Our ethos of creating a home from home environment for our residents, carries forward to include the new home as well.  Its about putting a tremendous amount of research into all our choices and has meant not taking the easy option which often can lead to a more expensive choice.  However, we have only one chance to get this right and we want this to be as fresh and new an approach to dementia care in ten years time as it is today.

We thought you’d like to hear how we’re putting it all together and plan to post updates on a regular basis until the whole building is completed.  Please scroll down  ……………

7th June 2011

Many of the new staff are now employed and working in Woodlands and Hill Brow to get to know the residents and also so they can start working with each other.  Teresa Feild, BSC in dementia studies, RMA, the new manager is due to have her interview with CQC on the 5th July.  She has recruited a care manager Ali Howell, RGN, who has many years experience of nursing home care, she specailises in end of life care and is also a NVQ assessor.  Julia Billins has started as the deputy manager of the dementia side, she has a diploma in dementia care and loves the challenge of providing the best quality of life for people who suffer with dementia

20 May 2011

The exterior of the building is now completed – the final thing to go in was the glazed entrance.  Landscaping is well under way with all the paths around the home completed and some of the planting to the rear of the building has now been completed.  Its looking really good and we’re delighted with it.  Major works are now going in the front of the building to create the terraces between Hill Brow and Hill House and then the car parking areas will be completed.

Inside, all three lifts are installed and working as is the underfloor heating and air conditioning.  The decorators are putting the finishing touches to everything and snagging is under way.  We can now get on with the exciting job of fitting out the home with everything we’ve been busy planning for and ordering.  Curtains are up in the dementia wing, the special beds have arrived and some of the lounge and bedroom furniture has arrived.  Over 300 pictures have been chosen and framed and are waiting to be hung.

Everyone involved in getting the home ready can’t wait for July when we’ll finally see the finished home.  Welcoming our first residents is going to be a very special time for us all.

11 January 2011

After the long Christmas break work continues apace though we have now put back the handover of the dementia wing to the end of March to ensure that we have the additional time to plan the fitting out.  The tiling of the bathrooms is well under way and they have started fitting the wardrobes.  We’re also busy researching the artwork we’d like to install.   It must be bright and stimulating while creating a calm and soothing environment and each part of the wing will have a different theme.  Furniture and curtains are all ordered and final fittings for laundry rooms and sluices etc are now being chosen.

When we have taken possession of the dementia wing we will be holding lecture evenings for residents and their families, doctors, nurses and other specialists as well as members of the public who are interested.  We will be talking about what we plan to do with the new home and there will be discussion forums on dementia care and end of life care.  We will advertise these evenings on our website.

The nursing home is coming along well with the roof of the dining room soon to go on.  This is the last structural part of the building to be completed.  The site office has been moved to the car park for preparations to start to clear the site of all the heavy plant and cement silos so that the landscaping can start in earnest.  The south lightwell has gone in which has proved an exciting addition – seeing the details of our plans coming to fruitition.  The second lightwell is prepared and should be in place within a couple of weeks.  All attention will then be focussed on both the internal and external finishes.

3 December 2010

Over the last year we have been collecting memorabilia, pictures and assorted items for the dementia wing.  Our most recent purchase is a group of large animal sculptures made out of leather.  We plan to use these as markers throughout the home.  We love them and so does everyone who visits the office where they’re stored for the moment.  Lots of positive comments encourages us to feel that the old people will love them too.

If you have any old household items from a bygone era at home (like a radio, sewing machine or kitchen items for example) that are no longer needed, we’d be pleased to find them a good home with our residents.

17 November 2010

We’ve looked at signage for the rooms this week and how we’re going to make them clear.  The ironmonger is going to make us up a sample.

A final decision has been made on the thermostats.  We have underfloor heating and the builders wanted to put in a thermostat that had no controls for adjustment.  But we said ‘no’, residents must be able to adjust the temperature in their room whilst, at the same time, not creating problems by over or underheating them.  Its been a difficult challenge looking for a thermostat that can be pre-set to allow for adjustments of just a few degrees but we’re confident we’ve found one now thats robust enough.

Dr Gemma Jones, who works with the Alzheimers Society, has visited the site this week as she has been working closely with us since the beginning of the project.  She loved what we are doing and is delighted by the progress so far.  We’ve been buying more items of memorabilia for the dementia wing and she was really taken with the wonderful large animal figures we have found that will act as markers through the home to help the residents find their way around.  We can’t wait to have them in place!

9 November 2010

Now that the dementia wing is nearing completion, we have a ‘trial room’ set up complete with furniture, colours on the walls and new flooring.  We are using this room to see if it all works together from the practicalities of the furniture to seeing if the new colours work together.

This week we have been testing beds from different manufacturers.

Bed demo

Along with Alison, senior staff have been giving them some thorough testing on site and will have input to the final decision.

We’ve also been researching thermostats this past week.  We have underfloor heating and the builders wanted to put in a thermostat that had no controls for adjustment.  However we feel its important that the residents are able to adjust the temperature in their own rooms whilst not creating problems by over or under heating them.  So we’ve been busy looking for a thermostat that can be pre-set to allow for adjustments of just a few degrees.  Its proving to be a difficult challenge to find one that is robust enough.