It is an eye-opener to experience St. Johannis Heim in the company of Sr Marina Basson. As we walk through the different areas, she frequently stops to chat to individuals or to make introductions.
This interaction reminds me of how Dame Cicely Saunders explained the role of St Christopher’s Hospice to her patients.
‘You matter because you are you
and you matter to the end of your life.
We will do all we can not only
to help you die peacefully but also
to help you live until you die.’
On a practical level such care includes creating an environment that clearly communicates to people: ‘You matter.’
The multiskilled maintenance team recently renovated large sections of the Heim’s interior. They painted walls and doors, replaced flooring and updated bathrooms. These areas now look spacious and light. Bright colour-coded handrails identify the various sections and helps people navigate.
The new fence at the garden of the Dementia unit creates more privacy for the residents who enjoy this sunny spot.
Heinz, Michael, Lucky, Neil and Eric are energized by the fact that their work contributes to a pleasant environment for those who spend most or all of their time indoors. They still have a lot of work to do, especially on the exterior of the buildings.