Learning from good old days

Donna Pierpoint is the manager of Sheffield's renowned Broomgrove Nursing Home. She has 20 years experience in the sector, a decade of those as care home manager.
Donna Pierpoint is the manager of Sheffield's renowned Broomgrove Nursing Home. She has 20 years experience in the sector, a decade of those as care home manager.
0
Have your say

If there’s one thing I love hearing from our residents, it’s their stories of growing up - for a large proportion at least - in the interwar years.

It brings home just how much life has changed; and not always for the better!

Their rich memories bring home the size of the debt of thanks we owe and why they deserve exemplary care in their old age.

There’s hardly a resident in Broomgrove that didn’t play a part in the fight against the rise of the Nazis.

Our residents fought in World War Two, ran the armaments factories to supply the troops with weapons and lived through years and years of rationing.

They remember the blackout, the Sheffield Blitz of 1940 that made a tenth of the city homeless and grew up among the bombsites.

But from the austerity and horror there was happiness at simple pleasures today’s youth would do well to take note of.

Technology was the radiogram, television didn’t arrive until the mid-1950s. Entertainment was found in the many cinemas, ballroom dancing or a tram ride for a day at Millhouses Park.

For the young it was golden era to grow up in. The ‘nanny state’ was decades away, kids left the house after breakfast and didn’t return until teatime.

Sheffield was an exciting place to grow up with its woods, bombsites and proximity to the Peak District.

There was no culture of parental worry, no mobile phones and a generation that built up their immune system by getting down and dirty - not being wrapped in cotton wool.

Maybe that’s why simple pleasures go such a long way in putting a smile on the faces of our residents today.

Whether that’s our annual VE Day celebrations, a tea dance, music or our popular knitting circle.

We have a popular sing-along on Thursdays- before dinner where the old songs get an airing; and we have regular reminiscence sessions.

It’s not that we’ve not joined the 21st century - far from it!

Residents Skype, use our Wi-Fi and the Payphone is redundant as everyone prefers their mobile.

But these are more aids to communication rather than the focus of their lives. The generation of today could learn a lot!