Residents of the Orders of St John Care Trust’s Apple Trees Care & Reablement Centre made Honeysuckle Cottage in Grantham, Lincolnshire home from 11th to 17th September during a week full of summer holiday activities, including a BBQ, meals at local pubs and leisurely walks around local gardens.
A highlight of the holiday was a horse-themed day, where residents will have the opportunity to groom, stroke and walk horses at the farm’s Equine Learning Centre – a type of therapy the Trust has found to be beneficial to those living with dementia and will conduct further research into.
Val Taylor, Activities Co-ordinator at Apples Trees, said: “The main idea behind the trip to Honeysuckle was that everyone should have a summer holiday, so our goal was to get as many of our residents out of the care home for some fresh air and time away.
“Our hope is that taking in the sights and smells of a summer holiday has provided residents with concrete experiences that help trigger reminiscence of past holidays. Simple things, like packing, sleeping away from home or even a game of Monopoly, hopefully brought back fond memories, which, in turn, will make our residents happier and more content.”
Denise Booth, General Manager of Apple Trees, said: “As a Trust, we strive to offer a person-centred care approach to our residents. So, in this instance, we’ve put together a holiday that meets the needs of each individual. For example, some residents stayed away overnight and others just went out for the day, depending on the level of support they require.
“Our activity co-ordinators are focusing less on activities like Bingo and more on person-centred, daily activities – like cooking, baking and maintenance. By encouraging residents to help around the home and make decisions with us instead of us making decisions for them, a greater sense of independence and confidence can be achieved. We hope this holiday break helps expand that notion by allowing residents to gain further independence by making decisions outside the care home setting, like what to eat at the pub or how to spend their evening away.”
OSJCT has remained at the forefront of dementia care by utilising a varied range of techniques and therapies designed to offer residents living with the condition a higher quality of life. By undertaking in-depth studies looking into the role of specialist dementia Admiral Nurses and Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, as well as dementia destination zones and care home layout, the Trust is able to provide specialist care to those people living with dementia.
A portion of the cost of the summer holiday was provided by the Companions of the Order of Malta, with the owners of Honeysuckle Cottage also providing a discount.