Walk like an Egyptian!

A big thank you to Haslemere Educational Museum for visiting us again at Huntington House.  This time we had a fascinating session all about mummies and Egyptian artefacts.

Discovering Egyptian Artefacts

It’s always a wonderful day when we have a visit from the museum as the residents have so much to talk about afterwards, especially reminiscing about travelling to Egypt and discovering the Pyramids and wonderful history in person.

 

Advice for planning the move into a care home

When the decision has been made to make the move into a care home, there are a number of things to think about whilst planning the actual move.  Forward planning will help to ease what can be a challenging time for all involved, just as any house move can be.

Overcoming any personal concerns before the move

For the person moving home it can be a big change, so it is important for family supporting the move to be supportive and considerate of their feelings, as the thought of the move is bound to be daunting.  Whilst there will be lots to think about and organise, our advice is to remember to take time out to listen to any concerns in order to be able to find answers and offer reassurance.

We find those who visit us here at The Huntington and Langham Estate a number of times before the big day, become more familiar with their new home and by meeting the team and residents, they start to build new friendships quickly.  If time and budget permits, it is also worth considering a short respite stay, in preparation for a full time move.

Residents on the terrace

Arranging the best day to move into a residential home

For many families of a relative planning to move into a care home, due to work and family commitments the weekend is generally the best time, however not all residential care homes will take admissions over the weekend.  We are more than happy to welcome you all any day of the week.

“I love to be able to welcome our new residents and their families over a weekend, as we understand the pressures of juggling work and family commitments during the week and want to make the move a stress free for everyone”  Sarah Chapman, Director

We suggest agreeing the schedule with the wider family, as far in advance as possible so that the day itself runs smoothly.  When you arrive its easy to just stay in the new room, but at Huntington House and Langham Court we encourage families to take time to go with their loved one to meet other residents and staff members, or to spend time in the shared areas together.

Our team will be on hand to welcome you all and we are conscious how upsetting the big goodbye on the first day can be, so are happy if the family slip away whilst our homemakers involve our new resident in doing something, so there isn’t the big break.

Visitors are welcome at anytime and we can arrange to prepare lunch for guest in one of our private rooms.

Welcome to The H&L Estate

 Packing for a move into a care home

As with any move it is good to plan ahead what to bring along to your new home.

There may be some items you want to replace or treasured possession not to be forgotten.  If you are packing for someone else, it can be easy to forget or not know their favourite items of clothing for example so again, it’s good to open up the conversation well in advance, to give time to decide what is or isn’t coming.

As space may be a little more limited, it’s good to check this when you visit the home and plan how the items of furniture coming along will fit in the available space.

A few tips we share with families are:

  • As with the H&L Estate there are generally phone points in all bedrooms and private phonelines can be connected via BT, who will allocate a personal number to the room and bill in the same way as in a private home.
  • Electronic devices – any devices being taken with you into a new home will need to be in working order and in some cases checked by an expert (PAT tested) to make sure they are not a fire risk. So if there is a favourite radio or alarm clock which you plan to bring it is worth checking this in advance so not to be without it.
  • Internet – WIFI is available in each room and the team are on hand to help set up personal computers or tablets.
  • Pets – At the Estate we are happy to discuss loyal pets also joining our extended family, and will just have a few questions to check before giving the green light.
  • Clothing – It is a good idea to label clothes, as this will help them to not get muddled up in the laundry.

Top tip for making a care home feel like home

At H&L we actively encourage our residents to place items around the home, not just in their private rooms, as you will see if you visit us we have an eclectic array of artwork and photography around the walls all from our residents.

artworkProfessional Elderly Care - Cosy living room at Huntington House in Surrey

We have a great guide to help families think about how to decorate their loved one’s space as the things we have around our home generally have a memory or significance attached to them.

All of our rooms will be freshly decorated for your arrival and you’ll have a choice of colour, with new residents welcome to bring their own bedding to make their private room more familiar.

Decorating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also encourage you to bring your own furniture and will make our best efforts to make the room available before move day to bring in any pieces of furniture into the home.

Residential Home

Let our family look after your family

We work hard to make The Huntington and Langham Estate a home away from home and empower each person to continue living how they wish to.  We don’t talk about activities and interests, we talk about life and living and have received some wonderful feedback from both our residents and their families which you can see here

Testimonial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would love to invite you to visit our beautiful estate.

Please contact us via the web form or give us a call on 01428 604600 – one of our friendly team members will be happy to help you.

 

Are you planning ahead for Residential Care this winter?

With the rising cost of living and fuel prices set to reach over £4,200 a year, It is not surprising that families are worrying about how older relatives and friends are going to cope during the winter months, in particularly those who need to keep the heating on longer during the day to stay warm.

With the demand for Residential Care on the rise, here at the Huntington and Langham Estate, we are seeing a trend of more enquiries for last minute emergency admissions into our homes.

We will always do our utmost to accommodate all requests as quick as possible, but there may not be a room available straight away and others on the waitlist, along with the need to complete the required steps and paperwork to meet the required regulations.

Professional Elderly Care - Cosy living room at Huntington House in SurreyIf you think that there is potential a family member could benefit from additional support over the winter months, require respite care or is considering making the move into Residential Care, our advice is to start planning now.

How to choose the right type of care.

At The Huntington and Langham Estate, we adopt a holistic approach in both our homes and prioritise giving every member of our team and our residents a meaningful day every single day.   For a selection of our recent resident activities take a look at our latest news

Huntington and langham estate

As there are a number of alternative styles of Residential Care, to consider we have covered the options available in our guide to How do you choose the right type of care home?

Is your loved one living with dementia?

As an award winning specialist butterfly home for dementia care, we provide family orientated dementia care and are here to help when the time comes that the progression of their symptoms means it is no longer safe for them to continue living at home.

Our butterfly approach to dementia care is proven to make a huge difference to the quality of life of a person living with dementia and in our article on the website share 5 benefits of seeking professional dementia care.

Langham Court

For anyone considering a move into a specialist home for dementia care, we offer advice on How to choose the right dementia care home for your loved.

 

What you can expect when contacting the team at Huntington & Langham about Residential Care

Whether contacting us here at the Huntington and Langham Estate by email or a phone call, our priority from that first conversation is to learn more about your circumstances, personal situation and needs.

It may feel that we are asking lots of questions, quite early on, but as we know everyone’s situation is unique, the information you share means we can discuss with you the support we can offer.

 

The benefits of coming to visit the Estate and take a tour of our homes.

Whenever feasibly possible for your family, we will recommend that you come and visit us at the Estate, to get a true sense of our home and approach to care.   We can take you on a tour of the facilities, look at our available rooms and potentially meet some of our residents.

This is also a great opportunity for us to answer any questions you have, to help you make an informed decision about which home is best for your circumstance, provide reassurance about living in our home and talk about menu choices, activities and funding your stay.

If you are keen to take the next steps to becoming a resident, we can detail what will happen should you want to move in and explain about the pre-admission assessment.

 

What is a pre-admission assessment?

One of the requirements of the Care Quality Commission is that for all new residents we complete an assessment with one of our trained staff.

This is nothing to worry about, we just want to make sure we can provide the best level of care for your situation, by asking a number of questions which help us to understand the personal needs of anyone who wants to move into one of our homes.

There are no right or wrong answers, it is simply how we collect the information we need to create a personalised care plan and make sure we are able to provide any specific support or care each person requires.  As well as health information we cover topics such as dietary requirements, hobbies,

We can complete the form face to face, on a virtual call or over the phone, however it works best for you and your family.

 

Is Residential Care right for you?

Making the final decision to move into a care home for the first time is always a difficult one with many emotions for all involved and deciding if residential care is right for you and your family can take time to consider.

If you are unsure about the benefits of a move into a residential home, in our article 5 ways residential assisted living can improve quality of life  we share the feedback from our residents and their families who have taken the step to join us on the Estate.

 

We would love to invite you to visit our beautiful estate. Please contact us via the web form or give us a call on 01428 604600 – one of our friendly team members will be happy to help you.

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

 

Leading the way as a Dragonfly accredited Residential Care Home

Huntington House continues to lead the way in the provision of residential care and as the first accredited Level One Dragonfly Home, achieving an Excellent rating from Meaningful Care Matters, for the delivery of the Dragonfly Approach in 2022.

Offering a highly engaged service with a high value on meaningful moments and a true person-centred philosophy. People’s individuality and expression is evident and people can express that freedom and be themselves.

“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!” Resident of Huntington House

Molly and ChristineMeaningful Care Matters conducted the audit during June 2022, accrediting the home with flying colours, recognising the hugely impressive achievement of the whole team at the Huntington & Langham Estate after the challenges of the last two years from managing Covid-19.

On receiving the news Charlie Hoare, Managing Director of The Huntington and Langham Estate said:

“I’m so very proud of our team, and completely overwhelmed with the outcome, especially having managed to maintain such a high standard of true person-centred care when Covid-19 has presented so many challenges along the way.

Reading the report made me incredibly emotional, having needed to navigate the government Covid-19 guidance over the last 2 years, whilst maintaining our family ethos and the Dragonfly Approach at Huntington House.  Knowing that the effort to balance it all, has had a positive impact on people’s lives makes it all worthwhile.

There is something so fundamental about looking after each other; it is why we exist as humans. Life in care homes should reflect life in general, and while the care industry still has a way to go to achieve a truly holistic approach, being the first accredited Level One Dragonfly Home is arguably the best evidence that we are leading the way.

For me, both professionally and personally, it’s the positive comments from the people that live and work here that are so important, as well as feedback from family members.

Having an independent audit by Meaningful Care Matters, ensures that we remain focused on the most important part of running a care home; the people and their freedom to be themselves.

The expert insights provided in this years report, into how to embrace people’s individuality, and the impact of the environment on their experience of life in a care home, will become our care encyclopaedia for the next year, until the next audit!”

Established in 2019, Meaningful Care Matters (MCM) focuses on the development of resilient relationship-centred cultures of care shaped by the people living and working within them. MCM believe that caregiving is meaningful for everyone involved when cultures of care express the personhood of people within them. In these person-centred services both “caregivers” and recipients of care can flourish.

The Dragonfly approach is about the ‘whole person’. While traditional care focuses primarily around clinical needs, the Dragonfly approach gives control back to the person who is being cared for and values the person on an emotional and social level, meaning each person is “free to be me”.

“There is a real feeling of home here. It is informal relaxed and family like. We always ask “How would I want my loved one to be treated?” That’s the starting point. With the Estate, you can feel the love – everyone truly does care and people have fun! Even during the pandemic, we managed to have outdoor parties and we could use the buggies to go round the beautiful gardens”. Team Member at Huntington House

Huntington House Team

There is lots more information about The Huntington and Langham Estate available on our website. https://huntingtonlangham.estate/

We love to show people around the Estate and our two wonderful homes so please do send us an Email to huntington@hlestate.co.uk or call us 01428 604600 to arrange a visit.

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!

A great reputation for care in Surrey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creating connections – that’s what it’s all about

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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