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A residents dream come true, to go back to Venice one last time.

We always like to make our residents’ wishes come true whenever and wherever we can, and one lady had a very special request – to go back to Venice for the first time since childhood. So, we made it happen.

Irma, who lives at Cumnor Hill House, grew up in this Italian archipelago of 118 islands. But even so, going back as a tourist was even more magical, as Irma got to see her home city with new eyes after so many years.

Irma’s niece, Zuleika, wanted to take her aunt to Venice while she could still travel, but felt she would be best supported if there were two people to assist. As Irma had a great relationship with her senior carer at Cumnor Hill House, she seemed like the ideal person to join the three-day trip and was invited along as part and parcel of Irma’s all-inclusive care!

They had a truly wonderful time, exploring and seeing the sights, enjoying gelato and having fun being typical tourists, buying Murano glass gifts and recognising cultural things that brought back happy memories for Irma. They took lots of photos of St. Mark’s Square and the gondolas, as well as several silly selfies in the mask shops! They explored the canals, stopping in iconic places such as Rialto Bridge, they went to the Lido to revisit a beach Irma used to visit as a child and walked up and down the maze of streets, with Irma quite often remembering where to turn when they lost their place on the map! They indulged in lots of Italian food, treats and sweets to Irma’s delight. The icing on the cake had to be seeing Mocenigo Palace-Museum, where Irma was brought up.

Irma’s grandmother was a Mocenigo, an aristocratic family who had seven doges in their history, including the last one – her Great-Uncle Alvise Mocenigo. His brother, Irma’s Great-Uncle Nicholai, used to live in the Mocenigo Palace with her Aunt Constanza, and Irma lived with them in the Mocenigo Palace from the age of seven as her mother passed away and her father travelled a lot.

Upon Aunt Constanza’s death, the palace was given to the State, hence its current status as a museum. The grand hall still features all the family ancestral portraits round the room and the polished marble floor that Irma and her sister, Zuleika’s mother, used to skid across in their socks, much to the consternation of the butler. Irma particularly enjoyed showing Zuleika the window she jumped out of into the canal to escape as a teenager, clutching spare clothes for a party! The trip also noticeably revitalised Irma’s Italian and her general speech ability for a few weeks after.

Zuleika said: “It gave me such joy to see Irma so happy, she walked for miles and although supporting her up and down all those steps and bridges in and out of Vaporetto boats was exhausting, I couldn’t have been prouder to revisit Venice and see it through her eyes, and to witness the wonderful warm relationship she had developed with her senior carer. We could not have done it without her and the support of Cumnor Hill House who seem so sensitively aware of the needs of their residents.”

Irma said: "I enjoyed introducing my carer to Venice with my niece. Venice hasn't really changed, I liked going on the Vaparetto and eating Venetian food."

I wonder what the next wish will be that comes true here in our CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ Oxfordshire care home? We’ll have to wait and see…

Call us, email us or pop in if you’d like to find out more about the expert care provided at Cumnor Hill House, and how we make our residents’ wishes come true.

01865 415 195 | info@cumnorhillhouse.com | Breeches End, Cumnor Hill, Oxford OX2 9FW

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