Joe Gourlay – as you might be able to tell from his traditional name – was born in Glasgow in 1929. Now, 88 years later, he lives at Heanton Nursing Home near Barnstaple, North Devon. Joe met his future wife, Maureen, whilst working down in Kent at a power station; and they both later moved to North Devon to be closer to some of their family.

The team at Heanton Nursing Home always make it a priority to learn about the life histories of the people living in their care. They try to link this history to the celebrations they hold, giving them true meaning. Learning about Joe’s Scottish roots, led them to their fantastic Burns Night festivities recently.

Paula Mascall, Home Manager at Heanton Nursing Home, told us: “We all enjoyed a traditional Burns supper of haggis, neeps and tatties, as well as trying our hand at a highland fling, and buying a huge Scottish flag for our lovely Joe. It was a wonderful way to help him remember his Scottish beginnings; and for everyone to try something different.”

Paula continued: “Our talented kitchen staff made sure everybody could join in the festivities. They even created pureed versions of the menu in special moulds to make them extra appetising for some of our family members who have more difficulty with food. We feel it is very important to learn about the lives of each and every person that comes to live with us here at Heanton. Joe’s story is an incredible one and it was a pleasure celebrating with him!”

Joe’s journey might have brought him 500 miles away from Glasgow, to the village of Heanton Punchardon and to life at Heanton Nursing Home, but his Scottish roots and name have certainly stayed with him along the way.

Heanton is a dementia care home. If you would like to find out more about living or working at Heanton, then please call 0117 982 2919 or use our contact form to get in touch!