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29th April

Tasty tarts and perfect pies, handmade in our nursing home in Surrey

Last week, two lovely ladies living here in at the Huntington and Langham Estate decided to get their hands dirty in the kitchen and have fun with a spot of baking! Molly has lived here for quite a while and Veronica has only recently moved in, so they haven’t known each other for too long, but they decided to join forces and have some fun together as they both fancied getting creative in the kitchen.

With the introduction of All Care Matters to Huntington House, following the success of Dementia Care Matters implemented from day one in our specialist dementia care home, Langham Court, we have made all sorts of changes to our residential and nursing home here in Surrey.

With All Care Matters, there’s such a strong focus on the wellbeing of the people living here; we believe everyone should be able to lead as independent a life as they would like to here in our home, so we have put all sorts of things in place to facilitate this, and it seems to be going down a storm. As part of that, we decided to build a kitchenette!

This isn’t the typical kind of kitchenette you see in most care homes where it’s used to make the odd cup of tea and slice of toast – this is a proper kitchenette and people living here are encouraged to make use of it whenever they fancy it, so everyone is able to cook and bake whenever they want to.

Although it’s not everyone’s idea of fun, the facility is there to be used at any time, with the team always on hand to help, of course. For people like Molly and Veronica – who are really quite independent, they just happen to be living with early memory loss – it’s the most amazing way for them to be engaged in meaningful activities and fully connect with how everyday life would have been for them in days gone by. It’s these small things like being able to bake that we take for granted.

In fact, Molly was a great baker at home and on quite a few occasions has mentioned that she missed being able to bake. Molly wanted to make jam tarts and said she used to make them every week for her family, so it was a pleasure seeing her in her element, baking for the first time in a while – and it was amazing tasting the finished tarts too!

Molly completely remembered how to make shortcrust pastry from scratch, along with all the exact quantities she needed – all we did was provide the ingredients. She spoke about making apple pie and custard as well as Eccles cakes, so fingers crossed we can make those very soon.

Whilst enjoying making pastry, Molly chatted about growing up in Lancashire, walking about how much she loved cooking for her husband and family. Seeing and hearing Molly during the couple of hours spent in the kitchen was just so wonderful, and everyone who wandered past the kitchenette commented on how great it was to see, smell and taste.

In addition to the delicious jam tarts, we also cooked mini chicken and leek pies! Veronica was keen to stop, chat and get involved, so she helped Molly by getting the pastry cutters out and filling the tins. Both the pies and tarts went down extremely well with everyone, and another baking session is planned for after Easter. Follow us on Facebook to see how they turn out!

We are thinking of starting a recipe book to record our successes – hopefully we won’t have to include any failures, although learning as we go is all part of the fun. Why don’t you pop in and see us at our lovely home here in Hindhead? It would be lovely to see you and you may even be lucky enough to have a sneak peek at our recipe book.

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2nd April

A great reputation for care in Surrey

Here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, we’re incredibly grateful for every single review of our homes, whether it’s from someone who lives here, a family member or friend, a member of the team or anyone else who pops in!

Recently, the husband of a lady living here described Langham Court as ‘probably the best home in the area, country even, for dementia care’ – we are so thankful for this kind comment and are proud to have made somebody feel so confident in the care we provide for their loved one. It made us start thinking about how lucky we are to live and work in such a wonderful place, surrounded by acres of beautiful countryside, so we wanted to share our thoughts with you.

Right on the edge of Surrey near the border of Hampshire, our residential & nursing and dementia care homes in Hindhead are ideally located to travel up into London or down to the coast, meaning we can offer all sorts of opportunities for exciting days out. We’re also easily accessible for those looking for expert residential, nursing and dementia care in Surrey for a loved one, as we’re located just off the A3 by the Hindhead Tunnel, right by the charming villages of Bramshott, Grayshott, Grayswood and Liphook, as well as the town of Haslemere.

In fact, people travel all the way from places such as Basingstoke, Winchester, Crawley, Farnborough, Horsham, Leatherhead and Guildford for our expert nursing and residential care in Hindhead, and even further afield for our specialist dementia care here in Surrey, including from London, Hampshire and Sussex.

It’s a real team effort to make these homes what they are and to provide award-winning residential, dementia and nursing care in Surrey. We have people who travel from far and wide to help us provide such a wonderful service for the people who call the Huntington & Langham Estate their home, and we hope this shows how much people enjoy working here.

We endeavour to make life as exciting and fulfilling as possible for the people living here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, so we appreciate how lucky we are to have all sorts of attractions nearby to visit; Winkworth Arboretum, Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl, and Hollycombe Steam to name a few of our favourites. As part and parcel of our residential, nursing and dementia care in Hindhead, everyone living here is provided with the opportunity to partake in a wide variety of activities and we also organise all sorts of entertainment here in our purpose-built home.

We have consistently high review scores on carehome.co.uk and are proud to have high ratings from the CQC too, with the Care Quality Commission being the independent regulator of health and social care in England. When it comes to finding the right residential, nursing or dementia care in Surrey for you or someone you love, there are so many factors to consider, but hopefully recommendations from real people who know all about our expert residential, nursing and dementia care in Surrey will help to make that decision a little easier.

To read more about what people think of the Huntington & Langham Estate, visit carehome.co.uk and have a look at the reviews on our Facebook page. If you like what you read, we would love to hear from you – get in touch by clicking on our Contact page. We would love to show you around the Huntington & Langham Estate, so feel free to pop in to see our homes and meet the team.

The MD's musings

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4th March

Creating connections - that's what it's all about

I recently came across a lady who calls herself Granny Skills, and who is on a mission to preserve the skills, knowledge and traditions of her elders. There has certainly been a resurgence in 'granny skills' recently, and she alone has written five books on the subject and has tens of thousands of followers on social media.

Yet here we are, seeing the same elderly people who have these skills suffering from loneliness and boredom, often developing depression as a result. Yes, care homes help combat some of this with their communal living and 24/7 staff, but there's so much more that could be being done.

It's all very well having people around but unless you have connections with those people you can still feel lonely. I moved to London when I was younger and hated it – I lasted six months. I was surrounded by people but have never felt so lonely. I didn't know anyone, or maybe more importantly, no-one knew me.

Care homes can be similar. With the majority of interactions being with people who are paid to look after you, it can be tricky to break down that 'us and them' barrier and form meaningful relationships. When you need help with intimate personal care, you'd be forgiven for not wanting to invite the carers to sit down and have dinner with you afterwards. Likewise, carers are often encouraged to remain professional and not blur the lines between their personal lives. Our Butterfly Model of care, however, promotes 'attached professionalism', which encourages the people who live and work here to be real with each other – to share their lives with each other.

I might have never known that Mrs Coley (who lives at Huntington House) made lace – she keeps herself to herself, like many of her generation – but I just happened to mention that my daughter, Rose, had started learning to sew and we struck up a conversation. One thing led to another and Mrs Coley invited Rose to come and see her lace-making in action. I'm not sure Rose quite has the patience to make lace yet (she's only four years old!) but when she spotted her name on one of the commemorative bobbins in Mrs Coley's collection, she was so excited.

We've arranged to get together again so Rose can bring in her own sewing to show Mrs Coley, and I think they're both as excited as each other about it. I might be biased, but in my opinion, these inter-generational connections are the way forward for adult social care. Whether it's Ben, a Duke of Edinburgh volunteer, playing the piano for Mr Southgate, a former jazz musician, or Helen, a Greek national working as a laundry assistant, listening to Mrs Bond, a WWII survivor, recount stories of how she narrowly missed being bombed while on 'lookout' in Bath, the connections are always mutually beneficial.

The key is creating opportunities for these connections – a positive staff culture, volunteer visits, and liaising with local schools and nurseries etc. – and enabling them to happen as part of everyday life in a care home. It is often group activities such as quizzes and bingo that are considered the key to tackling loneliness, but while they will always have their place, I believe we should be tapping into the potential of each individual interaction to make people feel truly befriended.