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Our Newsletter for July and August 2010

It has been a busy couple of months, with a number of new residents joining us. We are now in the happy position of having a ‘full house’, with a number of people registered on our waiting list.  We are particularly delighted that we now have a couple at Rose and that they can now share their life together here. Over the past six months we have seen an interesting demographic change, in that our new residents are supported by their spouses and I think this means that people are now finding out about us earlier and making a positive decision to join us.

We recognise that coming to live at Rose Lodge can be particularly challenging for the spouses of those that join, and who have to come to terms with separation after a long life together. So Carol is exploring to see what kind of support may be available for spouses in the community, or if we can offer something ourselves. We are thinking about spouses (and other family) getting together over a cup of tea and having the opportunity to share their experiences and offer mutual support. If think this may help you then please come and chat with Carol about this.

We have also noticed that, through our website and blog we have made it much easier for people outside the local area to find us, particularly far-away children of local people who need specialist dementia care. We’d like to think that we are indeed becoming a first choice care home for people with dementia.

To support the additional residents we have assigned more care hours and we are recruiting new care staff so you will notice some new faces. Ana Humphrey has just joined the care team (she has worked with our Manager Carol Brice at another home) and our housekeeper Clare Walters has joined the care team on a part time basis, with a view to becoming a full time carer when we have recruited a new Housekeeper. Two or three further carers will be joining Rose Lodge over the next month or so. Most of our new carers have found us through ‘word of mouth’ which is a good sign that Rose Lodge is getting a name for being a good home to live and work. Going forward you will no longer see one familiar face at Rose Lodge. Melanie has decided that after four years of dedicated and loyal service she would like a change and do something different, and we wish her well. For the moment yours truly will be dealing with the admin myself – do shout if I’m not doing a good job of it!

Anna Maria Marzec-Smith at Rose Lodge, Exmouth

Anna Maria at Rose Lodge


We started a new tradition in July with our ‘artist in resident’ week, when a young artist worked at Rose Lodge for a week, joining in some of the activities with the residents, sketching, and creating portraits of some of the residents. Ana is still working on the portraits from photos she took away during her stay, and we haven’t yet decided how we will take this forward. Ana would like to come back to Rose Lodge at some stage and exhibit the portraits, and there are also thoughts of putting together a Rose Lodge calendar, or perhaps even a small book,



Our activities coordinator Alice  found us a wonderful organ which is taking pride of place in the new quiet lounge (not so quiet when the organ is played!). Already a couple of the residents have enjoyed playing it, including a session where a resident played along to ‘John Hammond the Piano Man’ at our Friday music session.



Archie makes himself comfortable


My very posh cat Archie stayed at Rose Lodge for a couple of weeks, and he had a great time being spoiled by the residents. Unfortunately one of our carers broke out in a rash and so he had to go back home (A couple of people suggested I should have fired the carer instead!).  He has let it be known that he is missing the residents – and chasing the hens around the garden!




Talking of our hens, they are doing well and enjoying their free ranging in the garden. They regularly come up and scratch around on the raised beds by the lounge providing us with endless entertainment (and regular repairs to the raised beds!). Unfortunately they have learned how to fly out of their chicken run and now they roost wild in the trees at night . So unfortunately no eggs sofar!



We harvested our oinions today

Part of our onion harvest


Our mini vegetable garden has worked well though, and we have been harvesting, preparing and eating garden peas, lettuces, onions, and tomatoes.  And the apple season has just started so expect apple pies from the gardening and cooking clubs…





A very exciting development is the setting up of our new resident’s committee, which gets together most weeks to discuss life at Rose Lodge and what we can do to make it even better. One of the things that has come out of the committee is to set up some clubs for things like cooking, gardening and watching films. So we have developed our activities programmes around those thoughts:

  10 am to 12 am (ish) 2 pm to 4 pm (ish)
Monday   Movement and exercise
Tuesday Lay Chaplain visit Manicures and massage
Wednesday Gardening Club Cooking club
Thursday Resident committee Pub Quiz
Friday Crafts Music and Choir
Saturday Games Film Club
Sunday   Songs of Praise/informal service

And here are some pictures from the Monday session with Michelle Wilkinson from ‘Yoga dance’ which is bringing lots of smiles to people’s faces!




We have continued to improve the general environment by combining three store-rooms into one room, so making life easier for the care staff. And we are combining two of the redundant store rooms into an admin office which will then let us convert the current admin office back into a bedroom and offer a place to one of the people on the waiting list. One advantage of the new admin office is that it is much closer to the lounge and the residents. We have also invested in a new hoist and new bed coverings. The next thing on our list is to redecorate the large bathroom in the ‘bungalow’ to make it feel more homely.

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