Dementia Care with a Heart

Here at the Huntington and Langham Estate, we offer holistic care to all our residents. One very visible face of this care is our Homemakers.

Caring, patient, creative and kind, our Homemakers create strong relationships with our residents and contribute to the happy, friendly family environment we’re so proud of.


Our Homemakers are key to this environment, ensuring everyone who lives with us has the highest quality of care, retains their dignity and individuality and has the opportunity to participate as much as they want in the life of the home. One way this is played out is through our activities.

Now, many care homes offer extensive structured programming for residents. Every so often, everyone gets shepherded into a hall, whether they want to be or not, and there’s a musical guest or some other attraction.

At Langham Court, our Homemakers don’t rely on structured programming for large groups. We don’t want individual residents to be lost in the crowd – bored or overwhelmed with something they don’t want to do or forced to do something that their sensory loss, complex need or dementia renders meaningless or upsetting.

Instead, our Homemakers focus on creating many opportunities every day for residents to do, see and talk about, and residents are free to join. These activities can still be group activities, of course, but are more likely to be spontaneous, informal and one-to-one or smaller group activities. As our Homemakers know our residents so well, they can also design activities for each person, featuring elements of that person’s experience, skills, desires, interests or hobbies.

Petersfield Lake Outing

Throughout the week, Homemakers create and deliver individual and group activities to meet social, emotional, cultural, intellectual, vocational, physical, and spiritual needs. They also cultivate links with the community – bringing in outside individuals and organisations for entertainment and fun, as well as staging rooms and creating inviting setups for people to respond to.

All our residents are “free to be me” and receive personalised care focusing on them as individuals. We’re all about meaningful connections, unique stories and personal choice. Residents are in the driver’s seat, and our Homemakers carefully and skilfully create journeys for them to go on if they so desire.


Just last week, we had a visit from Cycling Without Age organised by one of our Homemakers. This fantastic volunteer-led charity brings Trishaw bikes to nursing and care homes, enabling residents to feel the wind in their hair as they are cycled around in comfort and style.

Rides Around The Estate

“The amazing work Cycling Without Age do is such a perfect fit for the Estate. The installation of the paths around our grounds were designed to enable people using wheelchairs to explore further afield. The fact the paths can be accessed on the Cycling Without Age e-bike provides people with even more freedom than we had imagined. They can go faster and feel the wind in their hair, and all without the stigma of a wheelchair.” – Charlie – MD

At Langham Court, every team member has our residents’ well-being central to their role. Whether you’re a nurse, work in maintenance or laundry, we make sure there are many opportunities for you to engage with our residents so they have stimulation, company and support. That’s why we have one member of every team, plus one representative family member, at our monthly Home Action Team meeting. During these meetings, we look at various elements of our care which could be even better and action them that month.

In April, we decided to think about people’s life stories, how we can share memories together, and the emotional impact this can have on everyone’s wellbeing; residents and staff alike.

Some of the ideas included creating themed boxes to stimulate conversation and reminiscence as well is sharing family photos and holiday snaps/postcards, which team members can have available in the pockets of their aprons. It may sound simple, but getting to know the people you look after has so many benefits. By knowing the name of the company they worked for, or where they spent their honeymoon, you can create a connection that helps them feel they are not alone and also form the trust needed for them to feel safe in your care.

Here at Langham Court, we’re a community: a family where we all know and care for each other. Multiple daily spontaneous interactions with each resident mean that everyone feels like they matter 24/7 and is part of everyday life – even if they’re not participating in formal activities. We know we offer superb resident-centred care, but we never rest on our laurels. Our Homemakers know they make a positive difference in other people’s lives daily and are always learning, growing and honing their skills.

If you’d like to learn more about being a Homemaker, please visit our website. If you’d like to find out more about our care home for a loved one who is living with Dementia, please call 01428 604 600 or complete this form.

At the Huntington & Langham Estate, we provide luxury care across our two specialist care homes. Family-owned and run, we offer dignified, compassionate and personalised care to our residents, giving them the nurturing support they need to continue living full, independent and meaningful lives. We are Butterfly and Dragonfly accredited.

To arrange a visit to the Estate and tour our homes and grounds, please call 01428 604 600 or complete this form.

Coronation fun and community

The Huntington & Langham Estate pulled out all the stops for the King’s Coronation. Bunting and face painting brought back memories for many of the Queen’s Coronation street parties from 1953, while the Coronation quiche sparked conversation about traditions both new and old.

Events such as the Coronation are perfect opportunities for people who live and work in care homes to come together as one. Creating decorations together, painting each other’s faces, and chipping in with food preparation; it is not just a good excuse for a celebration (although of course it is!) but a reminder of everyone’s ability to contribute to their community.

Coronation face painting

The Huntington and Langham Estate encourages this type of mutual interaction daily by following a 100-point checklist, which is externally audited by Meaningful Care Matters to ensure it is embedded into the care culture.

Point No. 7 in the checklist is Two-Way Giving, which promotes people living in the home to offer love, care and support to the people working in the home.

This role reversal, of sorts, might sound mundane, or even a little odd, to people independent enough to cook, craft and communicate themselves, but for people in need of care, particularly specialist dementia care, it can bring much needed meaning to their lives and a feeling of being a help rather than a hinderance, which is a fear of so many.

Coronation fun

Not all septuagenarians can be king and serve their country, but even the most reliant care home residents can contribute more than they are often given credit for. Let the Coronation be a reminder that no-one is too old to serve, even if it is a slice of quiche!

You can find out more about our approach to Dementia Care HERE

Butterfly Training Session one

May has seen the start of our 2023 Butterfly project, with our new home action team joined by Sally Knocker from Meaningful Care Matters to deliver session one of the programme.

Butterfly Training Day

With a number of new members of the team if was a fantastic introduction to our approach to Dementia care at Langham Court and a brilliant refresher for the team.

Butterfly Training Session one

The focus of the day was centred around developing listening skills and enhancing our ability to engage with those living with Dementia and each other.

A third focus of the day was using dancing to create meaningful moment and fun to our interactions with each other.

I was inspired by the importance of  enabling the people who live here at Langham Court to have positive experiences, by creating a true and comfortable home environment by focusing on the emotional psychological and spiritual needs of each person, whilst caring for their physical needs.

Helen – Nurse at Langham Court  

Helen - Nurse at Langham Court


The Butterfly approach is intrinsic in the Dementia Care offered at Langham Court, making us stand out as one of the leading specialist dementia care homes.

For more information click here

Butterfly Care at Langham Court

Langham Court is our specialist dementia care home in Hindhead, Surrey. We are a specialist dementia care home as we are accredited for using the butterfly approach.

You may wish to read our article on How To Spot A Specialist Dementia Care Home.

 Butterfly Accredited Care

At Langham Court, we are fully accredited as a Butterfly Home. The accreditation is provided by Meaningful Care Matters.  You can read more about Butterfly Care here.

 Butterfly Care Training

All our members of the Langham Court Team are trained and practiced in the Butterfly Approach.

It’s important we provide a continuous professional development structure for our staff, which includes Butterfly care refreshment training.

As part of our recent Butterfly care training in November 2021, we spent some time to create and agree to a list of very important “Wills and Wonts” at Langham Court.

This is our mantra at Langham Court. Please take time to read.


  • Smile
  • Be friendly and open
  • Be kind
  • Offer respect
  • Listen
  • Show people they matter
  • Give choices as to how people will spend their day
  • Be caring and loving
  • Engage and interact with people
  • Help people feel loved and appreciated
  • Take time to find out individuals’ favourite foods and offer these – “I’ve brought you some of the chocolate you like.”
  • Bring laughter and fun
  • Be approachable
  • Let people lie in and stay in bed if that’s where they want to be
  • Offer affectionate touch – taking my hand or touching my shoulder
  • Show kindness and consideration – “I saw this and thought of you”
  • Spend time chatting and getting to know people
  • Tell stories about our lives which might spark interest and conversations
  • Talk to me first and ask before doing a task
  • Support people to do the things people used to enjoy doing
  • Give those who loved their pets contact with animals
  • Bring some excitement – “Shall we go outside for an adventure?”


  • Shout – talk with a loud voice
  • Ignore people
  • Be task focused and not talk to people
  • Tell people what to do
  • Show anger to people or be aggressive
  • Treat someone like they are stupid
  • Use harsh language or commands
  • Tell people when to go to bed
  • Leave people in bed all day
  • Wake people up when they don’t want to
  • Speak to someone like they are a child
  • Do things to people without telling them what is happening
  • Talk about someone in front of them
  • Make people feel they are not included or listened to
  • Put people down and disregard feelings
  • Label people
  • Say “That’s not good for you” or “That’s not safe”
  • Stop people from eating the things they enjoy.
  • Make people eat when they aren’t hungry
  • Force people to do things they’ve disliked all their life


To find out more about our Butterfly care at Langham Court, click here




7 Simple and Effective Ways to Improve your Mental Health

In testing times, it’s not just our physical health that becomes vulnerable. Our mental health suffers, too, and often we don’t realise it’s happening until negative emotions begin to surface.

In fact, research has shown that on average, mental health has worsened by 8.1% as a result of the covid pandemic, according to The Health Foundation.


This means that it’s never been more important to look after our mental health, and that of our loved ones. So, how can we ensure that we’re setting ourselves on the right track?

7 simple and effective ways to improve your mental health today.



Living mindfully and savouring the present is one of the best ways to improve our mental health. Reliving painful past experiences, as well as worrying about the future cause unnecessary bouts of anxiety and depression to surface.

As we let our thoughts drift to negative experiences and thoughts, we’re actively bypassing what’s happening in this very moment – a moment you’ll never get back.

The green gym

When you notice your thoughts drifting, try the following steps:

  • Sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes.
  • Relax your muscles, and pay close attention to what’s going on around you; notice the smells, sounds, and the feel of your clothes against your skin.
  • If it helps, imagine yourself in a peaceful setting – this could be a beach, or a rainforest.
  • If you notice your thoughts beginning to drift, accept them and slowly let them wash away as you bring your attention back to the present.

Trying this mindfulness exercise can help train the mind to focus on the now – something that many of us find difficult to do when we’re surrounded by everyday distractions.

You can adopt this approach during your everyday activities, too. Next time you head out for a walk, try walking in silence for a while and pay close attention to everything you pass; you’ll likely notice things you haven’t before.



Endorphins, our ‘happy’ hormone, are essential to life. They allow us to feel positivity, hope and joyfulness – all of which contribute to a healthy state of mind.

Personalised care

One of the easiest ways to release more of this happy hormone into our internal system is by staying active. You might, for example, try heading out for a brisk walk, or engaging in some stretching activities that promote healthy blood flow.



When we can learn to appreciate the small things, such as the smell of freshly cut grass or the very first sip of fresh coffee in the morning, we create a sense of inner peace and gratitude that others may take for granted.

Residents on the terrace

Since we live in such a fast-paced world, it can take some effort to slow down and find joy in our basic, everyday items/rituals – but doing so transforms our default mental state for the better.



Perspective is everything. It shapes the way we see the world, as well as our own individual lives.

If you place a heavy focus on your misfortunes, for example, the world will become a solemn, untrustworthy place to be.

In contrast, if you try to look for the positives in every situation and focus on the good things that happen to you, the world will become a better place in your eyes – and you’ll likely find that your relationships with others will improve, too.

Residential Man Smiling At Camera



Too many of us focus on our weaknesses, forever hoping to improve several aspects of our physical and mental being.

Whilst it’s healthy to have goals, it’s never healthy to place all of our attention on what we can’t do.  Instead, focus on and celebrate your strengths.

Residents kitchen

Perhaps you’re a keen learner who always likes to try new things, or you have an eye for fine art or an expert baker. Whatever it is, be thankful for your innate talent and put it to good use whenever you can.



Strengthening our relationships is an easier task for some than it is for others. However, doing so can have a profound impact on our mental health, giving us more socialising opportunities and the chance to develop deeper bonds.

As humans, we are naturally sociable creatures; we crave the company of others, and when we’re deprived of this, feelings of loneliness tend to surface.

Dragonfly care

Next time you’re feeling like you could benefit from the company of a family or friend, try picking up the phone and giving them a call. Alternatively, you could head out to a local group/club in your community and form new friendships.



Once you have found inner peace, feelings of stress and anxiety will start to melt away. One of the most effective ways you can do this is by learning to forgive.

Forgiveness does not always come easy, and a large part of it depends on circumstance. But what many of us fail to realise is that suppressed anger and resentment for an individual or past event largely contributes to generalised anxiety and stress on an everyday basis.

If you can, try to forgive and let go at least one thing that’s causing you to feel unpleasant emotions. It’s a kind of therapy that we can do to ourselves that brings us mental and emotional relief.

At Huntington and Langham Estate, we support our residents with their physical and mental health through our holistic care approach. From welcoming our new PAT dog to celebrating #GladtoCare Week, we’ve been spreading cheer in abundance.

To find out more about what we’ve been up to, take a look at our social channels. Alternatively, click here to speak to a member of our team.

Choosing the Right Dementia Care Home

When the difficult decision of moving your loved one into a dementia care home has to be made, it can be very challenging for all involved. Family members can often feel guilty from passing on the care of loved ones to someone else. It is therefore crucial that the home you do choose is the right one.

Further challenges are brought into consideration when your loved one is living with dementia. There is often extra confusion and greater difficulty in explaining to your loved one why they will have to leave their home.

Help when choosing a Dementia care home 

Our team at the Huntington and Langham Estate in Hindhead, Surrey have over 40 years of experience when it comes to this matter. We will work with you to ensure a smooth transition into our care environment.

Our home at Langham Court embraces our motto and we will do everything we can to support you, so all you have to do is “let our family look after yours’.

The Butterfly approach of care we embrace takes a very person-centric focus, putting your loved one’s emotional and physical needs at the forefront of everything we do.

Below are some of the considerations we suggest you bare in mind when choosing the right dementia care home for your loved one.

Involving all those who care is key

The move into a care home can be a very daunting prospect for all family members. From the person in question, to their primary caregiver, be it a daughter, son or other family member, to the more external members of your family who may be providing support and love from slightly further afar.

It is important to ensure that everyone feels involved in the decision making process, even if that just means communicating with them in a more in-depth manner about the steps along the way.

Easing those feelings of guilt that we have often seen families struck with can be quite challenging, however our team is here to help at every step of the way.

Third party bodies and charities can also provide support at this stage, such as Dementia UK who offer free impartial advice and support to all family members in scenarios just like this.

When is the right time to move into a care home?

Finding the right time to move into a care home is never easy. Is it too soon? Is my loved one emotionally ready to move? Will there be ramifications if you leave it too late? These are all very important questions that you need to consult your family/caregiving circle on.

The need to move into a care home could have arisen from a number of reasons; deterioration of their condition, resulting in it being harder for them to live independently, a change in circumstance meaning the primary caregiver is no longer able to commit as much time into looking after their loved one, there could be many reasons, and many combinations of reasons for seeking a dementia care home for your family member.

Regardless of the ‘whys’ and the ‘whens’, it is still a difficult decision for anyone to have to make.

From our experience, considering the move into a care home should be thought of as far in advance as possible. And often, we have found that if your loved one moves before their condition has deteriorated too greatly, it makes the move that much easier.

It could start with a day or two, visiting the home, an introduction via respite care or daycare, or just a quick chat on the phone with one of the Huntington and Langham team to find out a little more.

How to find the right care home

Once you’ve decided that moving into a care home is the next stage for your loved one living with dementia, and all family members are onboard with the transition, the next step is to begin the search for the right home.

Again, third party resources such as Age UK are fantastic for providing impartial advice. They have a plethora of guides on a range of issues and  provide excellent information and insight into selecting a home, along with a handy checklist you can download and use too.

The Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator of health and social care in England. They register, monitor and regularly audit homes up and down the country to provide an easy to understand rating. We are completely transparent, and proud of our ‘GOOD’ rating. You can view the CQC report for Langham Court here.

At the Huntington and Langham Estate in Surrey, we embrace the more homely aspects at our care home. We want to create an environment where you feel as comfortable as you would in your current home. Our home was built by family, for families and we very much want to extend ours to yours for anyone joining us on the estate.

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about what we do, just drop us a line here, or learn more about our dementia care offering here

Meet the team: Bente

This week, we spoke to Bente, one of our team leaders at the estate, all about her day-to-day role.


What’s your name and role at Huntington and Langham Estate?

I’m Bente Dover, one of the team leaders here at the estate.


How long have you been working here?

I’ve been working with the Huntington team for 6 and a half years now, which also spans the time before Langham Court opened. I was initially employed to work at Langham, but started at Huntington House for three months.


Tell us more about your day-to-day role.

On an average day at the estate, I spend a lot of time speaking to the relatives of our residents, answering their questions and having reassuring conversations. My role also involves ensuring residents are as happy as possible and well looked after, with an eye kept on them at all times.

I’ll spend my time attending and preparing for funding meetings, organising ‘Resident of the Day’ and updating care plans as regularly as possible. My day will also involve taking phone calls from relatives or medical staff, and to call the doctor if necessary. It’s also my responsibility to give medication during the day.

I’ll always ensure staff are organised, have completed their care plans and filled in the relevant paperwork.

At the end of the day, it’s my job to make sure everything is done, and that the most calm and special experience possible is provided. Ultimately, it’s my aim to make sure residents are happy and well looked after!


What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love talking and spending time with the residents, knowing that I’m helping to improve their lives in so many ways.


What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had with our people?

The most memorable experience I’ve had was at a party one summer, when the residents were dancing with the staff and singing together – everyone was so happy, it was a truly magical experience!


What makes Huntington and Langham Estate unique?

Most definitely the fact that it’s so personal, and relatively relaxed. The people also make the estate unique, as everyone cares for each other.


What’s the most interesting/funny experience you’ve had in your role?

I would say the funniest experience I’ve had is when one of our residents was watching Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, and she started talking about her three husbands and relaying naughty jokes… it was so funny!


What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The way the residents smile and acknowledge you when they see you and hear your voice is priceless.


Describe Huntington and Langham Estate in three words.

I would describe the estate as unique, special and individual.

Why feelings matter most

When a person enters a care environment, it is important they feel as happy and comfortable as possible in their new setting. Much of the stigma attached to nursing homes is a fear of institutionalisation; a loss of independence and having decisions made for you.

The importance of emotional wellbeing

While routines have their place, the attention given to the feelings of those living in care homes is often downgraded below more ‘service-led’ practices. But the emotional wellbeing of a person has just as much of an impact on their quality of life as any physical or medical needs.

Language, for example, is hugely emotive. Here at the Huntington and Langham Estate, we are constantly making strides in the way we interact with the people living and working here.

The Butterfly model explained

We are now one of a number of care homes in the UK that has adopted the pioneering Butterfly Model. Created by Dr David Sheard, the founder of Dementia Care Matters, the model aims to disrupt the ‘us and them’ culture usually found within traditional care and is led by the ethos that ‘Feelings Matter Most’.

For some people, the need to move into residential care may come at a time when they are no longer able to live independently but are still more than capable of making decisions related to their own wellbeing.

People not residents

So, we have taken the decision to no longer use the term ‘resident’ for the people that live here – they are just that, people, and we want to ensure we’re not labelling them or talking about them as though they are tasks; diminishing any sense of worth.

No uniforms

Our staff no longer wear uniforms so there is no differentiation between those that live and work here; we are committed to creating a home-from-home environment and give everyone a voice which is valued.

By adopting the Butterfly Model and encouraging such a culture change across the whole care home environment, we are hoping it will enable everyone to flourish; helping the people that live here to retain their independence and be involved in their own decision-making, even down to the marmalade they have at breakfast.

Everyone has their own personal preference, and this is important. It really is the little things that make a place feel like home.

The risk in any care environment is that people’s medical and personal care needs are prioritised, but we forget about their psychological needs; their overall wellbeing and the fact there is more to people than their diagnosis.

“Free to be me”

Ultimately, our goal is to create a culture where people are doing things because they want to, not just because they’re being paid to; because they’re driven by compassion and love, not policies and routines.

Learn more about our care

Pet therapy opening minds and hearts

The Estate Ponies are inspiring our residents

You’ll probably know already if you’ve visited us, but we’re big on animals here at the Huntington & Langham Estate.  In fact, the estate used to be home to a feisty and independent pony named Braveheart.

Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust

Braveheart came to us from the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, and when he was here on the Estate in Surrey, he clearly missed his home in Dartmoor. But, Braveheart didn’t settle very well, and he tried to escape a few times, eventually managing to break through fencing.

The difficult decision was finally made to take Braveheart back to the DPHT, where initially his future was unknown – a rather grumpy pony doesn’t tend to make many friends!  However, Dru from DPHT and her team never gave up on Braveheart, and he is now the leader of the pack when it comes to working with young people at the organisation.

The DPHT has built a strong reputation for courses for young people with challenging behaviour and disabilities, with Dartmoor ponies the stars of the show.

Their aim is to create opportunities for young people to meet their full potential by providing them with a set of social and emotional skills that will allow them to participate more effectively in everyday life – this could potentially help them to move into long-term employment.

At the DPHT, they offer a flexible range of proven courses for students facing challenges such as anger management, lack of self-esteem and confidence, attention and behaviour deficits, disaffection and personal development.

Animal Therapy

It may seem like an unusual approach but forming a relationship with a pony actually helps young people to build trust ad also develop a bond of mutual empathy, as well as learning to face their fears and develop respect and compassion.

Additionally, communication skills, self-confidence, coping techniques and self-esteem improve at the same time, which are vital for dealing with many aspects of everyday life.

Testimonial: “The work by Dru and DPHT is most likened to ‘Equine Facilitated Learning’ (EFL), an intervention that utilises horses to teach people about themselves in the hope of bringing about positive change via the learning of skills, although the inclusion of wild Dartmoor ponies offers a variation to the normal protocol. Participants seem to form a bond with both Dru and the ponies, which allows them to receive constructive feedback in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way so that the participants can come to know themselves better and witness how their actions can have consequences. Skills learnt are said to include teamwork and social skills, trust and motivation, which in turn contribute to the building of self-esteem whilst improving empathy, effective ways of managing feelings and developing greater self-awareness, all important social and emotional skills.” Dawn Chaplin and Katy Hurworth – Final Year BSc (Hons) Psychology Undergraduates, Plymouth University

The Ponies of the Huntington and Langham Estate

Whilst Braveheart may have headed home to Dartmoor, our remaining ponies can be seen by the residents in the fields outside of Huntington House and Langham Court and are a great source of discussion and amusement on walks around the estate.

Horses Around The Estate

Little Charlotte loves to bring her pony on walks with Grandma mal to meet the residents at a weekend.

H&L Ponies

We are always delighted to welcome visitors to the Estate for a tour around the grounds and our homes.  Just get in touch and let us know you are coming and we’ll get the kettle on!