Sensory Trail supporting Dementia Action Week

In support of Dementia Action Week 2024, The Huntington & Langham Estate are opening their grounds for a Sensory Trail on Saturday 18th May from 10am to 4pm. The trail consists of nearly a kilometre of wheelchair-accessible gravel paths through grazing fields of sheep and horses and wildlife-rich woodland.

Along the trail there will be garden-related memorabilia to spot and handmade crafts to catch your eye while listening out for the sounds of the various avian visitors to the Estate, including the tapping of a hungry woodpecker and the screech of a soaring buzzard.

Dementia Action Week

The trail will take you to the lakeside pavilion or the covered picnic benches outside the Shepherd’s Hub tearoom where you are welcome to sit for a while. There will be hot and cold drinks available from the Sherpherd’s Hub for a small donation to Alzheimer’s Society, and you are welcome to bring your own picnic if you wish.

In the morning, between 10am to 12noon there will also be opportunities to take part in some dementia-friendly and family-friendly activities, including mindfulness moments with Kat from Creating Kinder Kids, gentle walking exercise sessions with Jo from STOMP Fitness, and rides around the Estate on the Cycling Without Age electric-assisted tricycle. And in the afternoon, there will be trips available in the Estate’s own adapted electric buggies.

No need to book, just turn up on the day and enjoy the Estate.

Intergenerational Easter at the Estate

Easter at The Huntington & Langham Estate was eventful, kicked off with a special delivery of carefully handcrafted cards from the children at St John’s Infant School in Churt. Colourful and creative, the cards started many a conversation about the meaning of Easter, signs of Spring, finger painting, and of course how much everyone enjoys chocolate!

Easter cards

Managing Director Charlie Hoare, who attended St John’s Infant School himself over 30 years ago, said: “it was lovely seeing the residents reminded of their own childhood through the interactions with the children from St John’s. Indeed, it reminded me of my own! Everyone enjoys a bit of reminiscence. It brings a gratitude for having experienced that chapter of our lives.”

Easter fun

Residents spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the Lindt chocolate bunnies gifted by the Hoare family, taking part in an egg hunt, and catching up with family.

Other Spring events coming up on the Estate include a Eukele concert, a visit from Haslemere Museum, and trike rides around the grounds with Cycling Without Age.

Sing along

The Estate will also be opening up their grounds to the public with a dementia-friendly sensory trail on Saturday 18th May (10am-4pm) as part of Dementia Action Week.

Unlocking the potential of people living with Dementia

Looking forwards into May we are putting the final plans in place for Dementia Action Week, which this year runs from 13th to 19th May.  Collaborating with our local community in Grayshott, we will be raising awareness of how people can act on Dementia and widen the support for families living with Dementia across the area.

Specialist Dementia Care at Langham Court

Every year we support many families work through their journey when the time comes to decide if it is right for a loved one to move into a care home.  We see our role as being a trusted advisor, sharing information, advice and the benefits others in their position have experienced following a relative or friend living with Dementia make the move into Langham Court.

Langham Court

Why are we so good at caring for people living with Dementia?

Whilst we find people often come to live at Langham Court in the middle to later stage of their Dementia journey or when someone has specialist needs, our person-centred Butterfly approach enables us to support people at an earlier stage of Dementia, unlocking their potential and drawing out some of the skills, emotions and memories which the disease is taking from them.

We care for the person as they are now and also have respect for and interest in the person they have been throughout their life. Using our person-centred care approach, the team will discover what music preferences residents may have had, what people’s hobbies have been, their favourite books and how they lived their lives before Dementia. We’ll get a strong holistic view of them as a person and will honour that person in how we communicate with and care for them.

Our homemakers take a vital role in this, arranging activities each day which are open to residents to participate in (or not). We are experts at creating meaningful moments for everyone in our care each day, however small that may be.  We are proud to offer unlimited care and are not governed by tiers of available care time per person like other homes.  Read more about the ro our Homemakers 

We know that people with Dementia can live well and benefit from our specialist support and interaction throughout the day, when they need us or are ready to engage with us. We are, of course, also able to care for people with Dementia when they need high-dependency support or nursing and our household living model is perfect to manage this within Langham Court.

Harnessing the power of creativity

Over the years, we’ve seen that music can unlock the potential and abilities of people with Dementia. It’s a really effective tool for meaningful moments.

When we know a resident’s musical preferences as part of knowing and understanding them, it’s beneficial for reminiscence activities which enhance their sense of identity.  The Homemakers will often organise a theme day such as our recent 60’s day at Langham Court.

Music vibes

We know that music also stimulates physical health, influencing movement and heart rate. The social interaction accompanying the music is essential to reconnecting residents with others and leading to a sense of joy and togetherness. Quite often, we get glimpses of a resident how they would have been decades ago. It’s a pleasure to behold.

Music and dance can have a profound benefit for residents with Dementia, with previously sedentary people getting up and dancing or singing the lyrics to songs when generally they find it hard to communicate.

Dance At Langham Court

Other activities available at Langham Court include our Gardening Club and Art Classes, as well as shared reading of well-known short stories or poetry, which we find can also unlock emotions (joy, excitement or sadness), creating shared connections and new forms of engagement.

Dementia Tailored Activities

Families enjoy visiting our residents.

Offering all inclusive care for us goes beyond just supporting a resident living with Dementia with their personal needs each day, our holistic approach focused on creating meaningful moments also extends to the family and friends who come to visit.

Families often tell us that they enjoy being able to spend quality time with their loved ones when they come to visit Langham Court, safe in the knowledge their medical and personal needs are well catered for, they can focus on the moment and create meaningful interactions whilst they and their loved ones are both relaxed.

For some that may include a walk around the Estate (we have wheelchair accessible paths or our golf buggy for those who struggle with mobility), have grandchildren help with the raised beds around the terraces, or simply take afternoon tea together in one of the residents lounges.

Meaningful Moments

The knowledge that so many families get inspiration and comfort from seeing some of the positive behavioural and emotional changes which are evident in their loved one since they moved in with us, is all the motivation we need to continue to enhance the specialist dementia care we offer at Langham Court.

At the Huntington & Langham Estate, we provide 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.

Flower power at our Dementia care home

We often associate dementia with memory loss, but it can be the loss of confidence that comes with the symptoms of dementia that has the biggest impact on people. Having to be reminded of your own children’s names, realising you are repeating yourself, and needing support with daily life can have a huge knock-on effect to your self-worth.

However, we use empowerment to re-establish people’s sense of purpose. At Langham Court we tap into the skills of the people living and working there to ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute to their community.

One of our carers happens to also be a florist, so rather than simply buying a bouquet for someone’s birthday or to welcome a new resident, she will bring in flowers for people to arrange for the same purpose, making the gift of giving even more special for all.

Flower Power

Seeing the fruits of their labour being enjoyed and appreciated by others helps these budding florists to feel appreciated.

Managing Director, Charlie Hoare, says “When we first opened Langham Court, one resident commented that it was wonderful to feel of some use, and it has really stayed with me and remains at the heart of what we do”. Langham Court uses a care model called The Butterfly Approach to embed this into our care culture,

You can find more information about the butterfly approach here

A review of 2023 from the H&L Estate

We have had a wonderful year here at the Huntington and Langham Estate.

Join us in a review of the highlights, from fabulous food, to days in the sunshine and outings to our favourite places, we have shared fun days with friends and family, and are grateful for such a wonderful place to live!

Wishing you all a happy 2024.

Christmas at the Huntington and Langham Estate

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

From early December there has been a vibrant buzz around Huntington House and Langham Court, as Christmas preparations began.

With successful decorations shopping trips completed, the festive decorations went up and there was much chatter about further outings to buy gifts and of course decisions to be made about the Christmas week parties and what to wear!

We often get asked, what is it like celebrating Christmas in a Residential Care home and without a doubt we always say it is amazing fun and this year has been a hoot!

Christmas Shopping

As part of our activity programme in Huntington House we have regular visits from the local small furry animals with their cute Guinea Pigs and Rabbits and a Birds of Prey centre.

This month Angela brought along some delightful Owls and Hawks to meet the residents.  Being located in the Surrey countryside we often hear the Owls hoot at night around the woods, so it was wonderful to be able to see them up close.

Birds of Prey visit

We are always conscious that for some Christmas can be a period of sadness, thinking of loved ones no longer with us.  Our homemaking team are very sensitive to this and always make time for quieter moments of reading together with residents, or chatting with those who are maybe overwhelmed by the wider festivities.

Small furry animals

Huntington House Residents Christmas party

With the Christmas jumpers and Christmas cakes taking pride of place in the restaurant at Huntington House by mid December, it was time to get the party started!

What a wonderful afternoon we all had at this years residents Christmas party!  With fancy dress hats and masks, silly games organised by our lovely homemakers and of course wonderful cakes and treats from the catering team, it was a special day.

Christmas Party Time

Christmas party time Santa visits the Huntington and Langham Estate

With a sprinkle of magic Elf dust, the arrival of the H&L Estate Elf express created great excitement for the team and residents, as Santa and Mrs Claus pulled up outside the Shepherds Hub to share some Christmas cheer and festive memories with everyone.

The H&L Elf Express

With one more sleep to go, Christmas eve was made even more special with a visit from Mr Kipling our little Donkey friend who joined us for afternoon tea and the beautiful cakes, decorated with roses.Christmas Eve in a residential care home

Christmas Day at Huntington House

Christmas Day at Huntington House like many homes, started with a leisurely breakfast and the sharing of gifts in the lounge by the Christmas tree, before settling into the restaurant for a feast of Turkey and all the trimmings with friends and family.  Christmas day in a residential care home

Our wonderful team of homemakers, catering staff and carers have been outstanding, making Christmas a joyful time for all creating some wonderful memories to share with family and friends.

 

Remembrance Sunday

November is always a month for reflection at the Estate with Remembrance Sunday an important date in our calendar. The team have once again outdone themselves with the poppy display, which Kevin captured so well in his night time pictures.

Remembrance Sunday

Lest we forget

We honoured those who lost their lives in the line of duty this month, with displays of poppies around the grounds and the sales of knitted poppies, kindly made by Sarah.

A regular visitor to the Estate is Kevin Jacot, who took these stunning photos of our poppy display one evening, after a late afternoon singing rendition for the residents.

Using his car headlights, he has captured a poignant view of the fountain and sunset. Kevin has played and sang songs for us for many years and is lovingly enjoyed by all.

Remembrance display

Unveiling the Joy of Animal Therapy for Dementia Care

Here at the Huntington and Langham Estate we are always on the lookout for ways to bring joy, comfort, and moments of connection to those we support and one extraordinary avenue that has proven to be a beacon of light is animal therapy, often known as pet therapy.

We find it is a profound way to bring smiles and meaningful moments of peace to individuals living with dementia, all of contributes to our unique approach to providing specialist dementia care..

The magic of animal therapy lies in the beautiful connections it fosters and witnessing the transformative power animals can have in the lives of those struggling with dementia.  The gentle presence of animals wandering freely around the lounges of Langham Court has provided comfort, evoked memories, and stimulated emotional responses, that might otherwise not be experienced by some.

Dogs are often the stars in the world of animal therapy due to their innate ability to offer companionship and love unconditionally. Their playful energy and affection can brighten the darkest of days. Cats, with their soothing purrs and calming presence, also weave their magic in the lives of those battling dementia and are regular visitors to the Estate.

Welcome Mr Kipling

But let’s talk about a less conventional yet equally impactful therapy animal – the donkey. Yes, you read that right! Donkeys, with their serene demeanour and endearing nature, are gradually making their mark in the realm of animal-assisted therapy. Their calm and friendly disposition can work wonders in soothing individuals with dementia.

So imagine the joy that the arrival of Mr Kipling to the Estate had!

Pet therapy

As he wandered along the corridor into the lounge, those in the room beamed with smiles of surprise at their new visitor. With his soft, velvety nose, gently nudging peoples hands, it was evident that the experience triggered memories and emotions for some, evoking smiles and sparking conversations for others.

The tactile experience of petting a donkey’s soft fur can be immensely therapeutic in creating meaningful moments for those living with dementia.  By encouraging sensory stimulation and often prompting a flash of reminiscences of childhood days spent in the countryside, Christmas nativity plays or pet ponies, bringing forth tales of farm life or simply the delight of being close to such a gentle creature.

Welcome to Mr Kipling

Animal therapy with donkeys, or any other animal for that matter, isn’t just about the immediate joy it brings. Scientifically, it’s been proven that interacting with animals can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It also stimulates social interaction and improves overall emotional well-being, crucial for those navigating the challenges of dementia.

So, if you’re caring for someone living with dementia, don’t underestimate the power of animal therapy. Whether it’s a wagging tail, a gentle purr, or the heartwarming presence of a donkey, these incredible creatures have the ability to touch the hearts and souls of those in need of a little extra love and comfort.

60’s day at Langham Court

The Summer of 23!

Music is such an important part of creating meaningful moments for those living with dementia and the 60’s is a favourite era for many of our residents in Langham Court.

So always game for dressing up, the team dug out their headbands and floral tops for a day filled with 60’s tunes and fun, bringing back lots of memories of days gone by.

Music vibes

We also used the day to introduce our new music walls, utilising some of the vinyl’s which were kindly donated following last month’s newsletter – Thank you!

A clever idea was to add a coloured buzzers to the walls by the records, which when pressed play a favourite track. They are already attracting a lot of plays, as people pass by and the occasional singalong!

60's day at Langham Court

More information about our approach to Dementia care and the Butterfly Approach  

A flying visit from Berkshire Birds of Prey

What a day we had!

The team from Berkshire Birds of Pray joined us here at the Huntington & Langham Estate, to provide a flying display from a selection of owls, falcons and hawks.

Birds of prey display

We all joined them outside on the courtyard and were delighted to be able to handle some of these wonderful birds and see them up close.  They were very friendly and interactive and used to being with strangers, taking an aerial view of the Estate as they flew between us.

Charlie Hoare MD “It was heartwarming to see so many families enjoying time together at The Huntington & Langham Estate for the bird of prey display. The time when so many care homes were closed to visitors altogether due to COVID-19 still lurking in the back of people’s minds, not to mention the recent talk of a new variant, there was a defiant buzz at this event that seemed more akin to a village fete than an activity in a care home.

The birds of prey were indeed impressive; agile hawks, tiny baby owls and plenty in between. However, the most memorable moments of the day came from the interactions between family and friends; a daughter taking a selfie with their mother and an owl and laughing over it together, a shy grandchild being encouraged to hold a hawk almost as big as them, and a member of staff stroking the soft wings of a bird being held by a resident.

How well attended it was highlighted just how inclusive care homes can be. Perhaps care homes should be judged not by what they offer to their residents alone, but what they provide for whole families.”