''Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a listening ear,
an honest compliment or
the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential
to turn a life around''
Unique, individualised 1-1 befriending and respite activity sessions for you or your loved one
Re-introducing and re-establishing past hobbies and old pastimes that were once enjoyed
Initiating and encouraging new activities suited to chosen interests, abilities and faculties
Personalised remembrance cards, related trivia and photo puzzles that can be geared to the persons stage of dementia, cognitive skills and sensory impairments.
Mindfully customised musical playlists,Sing-A-Longs to music of choice with word sheets
A variety of fun, safe interactive participatory DVD's and CD's
Creating life journals, photo diaries, making memory boxes
In your own time, respecting your wishes, listening to your preferences, hearing your views.
Accredited NAPA (National Activity Providers Association)
Courses completed and passed with certificates held
Behaviour As Communication
Effective Activity Approaches For People Living With Dementia
Music Matters - The Importance Of Music Programming
Activity Programmes For Men
''Good company on a journey makes the way seem shorter''
What is Nostalgic Journeys all about?
Nostalgic Journeys is a sincere, tailor made, service where I can provide company, support, companionship, inclusion, engagement, encouragement, an ear to listen or just a hand to hold.
I offer structured, hourly activity sessions mainly suited to the older adult, each one being tailor made and personalised to suit each individual's needs, requirements, understandings and preferences. These will consist of dedicated precious 1-1 time offering support and assistance with a chosen lifestyle activity in the comfort and safety of your own familiar surroundings, either at home or within a care setting. This is something that I very much believe in and something that is very much missing and needed in today’s fast paced, busy world...More importantly it's something that is very close to my heart so in time I hope you will take me to yours. Anyone is welcome to enquire whatever your personal circumstances where I will always try my hardest to source and personalise your requests however unusual, I'm here to answer any questions regarding those favourite interests where If I don't have an immediate answer or a suitable solution, I'll quite simply go on a mission to find one. I will search high and low to find that special something that you or your loved one once really enjoyed doing, finding that something they may recognise or recall again, just anything that had real meaning plus I do very much enjoy a challenge!
''Those who really care about you can hear when you're quiet''
A little bit about me
Hello to you and welcome to my website. I'm very pleased that you are here as it means that you are thinking of using my service. My name is Tina Weston, I am a 59 year old friendly, spirited, non-smoking caring, woman who currently lives in Southend On Sea in Essex. My working background was predominately spent in banking where I worked for 30 years straight from the school gates in Hackney London where I was born. After taking voluntary redundancy in 2009 I took a much deserved short career break but then decided to go to work for a private care home where I worked my way up to become a Senior Care Assistant. I stayed with the home for 5 years where I was very passionate about my role where I assisted and supported residents living with various debilitating and life limiting conditions in addition to all types and stages of Dementia where I forged some very special relationships with not only the residents but their families and friends during this time. It was a very special role for me and I loved every minute of being part of it. Whilst working in this unique environment for me, one of the things that stood out was the sheer joy and pleasure that music brought to the home especially for the residents living with dementia. It was so uplifting to see a face light up by the sound of a song that brought back a vivid memory, maybe a time, a place or that special person. They would then join in knowing every single word of the song with even a little dance along the way where a hand was always offered. The musical sessions consisted of a good old fashioned sing-a-long, with instruments being played, along with some dressing up clothes and funny hats, where a feather boa or two usually appeared where we found quite a few very good impressionists. It was always such great fun to take part and be involved with as it would truly bring out the characters in so many. Alongside this It was also about being mindful and aware that another person who may on hearing a certain song may appear upset or cry which was as equally important... But that's what being a good carer was about...Being observant, just being there for them, to support, to listen, to comfort, to hold a hand, to talk to, and yes maybe at times we were shouted at or pushed away out of anger, fear or frustration but whatever the situation was or however the person reacted it’s was just about being attentive and empathetic, showing patience, understanding and kindness.
‘'Making memories with you is my favourite thing to do''
How do we begin our journey together?
My objective is to bring out the best in the person, so to achieve that I need to get to know lots about them, their background, their family, their likes, dislikes, their preferences. To do this, an informal meeting will be arranged at a convenient time for all involved which could just be the individual themselves, or a family member, partner or close friend. Our no obligation friendly chat will be held at a time and place of your convenience to gather as much information as possible to make our invaluable 1-1 sessions interesting, captivating and engaging. I have prepared a questionnaire for us to look through which will help give me lots of insight to who you are, how you are, where you are in life, what you enjoyed and miss doing the most... What generally makes you tick as a person. This will be your chance to shine, to take the stage, tell me as much about you as you can. It’s also to see if you like me too as that's as equally important as before we begin our journey together you'll need to know and feel that you've chosen me for the all the right reasons...In time I'm sure we will become the best of friends, going together like ham and eggs or fish and chips !
There are many ideas that I have, one of which is working together to compile a personal life journal going back to your childhood to present, which would include attaching precious family photographs and writing about special, memorable times and dates...Please don't worry if you don't write very well, your hearing isn't what it used to be or you can't see quite as good as you once did, I will help you every step of the way so ultimately the end result will be a journal of your life, your very own nostalgic journey through words and pictures which would involve lots of interaction and input from both of us. This is something that would be a treasured item for you to keep, to share with visiting family & friends.
Another smaller scale idea would be to compile a personalised annual photo diary with the ability to add your personal photographs and memorable dates to which could be a great help for you as a reminder for special dates such as family occasions, friends birthdays, anniversaries, or any forthcoming events or visits that you are looking forward to, need to prepare for or buy that special gift. A further idea is to try our hand at making a memory box which could include your precious photo's and treasured mementos that may well have been forgotten about or hidden away in a drawer, so why not put them all together in a special box or frame, It will make a lovely talking point for you, me or any visitor.
These personal items would be kept safely with you or a designated person at a place of choice, maintaining total privacy and confidentiality... These ideas are only mine and are all obviously optional, if it's not for you, it's totally your choice but I think it could be fun, sentimental, entertaining and interesting for both of us.
Another activity that we could do together which is always a firm favourite with many is a good old fashioned Sing-A-Long to the music of your choice which will be almost the same as having your very own jukebox. You simply let me know your favourite songs and I'll compile and provide the word sheets so we can listen and sing together until our hearts are content ..Whatever the genre, from the big band sounds, war time memories, love songs, pop, pub tunes, jazz or classical, You name the tunes and I'll prepare them ready for you with a few questions thrown in to keep us both on our toes.. I also have my own large collection of 30's 40's, 50's and 60's CD's for you to choose from if you would like me to bring those along too. If you prefer to use our time together doing your own chosen activity that's just fine too, after all, this is your time, your money and your choice. We can do a little bit of everything if you prefer during our session, it is entirely your decision on how you feel on the day with no pressure at all... It’s your time and your journey but together I'm sure we will always find something to make us smile, to take our minds off what could have potentially been just another same old same old, lonely, humdrum day.
After each session everything that we have accomplished during our time together will be clearly documented. It will be clearly dated, timed, and signed by both parties if possible in a dedicated notebook that I will provide free of charge which will be kept in a safe place at home by yourself or given to a designated person where your privacy and confidentiality will always be paramount.
It's never too late to begin again and you're never too old to become better''
What can we achieve together?
The main purpose of this venture is that I have a genuine love to see transformation in anyone or any form, so if by spending just an hour or two with you or your loved one helps to give you or that person a sense of purpose or bring a lovely smile to a face when I knock on the door then my 'job' is being done perfectly and only then will I be happy.I have many ideas to bring to the table so you will NEVER find me sitting in a room staring at my mobile phone while my new acquaintance is snoozing in an armchair with the television blaring out... That's not what this concept is about, it’s about seeing Dad back to his 'old self' organising his much loved shed, planting bulbs as he once loved to do in his garden, or making a model ship or Mum baking her delicious family's best loved carrot cake, sewing some buttons on her newly knitted cardigan or arranging her favourite flowers as she she once did that we have freshly picked from the garden ...It’s purely about quality time doing things they used to do and enjoy, at their own pace, in a safe way, not being rushed or hurried just doing the simple things in life at a pace that brings back feelings of security, comfort, fond memories, happy times, pleasure, satisfaction, enjoyment and above all lots of smiles and laughter.
''The measure of achievement is not winning awards, it's doing something that you love and something you believe is worthwhile''
What can we actually do together
I would love to help you re-introduce or re-establish your old hobbies, those previous pastimes or interests that were once enjoyed so much
Let’s get motivated and busy together, sing again, dance again, laugh and joke again.
These could include any of the following but its totally your choice and preferences.
Painting, Drawing, Reading, News and Views, Sports Talk, Crosswords, Puzzles, Knitting, Sewing, Crocheting, Cooking, Baking, Food Preparation, Gardening, Flower Arranging,Playing an Instrument,
Model Making, Letter and Card Writing,
Coin and Stamp Collections, Cards, Dominoes, Chess, Board Games, Puzzle Books, Audio Books, Personalised Reminiscing Cards, Trivia, Quizzes,
Showing and Discussion of Memorabilia or Treasured Collections,
Ornament Polishing, Home Organising and Decluttering.
Fun CD's and DVD's for the over 50's including karaoke, line dancing, Salsa steps,
Light Sitting Exercises, Gentle Stretching and Relaxation
Various Interactive Sport and Special Interest DVD's
Old Time Music Hall, Classic Comedy and Radio Favourite's CD's
Plus lots of meaningful discussions, questions, banter, fun, giggles, laughter and chats over cups of tea and hopefully some lovely cake. Whatever your interest I will try my hardest to accommodate it, I still love to learn myself, even at my age...Maybe you could teach me a thing or two on your piano or teach me how to play Bridge or beat me at Chess...It’s simply about us both having some fun, constructive time together and not spending hours alone locked in your thoughts...I'm sure there's a thing or two that's been up your sleeve that you will surprise me with!
'' When it rains look for rainbows...When it's dark look for stars''
Why I would love to meet you
I am a very enthusiastic, positive, outgoing, patient person by nature where nothing is ever going be too much trouble. If I can personally bring some genuine happiness or make a difference to someone else's life it makes a big difference to mine too.
I have been through lots of life's ups and downs having had my own dad in a care home so I know first hand how difficult it can be for close family members, as you can be torn in so many directions dealing with your own work commitments, home life, family ties and personal obligations. It's very hard when you know your precious loved ones are sitting alone in their own home or in a care home where the feelings of helplessness, sadness and guilt can be overwhelming and stressful for us all at times. Maybe you're caring for someone yourself at home where you would just simply relish some time to free your mind for a while,do some shopping, meet with a friend or just have some 'Me Time' ..This is something I can help with as it's vitally important that you look after yourself too where I can provide 2 hour respite activity sessions where your loved one will be always be occupied and engaging in something that we know will be enjoyed so you don't have to worry or feel overcome with guilt.
I worked in a lovely care home where the residents were treated like our own family but even though there were activities on offer headed up by a caring dedicated team I just felt in my heart that at times due to various reasons, the best wasn't always being brought out from certain individuals. The residents were always asked to join in but usually due to time restraints and staffing ratios if they declined there just wasn't always the time to dig that little bit deeper to coax, encourage or motivate them so they were often unintentionally just left behind to look into thin air, stare out of the window, watch the television or just fall asleep in their armchair. It was situations like that where I felt that it was usually the same residents who were missing out on the social aspect and taking part and who I truly felt for. They would often make excuses saying...Oh I'm fine sitting here, I'm not in the mood, sorry it's not for me, go away and leave me alone, I'm too tired, I'll do it tomorrow or I'll only be a nuisance ...Sometimes you just have to put that extra effort in to talk, to prompt, to reassure, endeavouring to bring back that sparkle that was once there. I also very much respect and appreciate that some people aren't social animals at all and prefer a quieter, calmer environment too, So It really now is my 'job' to try everything to encourage them to make a change in their life, however small, to laugh again, feel confident again, engage again. My main aim is to give them a sense of purpose, to try to change their way of thinking from hearing ..My life's not worth living,there's nothing to do or look forward to anymore, I'm past it,I'm way too old to do that, the best days of my life are over and it's not going to get any better now. Or they insist that they are a burden to the family, they hardly see a soul, that they no longer matter to anyone or no one is interested if they live or die...I've pretty much heard all of the above but I sincerely want them to believe and know that they can have a new start, they do matter and they have still have plenty to offer and that It’s just the beginning of their very own nostalgic journey.
''Do something today that will encourage you to blossom''
This is my dream 'Job'
I'm so very happy about my new 1-1 venture as I personally believe it’s very much needed in our care homes and our communities. How times have changed where people are now just too busy with their own lives to knock on the door of the lovely lady who lives alone next door or just think aloud that the man across the road hasn't been seen for a while. As hard as this may sound, there had been the occasional time where we as carers also weren't always made fully aware until attending the funeral service of our lovely lady or gentleman who we looked after almost every day, especially those who hadn't had many visitors, hearing that they were once respected head teachers, aircraft mechanics, personal secretaries, talented dressmakers, played the violin beautifully, sang in a church choir, represented their county as a runner, competitively danced, travelled the world, owned and managed their own successful companies. There will always lots to talk about, memories of schooldays, the workplace, past holidays, lost friends, new additions to the family, last night’s documentary, today’s news, tomorrows dinner, the list is endless but I simply love to chat and listen as I am genuinely interested and do actually really care. At times there may well be less smiles and maybe some tears but at least they are being listened to, respected, appreciated and not just sitting alone in their thoughts feeling downhearted, melancholy, lost and despondent...Together we will find a way to bring back that spirit and raise that beautiful smile again.
Nostalgic Journeys is a tailor made, personalised service to help each individual bring back their zest for life, to find that lost enthusiasm, to raise that low spirit and esteem to a new high. This will not only help my special 'Friend to be' but in turn will also make a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, grandchild or any partner, relative or close friend much happier as they will hopefully in time see the changes in their loved one before their very own eyes.
A great attitude becomes a great mood, which becomes a great day,which becomes a great year, which becomes a great life''
How much will all this cost?
I very much hope you find my prices reflect the service on offer. I work from the heart and will always try my hardest to find the best way to bring lots of fun and regain meaning to someone’s life. Please don't be surprised at all if I turn up with a missed issue of Hubby's favourite classic car magazine or that little gadget for the kitchen that I heard Mum quietly mention last week, that's just the way I am by nature so by using the term ''Value for money'' I'm hoping that I won't disappoint you or your loved ones. I pride myself on being an honest , trustworthy, loyal person, committed to your needs where I totally understand that you may initially worry about being alone with me or your loved one, but there will never be anything at all to worry about as I will always treat you or your loved one with the dignity and respect that is very much deserved. I have some character references that I can bring along to show you written by people that know me very well and have have worked with me which may help with your final decision.
My prices are as follows:
£15 per hourly visit Monday-Friday 9am-5pm*
£18 per hour weekends 10am-4pm *Early mornings, evenings, multiple visits and block bookings can be negotiated on request if required
**Please note respite sessions are a minimum of 2 hours
£30 Weekdays £35 Weekends
Times and Frequency can easily be negotiated
Payments can be made by cash or I have a portable debit card reader
where a written receipt will be issued with a copy for us both to keep
and recorded in the notebook supplied by myself.
If you do have any questions or concerns regarding the costs involved please feel free to tell me so, I'm always very open to comments and feedback good or bad. As this is a tailor made service all prices and costs of items that are purchased by myself will be discussed and agreed at our initial meeting so nothing will be hidden at all. I will never bring along any items that have been used by someone else from someone else's home due to cross infection risks, all that I'll bring with me is a huge smile and a big heart.
''Because of you I laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a lot more''
Please do get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.
If you would like a friendly, informal chat or arrange for me to visit you please contact me using the form below, email text or call me on 07943 972895 where I'll be very happy to talk to you at any time. If for any reason I can’t take your call please leave a message with your name,number and the best time for me to return your call.
I have just left a very privileged role where I worked for a hospice out in the community with a wonderful dedicated team providing personal care and emotional support for patients and their families where there had been a diagnosis of a life limiting condition, where I held an enhanced DBS and now hold my own for my new venture. I have my own car and full clean driving licence, although at this moment in time I will not be entering into taking customers outside of the home. Please also note that my venture isn't a 'Personal Care' role as that would require a fully independent professional assessment regarding medication, mobility, personal needs and requirements. It is purely a befriending and respite activity service within the home as detailed in this website.
I live in Southend Essex where I'm happy visiting within viable distances whether it be in a care setting or at home. I very much look forward to speaking to you soon so if you have any questions whatsoever please don't hesitate to call or message me, I will be over the moon to help. I have an App on my mobile phone which alerts me whenever someone is reading my website where there is an instant chat facility that pops up if you wish to use it.
For your own peace of mind and security on every visit I will ALWAYS have and wear my photo ID badge that contains my company name, logo and details on a bright blue lanyard that also has my company name printed on it in large clear white print. I also have a blue dementia friendly pin on badge with my name clearly printed in large white letters on that too. For your personal privacy If you do not wish me to wear any form of ID outside of your home walking to and from my car to your home please let me know.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my website, I hope you have found it informative, uplifting, different, inspiring and heartfelt.
Give me a call today to have a friendly chat or to arrange a free, no obligation meeting..
Let's begin our exciting nostalgic journey today ....Together.
I hope to hear from you very soon...
With lots of love
As the song goes...
When you're smiling, when you're smiling
The whole world smiles with you
When you're laughing, Oh when you're laughing
The sun comes shining through
But when you're crying you bring on the rain
So stop that sighing be happy again
Keep on smiling cause when you're smiling
The whole world smiles with you!
For your peace of mind, I tested negative for the 3 Covid tests that I had taken, 2 at the end of of 2020 and 1 earlier this year. I also had my vaccination on Monday 8th February where my booster will be administered on Monday 3rd May. For our protection I have a clear face visor showing my company name and have further PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as various face masks, aprons and gloves if required.
I would obviously need to know before visiting anyone if they are showing any symptoms of the virus or have a history of having had the virus so that we can all make the safest choices.
Thank you for your co-operation on this during these difficult, unprecedented times.
Please stay safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones.