St. Joseph's

In order to show the high value it placed on its residents, St Joseph's care home surpassed all expectations and put on a spectacular opera event featuring singers from the Royal Opera House. By 'thinking big' and making their innovative plans a reality, the team delivered true dignity in care and provided residents with a night which many would think of as the 'night of their lives'.

Feedback from the monthly residents meetings highlighted a common enthusiasm for opera among those in the care home but the logistics and health and safety considerations of transporting a group of frail elderly residents to Covent Garden meant that this was not a viable option. Rather than dismissing the idea though Sister Mary Breslin and the team at St Joseph's devised a bold and creative plan to bring the opera to the residents and singers from the Royal Opera House came to the home to perform.

To give the event a real sense of occasion, residents chose their outfits from a local dress hire company. For most, this was the first time in years that they had worn formal attire. The menus for the evening were also chosen by the residents and provided by a high class catering service and the lounge at the home was transformed into a plush restaurant setting befitting the occasion.

Health and safety risk assessments were carried out discretely and each resident was appointed a member of staff to act as a dresser/assistant on the night, making them feel individually valued. Staff felt rewarded through the satisfaction of providing true quality in care. St Josephs have a very low staff turnover and have carried the Investors in People mark since 2002.

By providing such a special event, St Joseph's demonstrated real commitment to the dignity of its residents. Showing them that age is no barrier and that new and exciting experiences were still open to them boosted residents' self-esteem and they have shown a new lease of life following the event.