We’re all struggling with the prolonged distance from our friends and family.
It’s been about nine months since most countries imposed travel bans, lock downs, and social distancing orders.
And that’s an extremely long time to feel distanced from your loved ones. It’s especially hard for our elders. They’re the most vulnerable and the most important to protect in times like these, but also the most isolated.Pixabay, congerdesign Source: Pixabay, congerdesign
Some people have gotten creative about ways to skip out on lockdown restrictions, or blatantly ignore them… which often results in a surge of cases. So we don’t recommend it!
But one woman came up with a clever way to see her father while still respecting her local social distancing guidelines.
And it’s changed her whole career path.
Nina Ambrose’s father had just made a major adjustment by moving into a nursing home in January earlier this year.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
Then, when the pandemic changed everything around March, Nina was not only prevented from seeing her dad, but also lost her job.
But the former Butlins Redcoat entertainer quickly found a way to beat the system.
By April, she was volunteering at her dad’s new living facility.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
Working as a an event co-ordinator at the Chelmsford Alzeimer’s nursing home, she works three shifts a week coming up with fun activities for the residents.
The dedicated daughter and mother of one from Essex is very happy with her decision.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
“Without this my mental health would absolutely have suffered during lockdown. It’s lovely and rewarding to do, gives me a routine, and I’ve been able to meet residents and staff at a time which has been very isolating for many.”
Her dad loves art and music, so she always brings him paintings and organizes activities that incorporate art.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
Her 77-year-old father, Roger, was a truck driver until he retired, and has been living with Alzheimer’s disease for the past 12 years.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
His condition worsened to a point where he decided living in a facility with dedicated round-the-clock care was the right move. But it all came at a particularly inconvenient time.
“It’s been very hard. Dad and I have always been very close, we’re like peas in a pod.”
She gets her drive for volunteering her free time from her dad.
Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
“[He] did a lot of volunteering himself after retiring.”
Her volunteering role has made her realize just how much she loves caretaking.
Previously working as an entertainer, she has the charisma, talent and pizzazz that makes people smile.
A valued skill at a nursing home!
Studies have shown music association runs so deep that it can help patients with Alzeimer’s recall cherished memories and help calm them emotionally.
“It makes the residents so happy, when I go in, they start clapping and saying, ‘sing sing’, and they remember all the old songs. Music has such a big impact on people with dementia. It’s been a massive game changer.”
She’s enjoyed her volunteering position so much over the past months, that it’s inspired her to make a career change.
Her story was featured in London’s Empathy Museum among 19 others. The unique museum is dedicated to sharing the world through other people’s eyes, in the medium of art.
Nina also manages an Instagram page that features their journey together, which has gained nearly 10,000 followers.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
They’ve made waves in the Alzheimer’s community, and receive hundreds of messages every month.
Whether it’s people sending their love or asking for advice, Nina and Roger welcome every message that comes their way.
She sees her situation as a way to normalize Alzheimer’s and make people realize it doesn’t have to be inherently negative.Instagram, rantsandbigpants Source: Instagram, rantsandbigpants
“You can tap into what made people happy and the activities they once enjoyed at whatever level they can enjoy them now. I tell Dad the same joke every week and he laughs his head off.”
Their story is so inspiring! What a beautiful way to stay connected during these tough times.
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