A 94-year-old resident at Popham Court in Wellington, Olive moved into her care home around four years ago following a decline in mobility. Due to her health, Olive found she was not able to get out and about as much as she would have liked, and now looks forward to regular visits from her daughters. And when her grandson announced he was engaged and had set a wedding date, Olive looked forward to that too.
Keen for Olive to be involved in the wedding, her family approached the Somerset Care staff at her home about the possibility of using Skype on the day of the big event. The staff, as well as other residents, emphatically agreed they would do everything they could to make that day special for her.
When the day came, staff pampered Olive. Dressed in a new outfit complete with a corsage, she beamed with happiness and could hardly believe her luck when her grandson surprised her with a visit on his way to the wedding venue! Prosecco was poured and wisdom imparted—and Olive was thrilled. After lunch, she and several other residents, excited staff, and Somerset Care Technologist Elizabeth Kirkpatrick gathered around a large computer monitor ready to accept an incoming Skype call.
“The message was sent that Olive was ready, and everyone waited on tenterhooks for the Skype call to begin. As the home answered the call, Olive was greeted with the arrival of the beautiful bride and bridesmaids,” says Elizabeth. They muted the microphone while the ceremony progressed, so Olive and her friends could “ooh” and “aah” to their heart’s content.
The Skype call lasted the duration of the ceremony and the signing of the register. The registrar even gave Olive a special mention, much to her increasing delight. But the ultimate highlight for her was actually being able to chat with the newlyweds as they signed the register. It brought tears of joy to her eyes, as well as to those around her.
“After the ceremony, more prosecco was poured and everyone was able to enjoy their very own wedding cake replica made by one of Olive’s daughters,” says Elizabeth. “Olive was overwhelmed with the sense of happiness and love on the day of her grandson’s wedding. This is something she’s carried with her and still talks about with a smile.”
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*Images courtesy of Somerset Care.