Maintenance Man Terry Keeps Residents In Top Condition With Care Home Yoga Classes
Our Hyllden Heights care home maintenance manager, Terry, is looking after more than the building with his weekly yoga sessions for residents.
A former soldier, Terry Desmond, works across all departments at Hyllden Heights care home, doing everything from fire regulation checks to building planters in the garden, fixing dishwashers in the kitchen and putting up pictures in residents’ rooms. But he’s also now sharing his skills with the activities team, running yoga classes to bring movement and mindfulness to the residents.
“My wife introduced me to yoga several years ago,” remembers Terry. “It blew me away, so much so that after a few years, I decided to do my teacher training. It’s given me so much outside of work; a real sense of fulfilment as well as physical and mental wellbeing, and I thought that it would be a lovely idea to be able to share with the people living here.”
Yoga has many health benefits, not only strengthening residents physically but also helping with residents’ cognitive responses.
“One of our residents who lives with dementia joins the classes, and he was keen to tell his wife all about it when she came to visit a few days afterwards,” added Terry. “He even showed her some of the moves we’d been practising.” ‘Mindfulness Mondays’ are now part of the activity calendar at Hyllden Heights!
Alma Smith, 96, says, “I really enjoy Terry’s classes. They’re a great way to exercise and I enjoy being able to get up and down from my chair as it keeps me moving.”
Hyllden Heights’ registered manager, Karen Pain, is delighted the residents are getting so much from the sessions.“It’s great to see so many of them taking part because movement is important in maintaining their balance and strength. And it really lifts their mood, too! “This was never in Terry’s job description – and he leads the classes in his maintenance uniform – but it’s an illustration of how he goes above and beyond for the people here.
“He’ll help bring in people’s own pieces of furniture or décor from home and if a resident needs help finding a contact in their phone so they can ring a relative, Terry is more than happy to do it. As he says, he doesn’t just walk the floors with a screwdriver in his hand!”
Terry was recently recognised by Hyllden Heights’ parent company, Oakland Care, for his hard work and his efforts as the home’s ‘Green Champion’, developing a wildlife garden and encouraging ‘green’ practices among staff and residents.
“I suppose I’m not just the maintenance manager,” Terry says. “I help everyone here so they are able to do their jobs more easily and I work with the residents, sorting out whatever technical problem they might have. And now, with the yoga classes, I can share my passion with them too.”
Learn more about Hyllden Heights Care Home