Summer holiday inspiration for families living with Dementia

The school summer holidays can be a time of fun and extended family get togethers, but for families where a parent is living well with dementia but need extra care and support, it can also bring added challenges.

Balancing the needs of children and a grandparent with Dementia can be difficult, especially when planning activities that everyone can enjoy together.

 

Plan ahead for an active family summer

Planning summer holiday activities that both children and adults living with dementia can enjoy together requires thoughtful preparation to ensure a safe, fun, enjoyable, and a memorable experience for everyone.

Here are some questions to consider which will help find the right balance:

  • What are the needs and limitations of the family member with Dementia? – planning activities which are suitable for a mix of generations can be tricky.  Choosing activities which can be done together and are appropriate for the cognitive and physical abilities of a family member living with dementia, will help avoid causing them undue stress or confusion.
  • What simple summer activities are good for someone with Dementia? – Opting for activities that are easy to understand and familiar can help to reduce anxiety and increase enjoyment for the whole family group. For example, activities that encourage interaction and participation from children, such as puzzles, or crafting can foster a sense of togetherness between grandparents and their grandchildren.
  • What are the best places to take someone with Dementia this summer – overly crowded or noisy places, can be overwhelming for someone with dementia but great fun for younger children, so whilst it maybe tempting to go to an indoor soft play park, opt for an outdoor park play area where there is quite space in the shade to sit in view of the play area.
  • How to prepare for the unexpected on a family outing – create a checklist in the notes on your phone, which you can add too and of course remember any necessary medication which is needed during the day. On a hot summers day pack sufficient snacks and drinks to keep everyone hydrated as well as light snacks to boost energy levels.
  • Why is it good to have a flexible plan – As people with dementia often find comfort in familiar schedules and routine, it is good to plan activities during their best times of the day. But be prepared to adjust plans as needed and be ready if an activity becomes too overwhelming to have alternative options ready.
  • What is the best way to communicate a planned outing to someone living with Dementia? – Explain the plans clearly and calmly to the person with dementia, using simple language. Provide reassurance about the day’s activities and think about giving them a written outline of the day to refer to.
  • What are the packing essentials – For many people living with dementia leaving their familiar surroundings can create anxiety, so bring along items that provide comfort and familiarity, such as a favourite blanket, cushion, toy, or personal memento. Accidents can happen, so a change of clothes can be a good idea if you are travelling any distance. Small, portable items like books, puzzles, or sensory toys can provide a calming distraction if needed.

By thoroughly preparing and considering the collective needs of both children and an adult living with dementia, can create a harmonious and enjoyable summer holiday experience that everyone will cherish.

7 top summer activities during the school holidays.

Here are some ideas for summer holiday activities that are suitable for children aged 5 to 15 and an older grandparent living with dementia.

  • Picnics in the Park – Local parks are a great place to get together as a family, not too far from home where everyone can enjoy a picnic together. Choose a nearby park with shaded areas, toilets on hand and easy walking paths. Packing a picnic avoids needing to worry about finding everyone’s favourite foods and any dietary requirements.  The fresh air, gentle exercise, and a relaxed atmosphere can be enjoyable for everyone.

Picnic in the park

  • Gardening Together – Spending time in the garden planting flowers or vegetables, with everyone assigned simple tasks suitable for each age and ability, such as deadheading a raised bed, planting up or watering pots. Gardening is a well-known therapeutic activity that can stimulate the senses and provide a sense of accomplishment, as well as bringing back memories of past hobbies.

Langham Court terrace garden

  • Crafting Sessions– When the weather isn’t looking good, organising a crafting afternoon with activities like painting, making collages, or decorating flowerpots, can be a relaxing and creative way for everyone to express themselves and spend quality time together.

Easter

  • Visits to Museums or Animal Experiences – in recent years, many local attractions are now much more dementia-friendly offering quiet areas and accessible facilities. Having grandparents and children interacting with exhibits at a museum or animals at an open farm, can spark conversation and provide mental stimulation.

H&L Ponies

  • Movie Marathons – when it’s wet outside who doesn’t love a sofa movie day with snacks, creating a cosy atmosphere with blankets and popcorn. Choose old favourite films to spark memories as watching familiar films can be comforting and entertaining for all ages.
  • An evening of Board Games and Puzzles– Select games that are easy to understand and can be enjoyed by both children and older adults to enhance cognitive skills and provide a fun bonding experience.
  • Storytelling and Reading – shared time reading favourite books or sharing family stories, encourages children to read to their grandparent and improve communication, learning as well as creating an emotional connection.

Professional Elderly Care - Huntington and Langham resident with children

Dementia-Friendly Holidays further afield

For those able to travel further afield, planning an overseas holiday that accommodates a parent living with dementia can seem daunting.  For many families this is no longer an option, which is where a respite stay in a Dementia friendly home like Langham Court can be a fantastic option.

There are holiday companies that specialise in dementia-friendly trips, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Here are 3 well known options:

Holiday Companies Offering Dementia-Friendly Holidays

  1. Dementia Adventureprovide small group holidays for people living with Dementia and those who care for them.
  2. Saga Holidays – are a well known holiday company tailored for the over 60’s and offer a high level of service for those needing accessibility support.
  3. Able Community Careoffer a service that provides holiday carers to accompany people on holiday for personal assistance or simply companionship.

With the progression of each individuals Dementia journey, there will come a time when joining in family holidays or outings is no longer an option and it is at this point a Respite stay in a residential care home can offer a good solution to enable families to take a break.

We are always on hand to offer support and advice to families considering their holiday options.  Read the firsthand account of the husband of a respite resident of Langham Court, who did just that here.

A first hand account of organising Respite Dementia Care

At Langham Court, we are not just there to support people living with Dementia, we understand the challenges involved in arranging a move into a care home and offer advice and support to the families of prospective residents.

MD of Langham Court, Charlie Hoare recently spoke with the husband of a new respite resident in Langham Court to learn about his journey as a first time carer organising a respite stay for his wife.

Can you share the background to your wife’s Dementia diagnosis

“When my wife was diagnosed in 2019 with a rare dementia called behavioural variant Fronto Temporal Dementia or FTD as it is often described as, our lives were turned upside down and inside out in an instant.

We live in a traditional family home and we’re not set up to deal with the demands that this dementia diagnosis demands of the near relatives.”

What led you to consider a respite stay in a care home for your wife?

“As the disease was progressing rapidly and I was having to deal with more personal care issues throughout the night, as my wife’s sleep pattern was non-existent, it often resulted in me only having a couple of hours sleep. This isn’t ideal as I was the main carer for my wife and there was the real fear of me becoming a victim to carer burnout.

Along with an indicated short prognosis, and in consultation with various healthcare professionals from Adult Care Services, the GP and the NHS, it was decided that I needed respite from caring.”

What were the challenges of arranging respite care?

“I found sourcing the respite care presented its own set of complications as we were looking for a care home that was able to look after her very specific needs and furthermore, she is under the age of 65.

Unfortunately, the local non-specialist care homes did not understand the condition and we end up being the square peg trying to fit into a round hole or being flatly refused, upon them learning of the challenging conditions that can be associated with the diagnosis. At this point I sought advice from fellow Rare Dementia Support members and fortunately we were introduced to Langham Court.”

Was there anything which surprised you when you started organising your wife’s stay?

“Having never been involved in having to sort out any care home facilities before it was a very steep learning curve. I naively thought that respite care, for my weekend away, could be organised very quickly, but soon learned that it isn’t.  From talking to a number of people, the general consensus was that respite care needed to be a two week exercise. Enough time for my wife to become accustomed to her new temporary home and enough time for Langham Court to understand my wife’s condition.

After a lot of negotiation with local Adult Care Services about arranging respite care at Langham Court after about a month it became apparent that it is not as easy as booking into a hotel.

Respite care is subject to a pre-admission assessment, as well as the right room being available at the right time. I just hadn’t expected the complexities, but was extremely glad when an agreement was reached.”

After all the heartache and finally selecting Langham Court for respite, what is your take on the experience?

“It was a positive experience.  I needed a break from the caring role and I’m very grateful of the two weeks’ respite stay. I visited my wife after the first week to make sure that she realised that I was still around, but by that time she had settled into her new home environment and we were both comfortable when I headed home, which was a great reassurance for me.

The second week stay then allowed me to get away for a short holiday with friends and that really helped me and showed that there can still be a life outside the caring role. My only schoolboy error was collecting my wife on the way back from the airport and expecting to get back into the normal, routine caring straightaway.”

What would you say to anyone in your position?

“My advice to anybody now would be, go away, enjoy yourself and come home for a couple of days before you go and collect your loved one.”

Taking advantage of a respite break also allows you to consider the suitability of the care home should you need to consider this route in the future for a permanent residential care home.

You’ve probably had the “please don’t put me into a care home conversation” and frankly, I don’t think that anybody wants to think about transitioning into alternative living arrangements but sometimes it makes sense.”  Husband of a resident in Langham Court

A final word from Charlie

This gentleman’s experience is one which is very familiar to myself and the team at Langham Court.  We hear similar stories from many of the family members who come to have a tour around the estate and are considering us as a lace for their loved ones to come for respite care.  We are always happy to talk through the care needs of someone living with dementia, or offer advice to their family even if they don’t choose Langham Court.

For more information or advice please do get in touch 

How our care goes beyond just being Dementia friendly

Here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, we offer the very highest level of thoughtful and personalised care for people living with all types of Dementia

Our sterling reputation has been established over many years, and we’re now privileged to welcome people to our family who have been referred from the NHS and from other homes who can no longer support their specialist needs.

Amongst our residents, we care for people who have rare forms of dementia, as well as those whose symptoms have progressed and who are not able to stay in their existing residential homes without heavy medication.

What is dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ describes a group of symptoms caused by different diseases that damage the nerve cells in the brain. The symptoms worsen over time and can affect memory, problem-solving, language and behaviour.

As dementia is caused by different diseases, there are different types of dementia. The most common is Alzheimer’s disease, followed by Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and Frontotemporal dementia, sometimes called Pick’s disease.

Less well known are the seven rarer types of dementia, including PDA, PPA and FAD, all of which can occur at a younger age, can be wrongly diagnosed and can lead to issues accessing support from the usual existing health, social and voluntary services.

Between 5% and 15% of people living with dementia have been diagnosed with a rare, inherited or young- onset dementia.

We’re invested in learning more about dementia 

Recently, all our staff have undergone training by the Rare Dementia Support Society.

Dementia care training

We learned about all the rarer forms of dementia and how they affect people. This is vital as sometimes, when there’s a decline in cognition, we don’t know the type of dementia a person may have, especially if they can no longer have an MRI.

Now, with our staff’s insight, we can work backwards from behaviour and symptoms to diagnosis, meaning residents get the specialist care, understanding and flexibility they need.

Visit us, and you’ll quickly see that our informed and adaptable approach means we can be a home for anyone with any form of dementia.  For example, we’ve welcomed people of a young age living with YOAD dementia who have school-age families, so their needs are very different to those in their 70s+.

At our Estate, the care your loved one will receive is often beyond that found elsewhere.

We go beyond “dementia friendly”

The care we provide is very personalised, thoughtful and caring. We see how people behave and react and adapt our approach or environment to them rather than expecting them to conform to our rules.

We know that people living with rare dementia can present in different ways, and this means we can offer personalised care.  For example, one resident came to us with dementia and wanted to stay in his room over mealtimes. His dementia was not far progressed, and he was very independent, but he struggled with breakfast and lunchtime in this space.

Having learned about the symptoms associated with PCP dementia – a rare form of dementia where there’s a sensitivity to light – we gave him a pair of sunglasses, and he was happy to eat and socialise in the dining room.  He might have been labelled as “not sociable” in another home and left to eat in his room.

Personal Caring

We’re all part of a community 

At the Langham Estate, we’re part of a community. There’s no delineation between people living with us and working with us. There’s no Us and Them. We encourage residents to contribute to the life of the home however they can. Some like laying the table for a meal. Others like caring for our carers by, for example, brushing and styling their hair.

We know all our residents have value and want to feel in control. In our flexible and timetable-free environment, that means people can feel freer, and, in turn, this means that challenging behaviour is kept to a bare minimum.

Here’s a story which exemplifies our attitude to positive risk:

A resident with dementia who had previously escaped from two other care homes told us he wanted to find weak spots in our security at Langham Court and explore the surroundings. Instead of scolding him, we allowed him to act out his plans, safe in the knowledge that he couldn’t come to any harm on our large Estate.

Everyone finds their sense of purpose in different ways, and his was to find a way out – and we did not want to deprive him of this. It is a matter of balancing wellbeing and illbeing; a risk assessment of sorts, evaluating the likelihood and severity of potential outcomes of either allowing or disallowing a certain activity.

Over many weeks, he tried various escape plans, occasionally being allowed to succeed. We always found him and brought him back. Surprisingly, he was always happy to return in the knowledge that he had achieved with what he had set out to do.

 

Langham Court Terrace

How did we manage this? Well, to preserve his pride and independence, we discreetly hid a GPS tracker into his jacket and shoes. This allowed us to keep an eye on him without damaging his sense of self. By finding this balance between safety and his desire for adventure, we ensured his wellbeing while respecting his autonomy.

Our unique approach is beloved by residents and their families 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be rewarding and draining. You might want them to move to a residential home but feel guilty about how this will impact them and you.

In these cases, we often recommend bringing your loved one for a respite stay – a short break for them and you. You can relax knowing they are lovingly supported by genuinely caring people. This can also make it easier for you and your loved one if there’s a move to full-time residential care in the future.

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.  

Take a stroll down memory lane at Langham Court

We are so proud of the dementia-friendly living experience we have created thanks to the strong philosophy behind our care, how we’ve carefully designed every element of our extraordinary home and the wonderful, caring and warm staff we attract, hire and continually train.

An accredited Butterfly care home, Langham Court has always had a family-home feel, with our residents and team friends who care about each other, as much as you would in a traditional family.

There are no rotas, schedules or tick-box care plans at Langham Court. All our residents are “free to be me” – given the time, space and freedom to live exactly as they would like every day.

Langham Court Lounge

Living in households, with communal dining and open spaces indoors and out, banish all thoughts of old-fashioned traditional care homes – we couldn’t be more different.

On the street where you live

With residents living communally, we prioritise nurturing authentic relationships and communication, which is so important for people living with dementia.

However, when it comes to personal space, we focus on creating an environment as close to home as possible. Each resident has their own room, which they can furnish with their own furniture, belongings and knick-knacks, living in familiar surroundings which encourages memories and a sense of home.

All residents can have their front doors painted in their favourite colour – just like in a real street – and each door has a knocker.

Langham Court’s famous memory boxes 

Returning to their rooms, residents can orient themselves by way of “memory boxes” mounted on the wall outside their front door.

These memory boxes are full of photos and trinkets of people and times important to the resident.  Walk along any corridor, and you’ll see fantastic keepsakes from interesting lives lived well and pictures of much-loved family and friends.

Langham Court Memory Boxes

On our last walk-round, we noted photos of old pets, memorabilia of fundraising campaigns led and jobs done with pride.

Within memory boxes, there’s always something to learn about each resident, always something to comment on, and always something to stimulate conversation and encourage reminiscence.

Taking a stroll down memory lane

When residents step outside their door and go to one of our lounges or outside, they’ll walk past reminiscence areas full of – for example, pictures and items to do with travelling, sewing and gardening.

There’s a nurse’s office, the outside of which is decorated as a milliner. There’s a fascia of an old sweet shop, a travel corner with items residents past and present have brought in from the travels around the globe.

Langham Court Memory Corner

All these fascias, images and items are carefully chosen to mirror hobbies, experiences or moments our residents may have enjoyed in the past.

 

Langham Court Travel Rememberance

This becomes fertile ground for remembering, conversation, and a moment of connection and learning, which helps residents feel more understood and comfortable.

The joy of being outside

Residents can visit garden areas within our internal courtyard whenever they like. These areas are looked after partly by residents who take much pride in their gardening prowess and often have some little visitors to lend a hand.

Langham Court terrace garden

There are also enclosed outdoor terraces where residents can walk, sit and look at our animals, either alone, with another resident or with a team member.

One resident whose job involved horses loves to spend summer days in his favourite sun trap, looking out across the grounds towards the lake and at the horses who live on our Estate.

View From The Langham Court Terrace

 

“Langham feels like a family home. Photographs of the residents and staff are everywhere, as is the stuff of life – books, toys, instruments, puzzles, hats, musical instruments, and artwork. The team feel like family.  There is lots of laughter and fun evidently going on. Very caring housekeeping staff stop and chat with residents and visitors alike. The philosophy seems to be kindness and interaction first, then doing whatever task is at hand next. Langham Court is of the best standard a care home could be, and I recommend it 100%.”  – Ela S, family member

 

Visit us and see for yourself.

Langham Court is full of love, conversation, colour and joy.  It’s an extraordinary place. If you’d like to learn more about our Estate and meet our fantastic team, please call us to arrange a tour of the grounds and homes.

For more information on what it means to be a Butterfly Care Home, please read this.

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. 

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

 

An Outstanding Specialist Dementia Care Home

Researching care homes can be difficult, as they can appear to be all much of a muchness.  However, all you need to know about life at Langham Court is this: we love our residents, they love us, and we’re all one big family here.

Visit us, and the affection is palpable.  It’s obvious in how we all chat together and how those living here talk with us.  It’s intrinsic to the day-to-day life of our Estate. And it’s in the very fabric of our being – from why we were founded and have grown, to how we have embedded a strong framework with love and personalised care at our core.

Let’s take it back to the beginning.

1978 – our story begins

Our story begins in 1978 when Marylin Hoare founded one of the country’s first nursing care homes.  At the time, she was a Surrey-based nurse – so passionate about offering high-quality nursing care that she decided to open a luxury but affordable 24-hour nursing care home.

But Marylin didn’t want the replicate the perfunctory care she saw in other places – she wanted love and relationships to be at the core of her home, just as they were in family homes around the country.

Marylin Hoare

Today, the Hoare family continue to run our Estate, which now has two care homes. Marilyn and her husband Geoff still live on the Estate, while their son Charlie is now the MD and ensures Marylin’s high standards of care are still lovingly provided.

Importantly, our way of working is now codified and enshrined in the Butterfly Approach.

What is the Butterfly Approach?

Developed by Meaningful Care Matters, the Butterfly approach is built around a person-centred care culture where people are ‘free to be me’.

There are very few specialist care homes where the approach is focused on meaningful care – a surprise if you consider that everyone’s experience of living with dementia is different.

With such a variety of experiences and specialist care needs, there shouldn’t be a one size fits all approach to dementia care. And that’s why we value emotional intelligence and domestic household living, honouring the core belief that every person living with dementia has a unique story which has meaning and that matters.

Butterfly Training Day

All of our team demonstrate these core values, and we invest in them to make sure they always provide the very best possible loving care. Because of this, we live and breathe the Butterfly care culture through our family-run home and family-style care.

We care for individuals, their personal needs and emotions, enabling our team to access the interior world of all our residents. But what does that look like in practice?

Daily life at Langham Court

Team members offer every resident the time and space to be themselves. We connect with everyone individually– getting to know them, their families and what gives them joy.

We understand what matters most to everyone on any one day, so all care is personalised in the moment.

Every hour of every day, we empower our residents to live as they did independently.  We bring their world into their daily life at Langham Court, stimulating them and building on their mental agility, encouraging them to continue pastimes or even take up new hobbies.

Meaningful moments

To do this well, our team are warm, caring and nurturing. They are also respectful, flexible and kind, enabling our residents to have a feeling of belonging and the ability to be spontaneous in the knowledge that their well-being and individuality are important to us.

What is unique about  Langham Court is our family-style dining which encourages conversation and a community feel. At the same time, individual doors to bedrooms mean privacy is there when residents need it.

Langham Court

We’re so happy with our recent extension, designed with specialist dementia living in mind, with three new day rooms with different views over the Estate and access to the enclosed outdoor patio area or sun terrace.

“Langham Court is set up as separate households that all share dining areas, offering small-scale living within self-contained communities. Residents within these households tend to gravitate towards the shared areas in the day in much the same way as you would at home, to dine together and spend time with one another, but in a way that avoids the mass dining experience of many other care homes.” – Charlie, our MD.

Wherever you are in Langham Court, you’ll see and feel the love.  If you’d like to learn more about our Estate and meet our fantastic team, please call us to arrange a tour of the grounds and homes.

For more information on what it means to be a Specialist Dementia Care Home and how to select one for your needs, please read this article.

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.  

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

 

Spreading Joy at Langham Court

We all need moments of joy in our lives and as a Homemaker at Langham Court, there is nothing more rewarding than spreading Joy amongst those who live in our Specialist Dementia Care Home.

Claire shares with our MD Charlie Hoare what makes the role of Homemaker so special, providing emotional wellbeing with no one day the same. With the team all bringing their own personal passions into their roles, Claire explains how her go to is creating moment of joy through music.

Remembrance Sunday

Lest we forget

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – we remembered them.

In preparation for remembrance Maggie created a beautiful poppy field on the lawn in front of Huntington House, with more poppies added each day in the run up to Sundays service.

Remembrance Sunday The residents decorated the window in the main lounge looking out onto the grounds with their stunning autumnal colours.  The staff created some beautiful knitted poppies from the red Huntington House wool, which were on display at reception to welcome visitors, with new smart plaques on the front door too.

Remembrance Sunday decorationsLest we forger

The importance of short term Respite Care

The importance of short term Respite Care

The demand for Respite Care during the summer months is unsurprisingly high, with many families heading off on holidays whilst their children are on the summer break from school and others planning action packed days, during the warm weather.

For those who have a caregiving role in the family, the need to balance the support they give with their wider family can be challenging at this time of year.  Whilst caregiving is very rewarding, it is demanding both physically and mentally and being able to take time away, can be hugely beneficial to health and wellbeing.

What is the purpose of Respite Care?

Taking a break from caring for someone else is the main reason people consider respite care, giving carers time for themselves.  This can be based on day care, care in the home or a short stay at a residential care home of 1 to 4 weeks.

Professional Elderly Care - Huntington and Langham resident with children

When is it time to consider Respite Care?

There are many reason caregivers make the decision to organise Respite Care for a person they support and our recommendation where possible is to plan this ahead of time during busy periods like the Summer Holidays.

  • Simply take time out to reboot and recharge physically and mentally
  • To enable them to spend more time with children or the family during school holidays
  • When the list of general household to do’s aren’t getting done and they need to catch up on themselves.
  • During renovation work to the home, which is likely to be disruptive
  • The need to attend medical appointments or treatment themselves
  • They simply just need a break

What are the benefits of short term residential respite care?

Whilst there are a number of options available for a respite break, such as asking friends or family to help out, employing a live-in carer or sourcing home care from a paid carer, there are added benefits from opting for short term residential care.

A short term stay in a luxury all inclusive residential home like Huntington House, can be a holiday in itself for people who need extra help in their day to day lives or live alone with change of scenery and the peace of mind being in a welcoming, safe and secure environment.

These short stays can also be a great opportunity to trial the services and environment of a Residential home, if a full time move is being considered.  The socialness of joining in activities and chatting to the other residents and staff is often the thing people enjoy the most from their stay.

Respite Care for people living with Dementia can also be beneficial when it is in a specialist dementia care home like Langham Court.  With the reassurance the person living with dementia’s needs will be taken care of, gives carers peace of mind to have a break whilst the stimulation of taking part in activities created with individual abilities and needs in mind can be a positive experience for those living with dementia

Residential care

 

Who pays for respite care?

Where respite care can’t be fully funded within the family, there is funding available for respite care and local councils will complete an assessment of both your individual living and financial circumstances.   This will be completed as a carer’s assessment and a needs assessment for the person who needs the care.

The Huntington & Langham approach to respite care

Whether recovering from an operation, injury or medical condition, or if you’re a carer and need somewhere safe for your loved one to stay while you take some time for yourself, our respite care is second to none and comes part and parcel with complete peace of mind.

We create a personalised care plan before any stay so that you and your loved ones can relax, knowing we’re providing specialist support in a comfortable home from home.   We often find people settle into the home very quickly and extend their stay.

“I don’t think you could find many Huntington’s. It’s extremely well run. Different people get different things. I love it! I came for two weeks and have stayed for months. It’s the attitude you just couldn’t fault. They have been very understanding to me as a smoker as so many places don’t these days. AND they’ve let me have my dog Woolly – they had a vote on it and then Maggie said “Woolly is welcome!” Respite Resident at Huntington House

You’ll be welcomed into the family and are encouraged to make the most of all that we have to offer here, such as an exciting activities programme, freshly-cooked meals and beautiful gardens, along with high quality care from our fantastic team.

Huntington House is a leading accredited Level One Dragonfly Residential Home.  In our recent audit we received an Excellent rating from the team at Meaningful Care Matters, who described our care as:

“A highly engaged service with a high value on meaningful moments and a true person-centred philosophy, which is congruent in look, sound and feel as well as with regulatory compliance requirements. People’s individuality and expression is evident, and people can express that freedom and be themselves.

MCM Dragonfly Care

Our Home Maker team have a great mix of different skills and interests which helps offer variety in the day; with some residents enjoying the more structured activities such as quizzes whilst others value time with the team who are great at offering more 1-to-1 time and conversations.

How can I organise Respite Care?

If you, as a caregiver, need some time out, or you feel your loved one might benefit from a change of scenery, our respite and daycare services could be ideal for you.

We encourage anyone thinking of Respite care to come and visit us to take a tour of the homes and Estate, simply give us a call on 01428 604600 or Email us at huntington@hlestate.co.uk

 

How do you choose the right type of Care Home?

For many people, it is not until you find yourself in the situation where, either a close relative or you need greater support with personal care, that the question “What types of care homes are available?” needs answering.

If you then find yourself overwhelmed with the multiple and varied choices you can have to receiving care and support, you are certainly not alone.

Thankfully there are several independent practical guides and resources online, which we can recommend to explain the options available and provide practical tips on choosing the right type of care.

What is the difference between a care home and a nursing home?

The AgeUK website is a good place to start your research, so you can be clear what the differences are between a care home and a nursing home and how these relate to people living with Dementia.

Age UK offer an overview of the main types of care provision and an independent view of the options available.

  • Care Homes – is the most commonly used phrase when referring to services such as ‘providing personal care, such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They may also offer social activities such as day trips or outings’.
  • Nursing Homes – (or Care Homes with nursing) ‘provide personal care as well as assistance from qualified nurses. Sometimes called care homes with nursing.’
  • Care Homes with dementia care – ‘designed to make people with dementia feel comfortable and safe’
  • Nursing Homes with Dementia Care – whilst not currently covered by Age UK on their website, this is a specialist category of care for those living with Dementia that we would also include given our experience at Langham Court where we are able to offer our residents bespoke nursing care aligned to their personal needs.

 

How do I choose a Residential Care Home?

Before starting on your journey to creating a shortlist of prospective homes, we would always recommend talking to a professional, such as a GP to help establish the right approach to care needed for yourself or a loved one.

A needs assessment is, however, only part of the process to choosing the right home.   The style of home you select is a very important decision when it comes to making the move into Residential Care of any genre.

There are several national chains of Residential care providers in the UK, many offering a hotel or concierge style experience for residents at their properties.  With smaller regional chains offering their own models of care, by comparison at The Huntington and Langham Estate, as we are a family owned and run home, we are passionate that we offer just that –  a family home from home for all our residents.

Everyone’s approach to how they like to live is personal, which is why we encourage our prospective residents, along with their families to visit us and spend time familiarising themselves in our home.  Quite often it’s the moment people step through the door that they know it’s right.  Just like buying a new house, it’s the location, outlook, decoration, and layout which create those first impressions.

With so many properties and models of care available, Carehome.co.uk is a good source of information, offering a comprehensive directory of over 17,000 homes across the UK.  Their website makes it easy to search by location and type of care.   Featuring reviews and awards, also offering comprehensive details of each property and a rating for comparison.

 

What makes a good Care Home or Nursing Home?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are the main regulatory body of all health and social care providers the nation over.

Carrying out inspections of all properties they are a good source of information about the standard of care you should expect to receive, rating the 5 set categories of: Safe / Effective / Caring / Responsive and Well-led.

We go beyond these categories to focus on a person centred care approach, partnering with Meaningful Care Matters to provide a meaningful experience for our residents everyday allowing them to be “Free To Be Me” each and every day.  All of our team are conscious of doing the right thing “in the moment” for our residents, rather than be constrained by schedules or processes.

Adopting the Butterfly and Dragonfly approaches to care, we believe we are able to improve the quality of life and lived experiences for all in our care.

 

What are the options to fund care homes or self-funding your long term care?

3 useful links to begin your research into the funding of care are listed below.  Talking to a local solicitor or accountant can also be a good source of information as they will often be supporting others take the most effective approach to funding care.

We would also be happy to share our knowledge of options for funding for anyone considering becoming a resident at The H&L Estate.

 

We are here to help you make the right choices

Whilst choosing the right care home or nursing home can seem daunting, with lots of things to be taken into consideration, there is lots of help available and a willingness to help.  After all we are all #GladToCare.

Please do get in touch with us if you would like to visit The Huntington & Langham Estate, the kettle is always on!

Advice For Handling A Dementia Diagnosis In A Loved One

When your loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, the world can suddenly feel upside down and out of kilter. Here, Charlie Hoare, Managing Director at Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindead, gives advice on handling a dementia diagnosis in a loved one.

Dementia Is A Journey

Dementia is a journey. It often starts in a dark, hostile place with a flimsy leaflet as a map and everyone assuming you know which way up to hold it. But you are not alone on this journey; there are various people and organisations that can be your companions along the way.

If you feel lost already, Alzheimer’s Society is a good place to start. Their website maps out all you need to know about dementia – from ‘signs and symptoms’ to an online shop with a whole host of helpful items, such as Velcro clothes by The ABLE Label that promote dignity and independence.

Understanding Dementia Can Be Overwhelming

Be wary of information overload though. Dementia is a huge topic that even dedicated researchers do not fully understand yet. If you do become overwhelmed, the brilliantly named Dementia Adventure has an invaluable free online dementia skills session called Mood & Motivation. You must attend their ‘Thinking Differently About Dementia’ first, but once you have, you will be scouring their website for other sessions to attend, not to mention their supported holidays.

Dementia Home Care Or A Dementia Care Home?

At some point you will decide how best to look after your loved one; either as an unpaid carer or enlisting the help of home care or a care home. Either way, you will likely feel a huge sense of responsibility for them, not to mention all the emotions that come along for the ride – guilt, loss, frustration, stress. There are no two ways about it, you need to look after yourself as well. This is easier said than done when you are also juggling the endless demands of your own life, but coaching is a concept that could help.

Coaching For Unpaid Carers

Coaching is currently growing in popularity way beyond the realms of sport where it is most associated with specialist coaches for eating, sleeping, and every other aspect of life. Coaching For Unpaid Carers is a refreshing resource that aims to empower people to live the life they choose. The ‘Stress Buster’ video on their website is worth a watch. But there are many local lifestyle coaches that may be able to support you. Aim to find a recommendation or contact a reputable agency.

Specialist Dementia Care Homes

Finally, there are specialist dementia care homes for any crises along your journey. In our experience at Langham Court, and despite promises they may have made to their loved ones, people either contact us at the beginning of their journey for reassurance that help is at hand when needed, or when they have reached a crossroads in their care due to a hospital admission, an incident at home or a discussion about the end of life with their GP or other family members.

Moving Into Care Is Not The End

People often feel as though moving into a care home is the end of their journey, but good care homes will work with you rather than replace you. For some it marks the beginning of a new journey, one where they remain part of the care provided but regain their relationship with their loved one. But everyone’s journey is unique, and you must find the support that suits you.

Charlie Hoare is the Managing Director of the Huntington & Langham Estate, which includes specialist dementia home, Langham Court. A fully accredited Butterfly model care home, Langham Court puts the individual at the heart of all of its decision making, ensuring both the home environment and care is tailored to care recipients’ personal preferences and needs.

If you’d like to discover more about Langham Court, please contact us