We all noticed that it was the 75th anniversary of D day last week. A force of 150,000 soldiers from America, Canada, France and Britain attacked German forces on the beaches of Normandy in France and the resulting victory was a turning point in the Second World War. For us it’s an historical event for which we are forever grateful. Without these brave soldiers and all their back up leadership and resistance workers we would not be able to have the freedom that we have today.
For the care home residents we work with this is remembered reality. Some of them fought on these beaches, some of them lost their husbands and their brothers on these beaches. For them it is not just an interesting story, not something to be grateful for, it is a part of their lives. It is held deep within them, never forgotten.
We needed to be very aware of that when we went into the care homes this week. Some residents were subdued and not their usual selves at all. It is at times like this that we are most aware of the honour that it is to be invited into the residents’ lives. They have lived through more than we are ever likely to live through and endured more than I hope we ever have to. Last week was a time to remember that however muddled the person in front of us is they have memories that we don’t have and the very best we can do is to respect and support them. If today is not the day to do exercise then that is OK. But if today is a day for working as hard as possible then we are there to help.
Never forget that we have freedom today because the generation we work with gave everything to make it possible.