thoughtful questions to evoke memories.
Our first client had unfortunately become unwell and was in bed. Whilst waiting for the van to arrive, we chatted to him about ice cream vans and what memories they brought to mind. When the van arrived, we got the driver to play his musical tune, which really made him smile. His dog enjoyed receiving attention with us outside and we took photos of his dog to show him, whilst he was laying in bed devouring his ice cream treat. He has since passed away, but hopefully we were able to contribute to pleasurable memories near the end of his life.
Our second client, a centenarian, was ready and waiting for something. She didn’t know what, though. Her daughter was encouraged to invite neighbours around. This lady is 103 and looks marvellous for her age. Several of her neighbours came out, including another dog! How lovely it was to watch her with her daughter, care worker and neighbours all chatting, eating ice creams and reminiscing. A perfect image of what we were aiming for.
The next visit was to a lady who had mentioned to her son that she felt like sitting in the sunshine in the garden eating ice cream. He had smiled at the remark because he knew we were going to surprise her with just that! This lady struggles to get outside much, so we took her to the ice cream van in her wheelchair and her face lit up! The musical tune came on and she was clearly moved, tears almost sparkling in her eyes. We enjoyed an ice cream together outside her home. She sat in her wheelchair with the most amazing smile on her face. We chatted about ice cream vans and what her memories of them were. She smiled so much and just kept saying “Thank you so much!”. It really made my day to see how much it meant to her.
Our next stop was to a lady that lives in a flat attached to her daughter’s home. From her armchair in her lounge, she could just about see the ice cream van, but she could definitely hear the chimes the van played. This lady is mobility challenged and has some difficulty communicating well verbally. She was able to say that Mr. Whippy Ice Cream was her favourite and something she very rarely had the opportunity to enjoy.
Lastly, the ice cream van visited a lady that knew she was getting a surprise but didn’t know what. She tried to guess, but I assured her she would never guess in a million years. This lady is only able to get out and about now and again, so an ice cream was a real treat and one she had not had for a long time. She walked out to the van and sat in her wheelchair whilst eating her ice cream, another grateful customer!
What a wonderful day! To be able to give people a special treat and be there to enjoy the smiles and listen to their memories.
When hiring a home carer, care isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’-type of service. It’s a personal matter down to small details; we tailor live-in care plans to individuals including our disability home care service. Contact us via our online form, call us free on 0800 086 8686 or speak to one of our advisers by live chat (see tab or pop up on this web page).
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