A stranger helped put a beautiful smile on the face of an 88-year-old man in a care home in England.
William Docherty, 88, stays at the Old School House care home in Gilberdyke, and on Thursday, when England went into a second lockdown, a local man paid a bagpiper to entertain residents around Gilberdyke and at the care home too from a window.
William was seen smiling from ear-to-ear in the video as Tracey Jackson, deputy manager of the home, said that it was to “cheer everybody up”. She added, “A local gentleman used his winter fuel grant from the government and paid for a bagpiper to walk around the whole village to cheer everybody up,” she said.
“He contacted the home and said would you mind if he came into the car park and played for them. William is Scottish. His face just lit up. He loves bagpipes.” Ms. Jackson said keeping everybody safe has been their priority in view of the Covid 19 situation.
Socially distanced entertainment! 😍
Our residents loved the bagpipe performance this morning at Old School House! We are so lucky to be able to bring local talent to our home for everyone to enjoy! 🎼
Posted by The Old School House on Thursday, November 5, 2020
“It’s really difficult to keep up with the changes because they can change daily,” she said on restrictions, and added, “We are trying hard to stay compliant. We are trying to keep everybody safe.”
“There was a brief period when they lifted restrictions and we were able to have visits in the garden. We bought a gazebo and some furniture to set up outside and we had booked visits.” She said, “It’s never quite the same because they still couldn’t have physical contact.” She said it’s hard but the staff at the care home are “fantastic”. She added, “95 percent of our residents here have dementia, some quite advanced, and they just don’t understand social distancing so it’s been hard,” she said.
“We’ve been very lucky, the local authority provided us with a tablet so we can do video calls and the staff have been fantastic. Before that, staff gave out their own mobile numbers so families could do Whatsapp video calls.” They do have an idea to make visiting possible in the future.
“At the moment, we’ve been told essential visits only so it is primarily video calls but the maintenance man has plans to build a visiting booth,” Ms Jackson said. “He’s going to build that himself and we are going to do our best.” She adds, “His idea is to build a booth against some patio doors we have in one of the small lounges. It would be like a Perspex screen with a seating area inside to be able to facilitate a visit as safe as possible.”
Ms Jackson also lauded the families of residents saying they were amazing” during the pandemic. “It has been a really hard year,” she said. “It has affected people’s mental health, especially in this line of work.” She added, “Ultimately the goal is to keep everybody safe.”
She said, “It is difficult with our resident group because a lot of them don’t understand but we will do whatever we can.” She added, “All the families have been amazing, they have provided us with cakes, sweets. William’s family provided us with a coffee machine for the staff. They have been such an amazing family.”