Staff at Mansfield care home help Italian resident feel more at home by learning her language

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The former Parkhurst Guest House owner and local businesswoman, Bruna Macutkiewicz, has been given a warm Italian welcome by staff at Sherwood Grange care home.

Born in Italy in 1920, Bruna moved to Mansfield with her husband, Bruno in 1946 after the war ended.

In 1968 she bought Parkhurst Guest House on Woodhouse Road which she ran until she was 79-years-old.

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In 2023, Bruna was diagnosed with vascular dementia and over the years became confused and reliant on her daughter-in-law, Linda.

103-year-old Bruna Macutkiewicz, has been given a warm Italian welcome by staff at Sherwood Grange care home103-year-old Bruna Macutkiewicz, has been given a warm Italian welcome by staff at Sherwood Grange care home
103-year-old Bruna Macutkiewicz, has been given a warm Italian welcome by staff at Sherwood Grange care home

In January 2024, Linda made the decision to move Bruna into a care home.

Linda said: “It’s always a tough decision to make, but at 103 and with regular falls at home, it was time for mum to get the extra support she needs.”

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When Bruna moved into Sherwood Grange on Mansfield Road, Edwinstowe, a combination of her dementia and a change of environment meant she would only speak Italian.

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Home manager Lisa Allsop said: “The first few days and weeks are the most important in terms of supporting residents to settle into their new home.”

Linda said: “When I came to look around the home, I explained Bruna’s background and before I knew it, staff were asking me to teach them some Italian words like ‘buongiorno’ to help her feel more at home.”

When Bruna moved in, she refused to speak to staff in English so staff took it upon themselves to learn various words and phrases to make Bruna feel comfortable and even adapted the food offering to include pasta – Bruna’s favourite.

Linda said: “The dementia has really confused my mother-in-law.

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“She often asks if she is going home to the farm where she grew up in Italy, but staff at Sherwood Grange haver really pulled out the stops to provide the support mum needs to feel safe and secure in her new surroundings.”

Bruna said: “They all love me and I feel really well looked after.”

Lisa said: “We wanted to do everything we could to make sure Bruna felt settled in her new surroundings.

“We’re often told told by relatives that Sherwood Grange is ‘home from home’ so we’re delighted to have such lovely feedback from Bruna and Linda.”

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