An investment of £180,000 sees the first revamped 17-bed unit open with a new and interactive dementia café and a number of pleasant and comfortable seating areas, to encourage residents to relax and enjoy their surroundings. A prominent focus for the renovation has been the introduction of the Orchard Care dementia strategy, which the home group has been rolling out. This includes the inclusion and development of tactile and interactive areas within the home, such as a street scene along the hallways and outside rooms, with images that include a post office and a village bakery. Residents can feel and hold objects, such as the telephone on the wall, or bags and scarves, which spark memory and conversation, and assist residents in feeling more at home in this space.
The unit will start to be filled this month, as residents are moved from the lower floor to the newly refreshed rooms.
Gene Allan, Home Manager, says, “We are delighted with the renovation of this unit, it has completely re-energised the home and we are looking forward to settling new and existing residents in here. We now have a light, bright and spacious floor, which will enable us to bring in more of the popular activities to the home, such as music and performance, which get such a positive response from our residents.”
Gene has extensive experience in the care environment, working for over thirty years with every specialist age group and need, from the young and autistic to the elderly. A musician in his spare time, Gene has observed the similarities in brain function of those with autism to those living with dementia, and has brought the power of music to the home.
“It’s fascinating to see how the brain is affected by music – anxiety can be counteracted by bass music, or happiness can be amplified by higher sounds. We will certainly use our new space to maximise on the opportunities to engage our residents with music.”
Cherry Trees is located in Rotherham. Additional renovations to the home include new flooring and decoration, new furniture, a wheelchair accessible shower room and improved lighting.