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Care Home
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.

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The MD's musings
Granny Skills
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.

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The MD's musings
Meet Shelley
25th February

Meet Shelley, one of the newest additions to the Huntington & Langham family

A parrot who wasn't shy of using the F-word and a cat with a sixth sense for when someone was close to the end of their life are just a couple of the pets I remember living with people at Huntington House over the years. Sadly, we couldn't keep the parrot (I couldn't understand why at the time - I must have been about six years old and didn't understand the swearing), but I believe it is still behind the scenes at Birdworld to this day.

So, Shelley, the friendliest Bearded Collie you've ever met, is an absolute delight to look after in Langham Court. Since Langham Court opened in 2013, we've had a couple of resident cats, but Shelley is the first dog and is already making friends with Basil, the hairdresser's sausage dog (who incidentally used to belong to someone living in Huntington House).

Shelley was subject to a pre-admission assessment and is currently on her probation period to ensure she settles in and gets on with everyone, but so far, so good! If she isn't found lying in the lounge next to the fire (not a real one - but she doesn't have to know that), she'll be out walking around the grounds with her owner, Carol, or any one of the staff who all but queue up to take her out.

When I first met Shelley and Carol, we ended up chatting about my own dog, a six-year-old black Labrador, Poppy, who is still so excitable she often gets confused for being a puppy. Carol said I should bring her in to meet Shelley. I told her that the last time I tried that, within the first 30 seconds of being in the building, she wrapped herself around the cable to the computer monitor on the reception desk and nearly destroyed the place. Maybe in a couple more years, she said. I thought even that sounded optimistic, but I agreed, in principle.

Like with every aspect of life in a care home, risk assessments and common sense need to be exercised at all times, and we were a tad concerned when a recent enquirer had a pet pig that lived in the house (and then a bit disappointed to learn that it belongs to another family member and wouldn't be moving in after all), but we have never had a blanket 'no pets' policy like many care homes do.

There has long been an understanding of the benefits of pets to people's wellbeing and the sense of purpose it brings to be able to continue to look after pets when perhaps you are unable to look after yourself or have lost elements of your own independence, but these benefits are often not considered to outweigh the risks, such as infections, allergies, and trips/falls.

However, our model of care is based on the understanding that 'Feelings matter most' and that a positive risk taking philosophy can minimise risks while also ensuring that people can retain aspects of their life that are important to them, even when they have to move into a care home - it's care without compromise.

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Young and old play
14th February

Here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, age really is just a number

Many people think that care homes are just for the older generation – but they couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if you tried to work out the average age of people who walk through our doors, you’ll probably find that it’s around 30! Let us explain…

Here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, we’re here to provide expert care for those in need of a helping hand in our homes. But one other key thing that we focus on is community. That includes sponsoring local events, supporting local businesses and building great relationships with local schools.

That’s why you’ll quite often see local children laughing, learning and playing here in our homes, and we love seeing our residents thrive when spending time with the youngest generation. Our links with local schools bring so many benefits to the people who live here, and we believe this quality time is a key part of our residents being able to lead truly fulfilling lives. In our eyes, it’s something every care home should consider if they’re not already.

We are lucky enough to have great links with fabulous schools. The children come in every week and fill the home with much laughter, along with a unique energy, spirit and openness that’s so refreshing. They don’t see wheelchairs, they don’t see dementia and they don’t see age – they simply experience fun, connections, friendships and cake!

We have had a strong relationship with St. Edmund’s School in Hindhead for over 30 years and over the past 18 months or so, we have been lucky enough to host their reception classes here in our home. Every week in term time, the school’s reception pupils come along to learn, and our residents love having them here. The class alternates between our two homes, and the children usually spend time singing, chatting with our residents, reading books and getting stuck in with arts and crafts, and we also have all sorts of fun things like dressing-up boxes and games. The teachers bring in everything needed to hold each class here, but mostly, it’s about letting the children completely be themselves in the company of our residents.

This is what Karen Bailey, Head of Early Years at St. Edmund’s School, has to say about holding classes here in our home: “The relationship between the two generations is something truly special that just happens naturally. Our visits link young and old through play, giving us a greater understanding and appreciation of another generation that we may not otherwise have regular contact with. The children cannot wait to see their friends every week.”

More recently, we have welcomed the children from PK Preschool. They visit us once a month with their parents to sing, draw, read and play games. The interaction is a delight to see and most importantly, the experience is beneficial to both young and old.

If you are connected to a local school or nursery in the Grayshott area and would like to get involved, we’re always keen to build new relationships; we believe this quality time here in our home is just as beneficial for children as it is for the people who live here, so why not get in touch? There’s nothing quite like seeing these two generations come together and it really does show that age is just a number.

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The MD's musings
Blindfolded role play
1st February

Seeing the world of care through new eyes

Blindfolded role play. Perhaps not the first thing you'd associate with a care home. But it's something that happens quite regularly here at the Huntington & Langham Estate.

A lot of our training for staff focuses on empathy, and when asked what empathy means to them, the answer is often "putting yourself in someone else's shoes".

This is great in principle, but not so easy in practice given that our team members have never lived in a care home, permanently lost their independence or been at the end of their life.

Role play can temporarily immerse you into a life unknown. It can create unexpected feelings and highlight aspects of life we didn't realise we took for granted.

I once went to a 'Dining in the Dark' restaurant and spat out a perfectly edible salad leaf covered in dressing as it felt like I'd put a slug in my mouth. I felt an unexpected vulnerability - my mind went into a state of panic with each mouthful after that salad leaf.

The main benefit of role play is that it takes you out of your comfort zone and into a place where it's so easy to feel as though you're no longer in control. Whether it's being assisted to eat, walk, dress, wash, or whatever, being the other side of the care helps staff to realise how fine the line is between enabling and disabling.

Is there too much food on the fork? Am I giving the next mouthful too soon? Have I explained what it is? If you're helping someone to eat and not asking yourself these questions then I'd suggest it's time to don the blindfold.

Charlie

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The MD's musings
Manicure
18th January

A manicure with real meaning

This is Mrs Malcolm, or Lesley, as she insists on being called, in preference to her given name; Patricia. Like her name, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Lesley.

She is a model. She would say "was a model" but you only have to chat to her for a minute, as I did while she was having her nails done today, to realise she still is a model.

She may not be wearing the latest Yves Saint Laurent creation or jetting off to Paris for a photo shoot, but looking fabulous and paying meticulous attention to the detail of her nails is still as important to her as it ever was.

I must admit, I felt a little sorry for Kelly, being put through her manicure paces and having to ensure Lesley's nails were identical in length, but she was loving it. After all, Kelly had offered to help Lesley with it, recognising how important it was to her, and quite frankly, how often do you get to converse with someone who moved in those circles?

Sure, you might be thinking 'what's the big deal, people have their nails done all the time', and you're right, I haven't chosen this as an example of something that wouldn't happen in other care homes. I just wonder how many carers would see it as an opportunity to transport that person to a time in their life when they had their biggest sense of purpose, and make them realise that they are still that same person?

Lesley is still a model in our eyes, and in that moment she was in her own eyes too.

We provide this kind of meaningful occupation not to prevent people from being bored or lonely (a game of Scrabble might have achieved that), but to empower people to feel like themselves again.

Charlie Hoare – Managing Director, family member and capturer of photos and moments

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Virtual Reality Headset
28th November

The WayBack: challenging dementia with virtual reality

A few years ago, a group of friends decided to team up on a Kickstarter project after seeing their loved ones face Alzheimer’s. They came up with the idea to use virtual reality to trigger happy memories, helping those living with this cruel disease as well as their family members and friends. They called it The WayBack, as sometimes the best way forward is to go WayBack!

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease is the biggest health challenge this country faces, costing more than cancer or heart disease?

Alzheimer’s affects our ability to remember, understand and communicate and often leads to severe memory loss and the inability to recognise friends or family members, which is heartbreaking to see.

At some point, this disease will inevitably affect everyone’s lives. We see this first-hand every day at the Huntington & Langham Estate and although we provide support and reassurance to the people who live here and their loved ones where we can, people often feel vulnerable and helpless.

Virtual reality offers a way to go further, which is why we were delighted when we were asked to be involved in this pioneering project, putting new technology to good use and helping to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s.

The initial stage of the Kickstarter project saw the team ask for help to get the concept off the ground, and incredibly, 230 backers pledged £35,040 to help bring this project to life.

What an amazing achievement! Congratulations to all those involved.

It really was incredible to be involved in such a pioneering project and we can’t wait to see the impact The WayBack will inevitably have on dementia care, both here at the Huntington & Langham Estate and in homes across the country and further afield.

Here’s to the next chapter of this incredible idea that’s sure to change lives, for the better. With the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 already covered, plus England’s World Cup victory in 1966 and the 1969 Apollo landings in the pipeline, what significant event in modern history will we be watching through our virtual reality headsets next? Whatever it is, we hope we can help by testing it out here in our home.

Visit thewaybackvr.com to find out more and to download the free WayBack app.

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Award presentation
20th November

Another award recognising Langham’s exceptional care

Remember, remember the 8th November…as that’s the night when the high-profile Gala night for the National Dementia Care Awards was held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, hosted by Labour politician, Hazel Blears.

Over 450 guests were in attendance, and we’re proud to say that one of our own was in attendance as she had been nominated for an award – Maggie Cain. For those of you who know Maggie, this will come as no surprise! And for those of you who don’t, you’re more than welcome to visit us at Langham Court anytime and see the positive impact Maggie has on our residents’ lives.

We’re delighted to say that on the night, Maggie was presented with the award for Dementia Care Inspiring Leader 2018, which is an absolutely incredible achievement! This is what the two judges had to say: “Maggie has such a big heart and huge compassion. She inspires the staff by simply being herself – she is a lovely human being. Maggie’s greatest joy is seeing others blossom in a culture of kindness, love and respect…family.”

A bit about the awards

Once a year, the National Dementia Care Awards are held, organised by the Journal of Dementia Care, which is a multidisciplinary journal for all professional staff working with people who are living with dementia. This includes those working in hospitals, nursing and residential care homes, day units and the community.

Created to recognise the very best individuals working within the dementia care sector, the awards are highly coveted, identifying those people whose exceptional work and contributions make better, person-centred care a reality. This year, there were 16 categories, with four or five finalists within each of those categories, and two independent judges carefully choosing the winners.

Maggie’s great achievement

Maggie was nominated for the Dementia Care Inspiring Leader 2018 award by Julie Drake, who is the manager here at Langham Court, and notably the 2017/8 National Dementia Manager of the Year.

In Julie’s words, “Maggie is an inspiration to the whole Langham Court care team. She has the gift of befriending everyone she meets and is a cornerstone of the success of Langham Court. Maggie has been one of the team for over five years and continually works to enrich of the lives of the people living at Langham Court and those of their families.”

As her name was announced at the Gala as the winner, Maggie was completely overwhelmed, mentioning in her acceptance speech how she felt extremely humbled, thanking her wonderful team for their backing. Maggie admitted that she is not very good at self-promotion, preferring to spend her time quietly working behind the scenes and making sure that everyone who lives and works at Langham Court always feel like they are ‘at home’. Maggie’s commitment, energy and passion truly reflect the home’s ethos and we couldn’t be prouder of what she has achieved.

To experience Langham Court for yourself, please do get in touch – we would love to hear from you and are always happy to help.

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Care Home Exercise
25th October

In our home, we offer a pioneering alternative to traditional care home life

Before Langham Court opened in 2013, we spent a lot of time researching which model of care to follow, and one approach stood out above the rest. This was the ‘Butterfly’ model, which we saw as the most intuitive approach. It reflected our family ethos here at the Huntington & Langham Estate too, so we decided to follow it from day one.

At the time, there were only a handful of ‘Butterfly’ homes, but now with more homes on board and to positive impact of this model of care so clear to see, we’re so pleased we made the decision back in 2013 – the impact it has on our residents’ lives is evident. We’re proud to be part of the top 1% of UK care homes, with a CQC rating of ‘Outstanding’, but things are about to get even better.

We’re delighted to announce that here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, we’re pioneering a brand-new model of care in both our homes on behalf of Dementia Care Matters, who developed the ‘Butterfly’ model. We’re piloting this new, ground-breaking project to challenge the traditional nursing home model that exists in most care homes across the UK by breaking down barriers that often exist between staff and residents and doing away with service-led routines and language.

Where did the model come from?

For over 20 years, the team at Dementia Care Matters have been paving the way for modern dementia care with their ‘Feelings Matter Most’ approach. Dr David Sheard, who founded it all, said: “We applaud Huntington House for being pioneers. Implementing the best ideas from Butterfly Homes across the whole care sector is the next transformation needed in the UK. All Care Matters.”

This unique model is a huge success in Canada already, and has appeared on front pages of newspapers and on national TV. What emerged from the success of the Butterfly Model was how obvious it was that its core values aren’t just relevant to dementia care, but all care. That’s why, with a potentially revolutionary impact on the care industry, Dr Sheard is adapting the original Butterfly Model to do just that.

Dr Sheard commented, “Feelings Matter Most in life whether you have dementia or not. Emotional care should be at the heart of all care. Butterfly Homes have proven quality of life in dementia care is a basic human right. The mission of Dementia Care Matters is to be a disruptor of all poor care. The essence of great dementia care can now be a model of care for everyone. Culture change across a whole care home enables everyone to flourish.”

Dementia Care Matters at the Huntington & Langham Estate

We have seen first-hand on our Estate how the Dementia Care Matters model works, and we have even won awards for it. Julie Drake, our dedicated Home Manager, won the Best Manager Award at the National Dementia Care Awards 2018 for all that she has done here. We are also finalists at the 2018 National Dementia Care Awards for Best Activities. And it’s all thanks to how we have changed our approach by following Dr Sheard’s advice. You really can see the difference in our residents’ lives, and that’s what it’s all about. We’re so pleased that this approach can now be adopted in Huntington as well as Langham.

A bit more about the ‘All Care Matters’ model

The ‘All Care Matters’ model essentially aims to truly put the ‘home’ into nursing homes and give the people who live in them a voice. When the residents were consulted about their feelings towards taking part in this pioneering project, one person said: “You’re not going to change the marmalade, are you?” Charlie replied, “You will be able to have whatever marmalade you would like.”

While the topic of marmalade may seem trivial to some, the ‘All Care Matters’ model appreciates that the little things in life are important and are a huge factor in making a place feel like home. While one person might have thick-cut marmalade, another might have thin, and someone else might choose to make their own. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’, and in the extreme, each person might have a completely personalised menu for each meal that reminds them of their cherished childhood memories.

What we hope to achieve

Much of the stigma attached to nursing homes is fear of losing that all-important independence and having decisions made for you. As a minimum, the ‘All Care Matters’ model will enable residents to be more independent again by re-engaging people in their own decision-making. As a maximum, it could mean an even more fulfilling life for those living in a nursing home than living in their own homes! To find out more, please do come and see us here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, where we can show you around and answer any questions you may have about All Care Matters and how it has the power to transform residents’ lives.

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