Meet Caring Friends - Nina & Sharon

January 16, 2020

Everyone needs that one friend that they can share everything with — the laughs, the tears and the trust that they will keep your best stories to themselves. Nina and Sharon are two such friends, brought together by Mayflower’s ‘befriend a resident’ program.

Nina And Sharon

Nina was born and lived in Salerno, Italy with her 24 brothers and sisters. During her younger adult years in Salerno, Nina assisted her uncle, who was a surgeon, with theatre work and hospital duties. Unfortunately, World War II devastated Nina’s family, losing 14 of her siblings and two of her young sons.

In 1957, Nina and her husband Vince migrated to Australia where she soon found work, sewing ladies nighties. She also worked as a waitress in Brighton and St Kilda, before giving birth to her daughter, Rose. Sadly Vince passed away in 2005, and together Rose and Nina decided that Nina should become a permanent resident of Mayflower Reservoir in 2013. Her speech and cognition were deteriorating, and she required extra care.

Rose visits her much-loved mother regularly and feels reassured that she is cared for as family at Mayflower by the whole care team, but in particular, Sharon. Through her care for Nina, Sharon has developed a close relationship with Nina’s daughter, Rose, who will often contact her to discuss her mother’s activities.

Sharon’s role as a personal care assistant with Mayflower Reservoir is enriched with a warm hug from Nina at the start of every day.
As well as taking care of Nina’s personal care needs, Sharon spends time with Nina in the sensory garden, assisting her in completing activities and helping her reminisce through playing Italian songs or videos.

Nina loves her time spent with Sharon, as seen through her smiling and laughing when they are together. Nina likes to sit with a baby doll, which reminds her of raising her children, and Sharon ensures that Nina’s doll and accessories are with her, as she understands Nina’s need to look after the baby doll as if it was her own child. Sharon also ensures other members of the mayflower team are aware of Nina’s care needs, choices, likes, dislikes and preferred activities.

Mayflower’s ‘befriend a resident’ program has been highly successful, ensuring residents don’t feel lonely, are loved and valued as an important part of the Mayflower family. This approach to person-centred care results in building more trusting and caring relationships between residents and the Mayflower team.