One of the settings that we have been privileged to visit is Merton House. We usually stand in between the lounge/dining area because some residents feel it is easier to sit at their dinner tables than move over to the smaller lounge.
As an independent-living setting, people can be any age, with a variety of conditions, and just need a little extra support in order to have a normal, independent life. This means that there can be problems with memory, confidence and other every-day skills that we take for granted, like walking and talking. Every day can be a struggle, with some residents receiving comments from the public like, “They shouldn’t let you out on your own,” while others get treated respectfully, just because of how they look.
With such a mixed age range, we have to think on our feet, and cannot take anything for granted. One of the younger residents asked for more war songs, out of respect for the memory of those who gave their lives. Others point blank refused to sing, “Blue Moon,” because of the football team they supported. We will be developing a new song book for these in-betweeners, not care home residents, and still very independent.