A dedicated daughter has landed a job in a nursing home so she can continue to see her father through the pandemic.
Nina Ambrose, 49, was devastated when lockdown rules meant she couldn’t visit her father Roger, who moved into a nursing home in January.
So when she was fired from her job, the former Butlins Redcoat cheerleader applied to volunteer as an activities and event coordinator at her father’s new place of life.
Since April, he has been doing about three shifts a week at the Chelmsford nursing home, and after each one he visits his father, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Nina, mother of one, said: “Without this, my mental health would have absolutely suffered during the confinement.
“It is lovely and rewarding to do so, it gives me a routine and I have been able to meet the residents and staff at a time that has been very isolated for many. Also, I see that everyone’s story and journey of dementia is different. “
Former truck driver Roger has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 12 years and worsened in the past six months.
“It has been very difficult,” said Nina from Writtle in Essex.
“Dad and I have always been very close, we are like peas in a pod.
“Dad volunteered a lot after he retired.”
Nina enjoys her new role so much that, in fact, she is considering a new career in caregiving. “I love it,” he said. “It makes the residents so happy, when I walk in, they start clapping and saying ‘sing, sing’, and they remember all the old songs. Music has a great impact on people with dementia. It was a great game changer.
“I wouldn’t have considered doing this job before, but this has absolutely inspired me.
“I feel like I have a lot to give. I love making people happy … I would like to spread that joy as much as I can by working every day of the week in five different residences. “
Roger turned 77 on October 6 and they celebrated with cake and a happy birthday chorus.
She loves art, so Nina buys her pictures of cars and buses that she can paint with a brush on water, which she can now hand-deliver when she works.
Nina is deeply moved that her father’s story was selected out of 20 for the Empathy Museum in London.
She documents Roger’s journey through illness on her Instagram page @rantsandbigpants to help others in similar situations. His great hope is that others will realize that being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s “doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom – you can take advantage of what made people happy and the activities they once enjoyed on whatever level they can now enjoy. I tell Dad the same joke every week and he laughs out loud.
“People love the story of my father and mine, they love that we laugh.”
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