Patrick Ferry House Aged Care Hospital
The Ferry family, well experienced in the development and running of hospitals and rest homes, have completed yet another quality aged care hospital. Patrick Ferry House Aged Care Hospital provides state of the art care that caters to the needs of an increasingly aging New Zealand population requiring more than what at-home care can provide.
The custom designed building is bright, airy and welcoming. The wooden window boxes are just starting to splash vivid red from flowering Geraniums planted for their fragrance and colour. Patrick Ferry House easily meets the Ministry’s requirements to professionally run a hospital and rest home. I believe what sets Patrick Ferry House apart is the team that is in place from the staff on the floor to the Managers. Patrick Ferry House staff are secure and stable, most having worked for the Ferry family for many years. Another point of difference is that the staff go beyond the basic caring for the residents. They actually work hands on with them to engage and to keep them stimulated and mobile where possible while keeping a connection with the wider community. Privacy is respected and friendships are fostered.
Patrick Ferry House is a place that welcomes the residents’ families and friends. They have made it a place that the visitors want to come to. Apart from the spacious rooms with private balconies there are plenty of communal spaces to sit and chat. Examples of family functions may be the shared dessert nights or wine and cheese evenings.
Every time I have been into the hospital I have been greeted with a friendly “hello” and have seen the same friendliness afforded to other visitors. The residents I have met all enjoy their spacious rooms and often remark on how nice it is to have their own en suite. Rooms have outdoor access onto balconies or into the windless ground floor Mediterranean bricked courtyard. Homely touches are encouraged, the gardens are establishing and the birds are regular visitors to those who share the crumbs from their morning tea.
Residents have the daily news read to them to keep them up-to-date with current affairs. The hands on painting, art and craft classes are popular. The beauty group day is a winner with residents who love getting their hair and nails all beautifully done up. Knitting groups keep fingers nimble. A North Shore bowls club volunteer comes in weekly to run carpet bowls competitions. Bingo for chocolate always has the largest turnout, surprisingly! Friday afternoon ‘happy hour’ with beer, wine and nibbles is a nice way to wind down the week.Jessica, Laura and Yvette are some of the bright lights in the hospital. They are the Activities Coordinators and they have their hands full delivering a varied and entertaining program. Their job is to make sure every day is filled with fun, activities and companionship.Moving from independent living into full care is a daunting prospect for many. Patrick Ferry House’s staff work hard to make the change less stressful. They genuinely care. The residents’ interests and needs are not squashed into a “one size fits all” schedule.
Themed activities fill the annual calendar. This year the residents sent Valentine’s cards, made Easter bonnets and I saw some lovely paintings of crowns for this year’s Queen’s Birthday weekend. Regular trips out and about may find the residents being taken to the museum at Devonport or for ice creams on Browns Bay beach. An all time favorite is apparently the trips to the mall where they can have a coffee, a wander and a bit of a shop if the mood takes them. Being part of the community is important. Children from the local school come and perform for the residents from time to time. An organized choir group visits and sings many of the favorite tunes from a bygone era. Laura never ceases to be amazed at how the residents love to join in and how they remember all the words for so many songs, many from more than 50 years ago.
I have had the privilege of interviewing some of the residents on a few occasions. Sadly some have passed on. Those that remain still enjoy the same things they did when I met them almost 18 months ago. What made a profound impression on me was when I was chatting to the staff, the folk who were no longer at the hospital are not forgotten. They are remembered and spoken of fondly. The staff are the heart of the hospital, they will make sure the residents are exceptionally well cared for with love, kindness and compassion where its needed. Most importantly they are with the residents for their journey be it as a day stay, a weeks recovery or longer. To them the residents are not just people in a system of care, they are part of something that was created in memory of Patrick Ferry and as such he and they will not be forgotten.