From My Home to ‘A Home’
by Andrew Hart, RGN ONC post grad dipoloma urology, DMS, Diploma in Business coaching
Most of us - me included - have experienced the excitement of moving home, be it as a student moving into university digs, or, later in life, moving from a flat to a house, or perhaps moving to a new area for work. Remember the anticipation of a new beginning, new neighbours, the thrill of buying new furniture and of inviting friends and family round for a meal or housewarming party?
Coming back to the present, let’s take your current situation. You’ve come to rely on care so you need to move again, but this time the thrill just isn’t there. In fact, you’re not looking forward to it at all. Why? Because you’re moving into a care home.
I firmly believe that moving into a care home can, and should be, a positive experience, with all the excitement that relocation can bring! And to prove my point, September 2010 saw the launch of ‘Waypoints’, a new 40-bed care home, specialising in dementia care, in a beautiful setting in Verwood, Dorset.
Waypoints has been designed to accommodate people with different types of dementia, including early on-set. Individual units of approximately 10 beds each are connected to a central ‘hub’ where a full range of superb communal facilities is available to residents, their guests and visitors.
This new facility has been created by Waypoints Care Group who specialise in building stylish and exclusive homes for the over 55s.
We’ve invested a great deal of time and thought into the design and management of the new ’Waypoints’ care home. To begin with, we researched the commonest concerns of those moving into a care home. These were the ten we heard most often:
1. It won’t be my home, I’ll be living in an institution
2. I won’t be able to entertain friends for tea or dinner
3. My grandchildren might not want to visit
4. I won’t be able to have a hot drink when I fancy
5. I won’t be able to eat what I want, when I want
6. I’ll be told when to go to bed and when to get up
7. There won’t be a garden where I can grow things
8. I don’t want to play Bingo every day!
9. I’ll have no say in the way the home is run
10. I won’t be able to manage my own money
We very quickly understood that the philosophy of care is every bit as important as the physical design of a care home. From the outset, we sought expert advice and garnered as much information as possible on the most up-to-date thinking on best practice in dementia care. We further strengthened our team by appointing a Care Services Director (namely, me) with years of NHS, private and charitable nursing experience. The resulting care ethos will become standard throughout all our future developments.
But what’s so special about Waypoints and its approach?
Residents come first! Person-centred care will ensure that those who live at Waypoints can make up their own minds about how to spend their days: what, when and where to eat, when to get up and when to go to bed. Friends and family will be welcome – encouraged - to drop in at any time. To facilitate this, an efficient management structure will be put in place and sufficient staff employed.
There’ll be a choice of two restaurants; a lively bistro and a more formal dining room with white linen settings and a peaceful ambience. Both restaurants will generally be open from 7.30 am to 8 pm.
The Bistro will provide hot and cold meals all day long; residents will be able to wander in and select from the daily specials board or the regular Bistro menu. Between 8 pm and 7 am, when the main kitchen is closed, a Bistro Bite menu will enable residents to enjoy night-time snacks of soup, toasted sandwiches, filled rolls and savoury tartlets.
As well as welcoming grown-up visitors, every effort will be made to encourage grandchildren to visit, including reluctant teenagers. WiFi will be provided for residents and visitors alike, so the kids can use their mobile phones, play computer games, watch television and use the internet – just as they would have done at yours before the move. The Bistro will provide children’s meals in the afternoons and early evenings in order that younger family members can enjoy ‘tea’ with grandma or granddad.
When studying the needs of residents in care homes, we discovered that many miss the availability of a garden; somewhere to potter, to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables. The Waypoints garden incorporates raised planting areas for residents to use, as well as a potting shed, a pets’ corner and a small kitchen garden.
A full-time activities organiser will be employed as part of the senior management team to make sure there are varied daily activities to suit all. They will also encourage groups from outside the home to visit for, say, a Bridge or Whist evening with residents, and will manage Waypoints’ small shop.
We believe that nursing care can be provided in an environment that is both therapeutic and stimulating. We aim to provide the 24/7 ‘home life’ backdrop to essential nursing and care services that also forms an important part of the overall quality of life enjoyed by all residents – whether they need intensive care or very little.
Our success is dependent on maintaining the highest standards, so regular, on-going staff training will be feature prominently in all we do. This applies not only to nursing staff, but to domestic and auxiliary staff: everyone at Waypoints is trained in the person-centred approach. Customer satisfaction will be measured and maintained through Waypoints Care Group’s ongoing quality assurance programme.
So, why not discover your path to a brighter, more optimistic, more invigorating future through Waypoints? We think you’ll be proud to call it home.
Andrew Hart was the former Care Service Director of Waypoints Care Group and made a profound contribution to the company's ethos. Andrew sadly passed away in 2011.
For a free confidential discussion, call Carl Bradley (Home Manager) on 01202 812250.