Training feedback

“Heather was an amazing mentor and colleague when I worked with her for several months, providing activities for nursing home residents living with dementia. Always energetic, inspiring, vibrant, and full of enthusiasm, she has an incredible gift for reaching out and connecting with people – even those in an extreme state of confusion or withdrawal. With warmth, encouragement and expertise, Heather is able to engage people in stimulating, creative, multi-sensory activities that hugely improve the quality of their lives. Heather is a fantastic advocate and communicator. She has the ability to transmit not only her expertise and philosophy, but also her enthusiasm, commitment and dedication. As a teacher, trainer and awareness-raiser she is an inspiration, delivering her message with clarity, warmth, fun and humour.”

Bryony C. (former colleague)

Training feedback

Subject of training: Occupational therapy role, risk assessment and activity provision.

Date of training: 24th and 25th March 2014.

What was good about the training? It was really useful to meet Heather and discuss the occupational therapy role within Primley Court. This has given me a much clearer idea of what my role as OT at Leonard Elms will involve. Heather was very knowledgeable and flexible to discuss different topics I wanted to know about. Heather provided various templates and documents for me to take away which I know will be really useful. It was also really nice to have a look around the home and get some ideas for improvements that could be made at Leonard Elms.

I also learnt some information about Alzheimer’s that I didn’t know previously (e.g. eyesight is affected) and about some resources which I had not previously come across.

Any other comments? Thank you so much for giving up your time and being so friendly and open to answering my many questions!

Bekky M, Occupational Therapist

I love you, Heather, and love your work! You are so good in what you are doing, and indeed you change people’s life, enhance their skills and abilities, and even if I am a carer, you changed my life with your touch. I am so happy to have met you! xx

Maria M, 28 May 2015

As Associate Priest of Paignton, part of my ministry involved visiting Nursing and Care Homes within the parish. One of the homes I visited regularly was Primley Court, which specialises in the care of those suffering from acute Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It was at Primley Court that I met and worked with Heather, who I consider was a wonderful asset to the home and made such a difference to the lives of the residents, with her vision and skills in creating activities for them to participate in. Heather’s energy and enthusiasm is second to none, as are her knowledge and understanding of the problems associated with the condition and qualifications in this field of care.

Towards the end of my time in Paignton, Heather and I, together with others, adapted the ‘Open the Book’ programme to bring the stories of the bible alive to the residents of Primley Court, through dramatic reading. 

At Primley Court, Religion was actively embraced. It was not simply a matter of “ticking a box”.

Revd. Bob B

Heather has a very warm persona that translates into her interactions with everyone-patients, staff and myself as an entertainer.  She takes the time to encourage each patient to feel comfortable and relaxed and also engaged with whatever activity is happening. She would inspire the individual to sing and even dance if they were able. This would always have a positive effect on their wellbeing and make them feel cared for. I would thoroughly recommend Heather to be part of your care home staff. She would benefit any establishment with her professionalism and caring nature.

Gavin F, guitarist and singer in care homes

Dear Heather,

I was most touched to get your telephone call of appreciation after my visit. It means a lot because I’m very conscientious and constantly research and evolve what I do to get it just right.

P.S. I must add that from my perspective, I rarely come across a member of staff (even an OT) who is as knowledgeable, conscientious and energetic about joining in with the musical entertainment as you, and motivating the residents to join in – I hope the home manager appreciates you too!

Best wishes, Rowena

Music and Memories entertainer in care homes and Purple Angel Dementia Champion, CD available from website

Heather has always proven to be diligent, innovative, person-centred, highly intelligent, dedicated to improving quality of life by ensuring each individual lives their life, as they might choose.
She is creatively inspirational, thinks on her feet, is always positive and fully alive, yet remains a gentle calm, reassuring presence.

I have witnessed her in action and a joy it has been to be party to her activities and sensitivities.

She always works inclusively and ensures all family members are part of the whole.

Heather makes a ‘Care Home’ much more like being at home. That is, an everyday home, where everyone is FAMILY.

That’s how I have felt, when visiting my Mum.

Ann D

My son and I spent a very special day sailing with my 82 year old Dad, Peter. My dad has dementia and when the fabulous Heather, Occupational Therapist at the nursing home where he now lives, organised a sail for him, I was delighted that we were able to go too. My dad taught me to sail when I was a child and sailing has remained a very important part of my life. To be able to sail with my Dad again was something that I did not expect, and the Disabled Sailing Association made it happen. The care, sensitivity and the professionalism of the crew was unquestionable. We had a lot of fun, and my Dad hasn’t stopped talking about it since. What was, on the face of it, a simple day’s sailing was SO MUCH MORE than that and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. THANK YOU.

Love Kate and James

Dear Heather,

I think that activities in a home can be very under-valued by management, other members of staff and visitors. Too many people have the attitude that those with dementia aren’t worth bothering with or that ‘where’s the point they won’t remember in a couple of minutes’. Some people don’t seem to realise that when a person is made to feel ‘Happy’ even if they can’t remember why they feel ‘happy’ the wonderful feel good factor can stay with that person for a long time.

When you are just sat in a home and there is almost nothing going on around you, you switch off into a world that is a very sad and lonely place. Therefore being part of an activity is so important. I think my Dad benefits from your visits because you bring LIFE into his life. You treat him as an individual who has needs, and who needs to know he matters. Your activities make him ‘Happy’. They make him feel that he is ALIVE and that someone cares.
Being part of an activity also allows him to be part of a bigger picture giving him a sense of belonging. You found out what his likes and dislikes are and provide him with stimulation to suit his needs. Besides football Dad loves music, singing and dancing. You found that out. Dad has lost the ability to have a conversation but you found that you can communicate with him and make him happy by singing with him. You always make him smile.  Thank you so much.

Christine F

Dear Heather,

We,.. Pearl, Stan and I are so very grateful for all you are and have been at Primley Court. We have been most lucky to have had your presence there for so long. Always so warm, with a good vocational heart and perfect in every way. Naturally glowing, bright, loving, reassuring and so professional, but without losing the human touch. Oh and fun!!! Always that –

We will often talk and think of you with a big smile on our faces. You have always been FAB-U-LOUS! 10 10 10 10! Top of the leader board. So from the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU and DOUBLE THANK YOU.

Ann D

Dear Heather,

I wish to thank you for introducing me to the wonderful people I met at the church – I have never before met such kind and welcoming people. I also have learnt to love you – but strange things happen in life… I should know, this writing is not typical of mine.

THANK YOU for your kindness and laughter. Keep going and remember I appreciated your help and kindness to me at a very very difficult time in my life.

Thank You again, my love to my friend,

As always, Jean (Resident)

Dear Heather

Thank you so much for all the loving care you showed to my father. Your attention to detail and wonderful holistic care should be commended. You are a ‘natural’ when interacting with the clients and I feel that your interaction prevents many ‘outbursts’ from frustrated clients. I treasure the pictures you sent of Dad and it meant a lot that he had been doing things and not just sitting in a chair.

As an ex-nurse I would hope that your approach is adopted in all the EMI (Elderly Mentally Ill) homes to enhance the lives of so many dementia clients. Please keep up the good work.

With very best wishes, Ann