Independent care home brings the ‘outside in’ for residents

rsz ice cream press photo
Photo by Glen King: Karen Bolt – Director of Administration, Southern Healthcare/ Kate Western – Administration Apprentice, Southern Healthcare/ Paul Courtney – Operations Director, Southern Healthcare/ Mike Harvey/ Eileen Harvey, Resident/ Alison Adair – Senior Administrator, Southern Healthcare/ Gabriela Ogreanu – Home Manager, Sefton Hall

September 20, 2016

Sefton Hall care home based in Dawlish, has brought the ‘outside in’, by introducing a ‘memory’ street, and authentic 1960/70’s inspired ice-cream parlour for residents, as a part of their developing dementia care programme. Owned by long-established independent nursing care provider, Southern Healthcare has four homes across Devon, in Dawlish, Plymouth, Exeter and Seaton, specialising in complex nursing, dementia and residential care.

The ‘memory’ street set in the heart of the secure dementia community within the care home, includes replicated well-known local landmarks such as Lloyd’s bank, Co-Op and the Post Office. Businesses, retailers and members of the Dawlish community have supported dedicated staff at Sefton Hall to help create the ‘memory’ street by kindly donating many items for the ‘Black Swan’ boutique, an old-fashioned toy shop plus a bus stop sign from Stagecoach. This enables residents to enjoy the same experiences, in the safety and security of the care home, as when living independently.

Paul Courtney, Operations Director – Southern Healthcare said: “Our village enables residents to continue living a meaningful life, we believe that you don’t have to leave your life at the door when entering one of our care homes. The street is designed to provide memorable landmarks for people living with a dementia, they provide opportunities for staff and residents to engage. Certain dementias can cause frustration, the street and bus stops help support staff in reducing those frustrations.”

The home has also worked closely with local public house, The Barton Inn, to recreate a 1970’s style pub so residents can enjoy pub lunches with visiting relatives, fully equipped with draft beer, wine and spirits, bar stools, a pool table and a ‘last orders’ bell.

The Sefton Hall dementia care programme, believed to be the only one of its kind in the South West, has even extended into the garden. The Southern Healthcare in-house maintenance team has refurbished a former storage shed, to create a vintage ice-cream parlour and café. Popular local ice-cream shop, Gay’s Creamery, have worked with Sefton Hall on the project by generously donating ice-cream display fridges, signage and the all-important ice cream to the parlour, affectionately named ‘Little Gay’s Creamery’. The building has been given a new lease of life as a traditional seaside café, named ‘Leigh’s Café’ decorated with pastel blue and white striped paint; bunting; ice cream shaped sandwich boards, and booth style seating.

Sefton Hall resident, Eileen Harvey, who has resided at the home since April has greatly benefitted from the new facilities. Eileen and her husband, Mike met in 1960 where they both worked at Midland Bank, Torquay. After many other moves across the South West, they finally settled in Newton Abbot 30 years ago, when Mike was promoted to South Devon Area Manager. When Eileen’s dementia advanced, Mike came to the difficult decision to move her to a local care home, and has visited his wife every day since. With the new pub in situ at the home, Mike and Eileen are able to have regular ‘pub lunches’ and enjoy some of the little things that they love doing together.

Speaking on the difference these new developments have made to Eileen, Mike comments: “I am delighted with the changes introduced at Sefton, particularly the bar, the ice cream parlour and cafe. These wonderful and enlightened changes, which permit special and secure freedoms, represent a new and real bonus to many of the residents. In addition, these freedoms allow individuals to further express their separate personalities. I have to add that I hold the dedicated and committed management and staff in the highest regard.”

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