Elderly people in Kingstown got the Logos Hope experience without having to leave the comfort of their care home, as a group of crewmembers paid them a surprise visit.
Sandra Simplice (France) is Logos Hope’s nurse. She used to work in similar facilities and felt at home immediately. “What struck me was that it is an actual home,” she said. “The living room was decorated for Christmas, there was cooking going on in the kitchen, it smelled like home. Everyone was so delighted that we had come to spend time with them.”
The residents mostly suffer from dementia and are unable to care for themselves. There are 13 women and one man, who is nicknamed ‘The King.’ As the team from the ship introduced themselves and spoke of what they do on board Logos Hope, the older folk shared their personal memories of the book ship visiting their island over the years.
Sister Brown, the home’s manager, told the crew her bookshelves are full of books she has got from the organisation’s sister ships when they have called in Kingstown. “I have to stop myself from buying too many,” she laughed. “I am looking forward to retiring and reading them all!”
Another member of staff played the piano and the volunteers joined in singing with the residents. They were amazed to find that the songbook they were singing from had been bought when the first Logos visited Saint Vincent in 1984! The book was older than most of the current crewmembers serving on board.
“I love elderly people,” smiled Sandra. “It’s hard work, but they are so special. They kind of become like children again, but they have so much knowledge of life.”
The team brought cardboard cutout models of Logos Hope, and helped those with poor eyesight or shaking hands to assemble them. It was an opportunity to share an activity together and enjoy time one-on-one.
“I know that the older people can’t walk round our big, busy ship – but we were able to bring it to them,” said Sandra.
The team left the miniature ships with each resident as a memento, and even hung one on the home’s Christmas tree, to add to the seasonal cheer.