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Make a Wish and Fairdene Makes it Happen!

By 14th August, 2019 Care Home, Events Comments Off

We are delighted to announce our very own “Make a Wish” programme. Residents are putting forward things that they have always wanted to do and we are making it happen!

We pride ourselves on our person-centred care and this is just one more way we are helping to cater for our residents’ needs and interests as individuals. Alongside this we are also adding an Alexa in each room with personal playlists of music and books, we arrange outings to appeal to individual hobbies and interests, and we try to involve residents in decisions about the home, like our cheese and wine night where residents voted on which cheeses they would like to be served in the home going forward.

We are continually looking for new ways to improve the home and are excited about the launch of our “Make a Wish” programme. This will give our residents the opportunity to think about things they would like to do and see and then for the home to help make them happen.

The first “wish” from one resident was to see Elvis, so we booked an Elvis impersonator to come to the care home and perform for all the residents. It was a roaring success, the residents enjoyed a dance and a sing-a-long and Peter was over the moon that we had made his wish come true saying, “it might not have been the real Elvis, but you never would have known, it was great to see Elvis from the comfort of my armchair!”

The second wish from another resident was to have a Doberman visit the home, this has always been his favourite breed of dog. We have pet pals visit the home each month, however they have never brought a Doberman, so we are now looking for one to make this resident’s wish come true.

We wanted to give the residents as much choice as possible over their activities and entertainment programme, and we love the idea of making some wishes come true. It has been well received by residents and carers alike and we are looking forward to making as many wishes as possible come true over the coming months.

In the pipeline we have wishes to go to Australia, to meet the Queen and to dance in the rain. Some of them more challenging than others, but if the residents can’t go to Australia, we will bring Australia to the home with Aussie BBQ, didgeridoo playing, and the carers putting on their best Aussie accents “G’day Mate”!

Living with Dementia

By 17th July, 2019 Care Home, Help Comments Off

What is dementia?

Dementia describes different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.

There are over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and 70% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.

Dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life as well as those around them. 

However, it is important to remember that:

  • they are still the same person even though they have problems with memory, concentration and planning
  • everyone experiences dementia differently
  • focusing on the things the person can still do and enjoy will help you both stay positive

Keeping socially active for as long as possible is good for confidence and wellbeing. There are many dementia-friendly activities available, have a look online to see what might be available near you.

In Brighton, for example they run dementia-friendly gardening sessions every Tuesday. Being outdoors in the fresh air amongst nature is amazing therapy for the soul. That’s why our care home gardens are so important. We try to get out in the garden as much as possible, whether it’s for a spot of gardening or for tea and cake.

The same company also organises a monthly dementia-friendly cooking class. The Alzheimer’s Society also runs different sessions to work on maintaining skills.

Here are a few tips to help manage dementia

  • Have a regular routine
  • Put a weekly timetable on the kitchen wall or fridge and schedule activities for when you are at your best
  • Keep your keys in an obvious place
  • Have a list of helpful numbers by the phone
  • Use direct debits for regular bills
  • Use a pill organiser box
  • Make sure your home is safe and dementia-friendly

The way your home is designed and laid out can have a big impact on someone with dementia. 

That’s why we spent time and money investing in our care home’s layout and decor creating colour coded ‘zones to aid orientation. It is also vitally important for us that our residents feel at home, which is why thought, care, and also input from residents themselves has gone into the decoration of each and every one of our 28 bedrooms. Each door is clearly numbered and with consent, photos are attached to aid orientation. 

Symptoms of memory loss, confusion and difficulty learning new things can mean someone with dementia may forget where they are, where things are and how things work. We think of ways to help residents live a full and independent life for as long as possible, welcoming visitors whenever they choose and hopefully providing as much of a home-from-home feel as we can.

Our Care Team Tells All…

By 9th May, 2019 Care Home Comments Off

Kennedy, one of our lovely Care Assistants took the time out from her busy day to tell us what life as a care assistant at Fairdene Lodge is really all about…

I’ve been working in care for over five years now, it’s something I always wanted to do. Having grown up with a cousin with learning disabilities I enjoyed helping her and playing with her growing up. So much so that I started volunteering at a day centre and that’s where my career in care began. I wanted to work in a role that I found rewarding, and being a care assistant I find really rewarding.

I’ve been at Fairdene since November 2018 and I can say hand on heart this is the best care home I’ve worked at. This is because of the real focus on person centred care and the staff are really friendly. As a team we work to give every resident the best possible quality of life and we offer a wide range of activities alongside our care to achieve this. 

We try and offer a mix of physical and mental activities and we are always welcoming people into the home to offer different activities from singers with instruments to get everyone involved to Pet Pals who visit once a month with different animals for the residents to meet and pet. A couple of months ago we had goats at Fairdene – the first time I have ever seen a goat in a care home! The residents loved feeding the goats and the little tickle of the goat eating out of their hands.

But it’s not all about dancing and singing we also use meaningful activities to create a real homely feel. So if residents want to get involved in the cleaning of the home they can – whether that’s sweeping up, helping clear after meals or helping us take in deliveries. All tasks appeal to a different personality, so our ex-builder resident likes to be involved in taking in the deliveries, while our resident who used to work in the boxing industry tells us stories about al the sights and celebrities he’s seen.

No two days are the same at Fairdene Lodge, and when you arrive at the beginning of your shift, you never know what kind of day it might be, but it’s good to know on the more stressful and taxing days that I have such great team support. We all help each other out and we get the chance to reward our fellow team mates with “employee of the month” voted for by us!

I love having a laugh with the residents and hearing everyone’s stories, but what I really love about working at Fairdene Lodge is going home feeling that I have done some good, that I’ve made a difference.

Caring for the Vulnerable at Christmas

By 10th December, 2018 Care Home Comments Off

As the temperature drops and the nights get longer, it’s more important than ever to think about those more vulnerable than us, including the elderly. For some it can be a period of time where social contact reduces, so here are our thoughts on how you can help the vulnerable over the festive period.


1. Several short visits would be better than one long visit

Try and plan a few phone calls or cups of tea, Christmas can be a lonely time of year for some, try to think beyond your immediate family. Is there a neighbour who would love some company over the festive period? Why not pop round with a mince pie…


2. Hypothermia – spot the early signs

Fuel is becoming more expensive, and as we head into colder weather, elderly may try to cut back on the heating to save on the bills. A room that might seem warm enough for you may not be for the infirm or those who cannot exercise, an ideal temperature would be 20-21 Celsius. Early signs of hyperthermia can include:

  • cold feet and hands
  • shivering
  • slower than normal speech
  • slurring words
  • acting sleepy
  • pale skin
  • being confused or angry


3. Falls

As the ice sets in, many vulnerable people have falls and breaks can often be left untreated. If they have had a fall, check any bruises just in case. Similarly, many vulnerable people are afraid to go out in poor weather conditions, so why not offer to help with a weekly shop?


4. Dehydration

Having the heating up higher can cause dehydration. Even mild dehydration can affect your energy levels and leave you feeling tired or confused so try to ensure the elderly and vulnerable are drinking enough water.


5. Medication

Over Christmas daily routines go out the window and this could make it easier to forget to take important medications. Perhaps set alarms as reminders, or pop in at medicine times.


If you have any concerns about a friend or relative contact the medical services on 111 or in an emergency dial 999.