About Gillian Hesketh
Writer and Designer of Happy Days Creative Resources for Residential Care, Volunteers, Families and Friends caring for elderly people or people living with dementia.
Writer of ‘Happy Days ~ A Shared Journey’ and dedicated to bringing Happy Days creative projects to fruition, I am passionate about interactive resources, activities, conversation and memory prompts to help carers, volunteers, families and friends provide enriched care whilst sharing enjoyable moments for elderly people or people living with dementia. Participating in the smallest activity can help people maintain skills, sustain movement, provide opportunity for expression and boost enjoyment of everyday life. Staying part of the on-going-ness of life may encourage a more positive sense of self and enhance well-being.
Always turning negatives into positives, I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to learn, re-learn or re-understand life around us. Studying for a degree in English Literature and Linguistics and an MA in Creative Writing, I recognised the connection between writing and expressing emotion; how triggering memory through visual reminders could evoke clear recollections of events and experiences from the past.
Happy Days activities and memory prompts for elderly, people who need extra care or people living with dementia are based on my studies: Language and Power – Speech and Thought – Memory and Reminiscence; recalling past events and experiences to aid thought processes and reminiscence, prompt conversation and encourage participation to benefit a greater sense of well-being. Behaviour theories and therapies, dementia information, workshops, case-studies, carer shared stories and accounts, continued research and market research are at the core of Happy Days Activities for dementia living and continue to be.
A wide range of social activities for enriched interaction; meaningful conversation for well-being are being developed regularly. Licensed resources for frontline carers and volunteers are available for residential, assisted living and domiciliary care environments. Memory prompts to initiate interaction are ideal for day centres, hospital volunteers and home visits to help carers enrich visits through a shared social interaction.
At Happy Days, we want to help people live well with dementia. We also want to help carers enjoy their time shared with the person they are caring for. If carers feel good, this will reflect onto the person or people being cared for. We don’t leave you alone, wondering how to use our materials or working out what to say. That’s why our materials include a conversation prompt card and where necessary, we include carer guides too.
All of our Memory Baskets are packed with nostalgic artefacts, practical reminders and include a pack of replica memorabilia, postcards, photographs, conversation prompt card, response card or quiz and carer guide.
We also provide:
Workshops for Carers – ‘Get to Know Your Resident’
Workshops for Families – ‘Self-Care & Things to Do Together’
Product Familiarisation Training
I run Social Interaction workshops for Carers and Volunteers, spend much time writing and designing new books, activities and products and take part in various volunteer roles. I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an active member of two writing groups and write poetry.
Helping to make a difference is paramount to me.
It’s not always what you write, draw or listen to ~ it’s sometimes what happens when you do.