Daily life in our home
Residents can come and go as they wish, to the extent that they are able, for example, to go shopping, or on visits, or stay with friends and relatives. They are actively encouraged to keep up old and new hobbies and interests.
The sisters do their utmost to stimulate and promote all aspects of the Polish language. There is a library in keeping with the 17th Century style of the house with around 5,000 Polish books, including the great Polish writers and most of the Polish classics. The library has a TV and residents are encouraged to watch great events together, e.g. Papal visits to Poland, to celebrate the joy of being Polish. There is a weekend programme that includes daily celebration of mass.
Communal meals are served in the formal dining room. Breakfast is at 08.30, lunch at 13.00 and supper at 18.00. The meals are served in the manner and style redolent of a pre-war Polish high-class restaurant. The food is Polish home cooking, refined to suit the needs of the individual. It is beautifully presented in soup tureens and silver platters and gracefully served by experienced dining room staff. The meals are a pleasurable experience; great attention is paid to residents with special dietary needs and those who require assisted feeding. The pace is slow and leisurely. Discreet monitoring of food intake ensures that appropriate nutrition is maintained. The Poles are particularly interested in food, having experienced five years of starvation during the war. It is a large part of their social and cultural interests and represents nurturing and family life.
Keep fit classes are held on a weekly basis. In addition, all residents are encouraged to go on daily walks and keep as active as possible. The hairdresser comes twice monthly for both males and females. Shopping trips are undertaken on a daily basis. Residents are frequently invited to accompany the Sisters on such trips if they so wish. The local Polish communities frequently visit with folk dancing, plays and concerts. Polish and English newspapers are delivered daily.
Hobbies for Residents at the home include reading to themselves and to each other, needlework, painting, craftwork, journal keeping, writing (especially autobiographies) singing and open discussions, gardening, long walks in the grounds and reminiscent groups. Visits from family members are often shared with other Residents, as is having afternoon tea and cakes in each other’s rooms, looking for peacock feathers in the grounds (much prized trophies!) and visiting old friends in the cemetery. Telephoning family and friends, sharing cigarettes, writing and receiving letters, and playing crosswords, card games, draughts and chess are also popular, as is keeping up old professional interests.
Residents are allowed to have visitors at any reasonable time. Links with the local Polish and English community are made through Polish and English mass on Sundays. Residents are allowed to receive visitors in private and can choose whom they see and do not see. The Sisters of Laxton Hall do not impose restrictions on visitors except when requested to do so by residents, whose wishes are duly noted and adhered to.