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A Packed programme for people with dementia

(as reported by Exmouth Journal 17 February 2011)

An exciting programme of community events are planned by Rose Lodge, East Devon’s dementia care specialists. To pick just a few of the many events on offer in the next few months:

In March, some of the residents will be on stage at the Blackmore Theatre, performing for family and friends under the guidance of Mazlen George of the First Stage Drama School, who runs a popular weekly drama club at Rose Lodge. At Easter, residents and staff will do a sponsored 5 mile run along the beach front.

In June Rose Lodge will host it’s very popular garden party and open day, and throughout the season children from the Beacon School will be growing vegetables with the residents at Rose Lodge. The very successful Artist In Residence week and art exhibition will also be held again this year.

“Being engaged with our community is a really important part of our work at Rose Lodge. Not only do our residents really enjoy these events but we also think it is important that we work to reduce some of the misconceptions associated with dementia” says Karen Bousher, manager at Rose Lodge.

Happy valentines day!

Our Events programme for 2011

It looks like we’ll have a pretty packed year this year. Many of these are favourites from last year. We are particularly excited about a couple of new events this year. One is a drama performance by residents at the Blackmore theatre in March (drama practice is every Monday from 2 pm to 3 pm and family and friends are encouraged to participate!), the Easter sponsored walk by staff and residents, and the landshare project with the Beacon School where pupils will be growing (and eating!) vegetables with our residents throughout the year, with a ‘big push’ in the week of 4 to 7 April.

February 14 Celebrate valentines day
March 17 Celebrate St Patrick’s day
26/27 Group of residents performing at Blackmore Theatre
April 3 Mothering Sunday – tea and cake party
4-7 Children from Beacon School doing community project at Rose Lodge.
22 Celebrate Good Friday – Easter Concert by School
TBD Sponsored Easter run by staff and residents
23 Easter/St George’s day Party and Easter bonnet competition
24 Celebrate Easter Sunday – small Church service in the afternoon
May 8 VE day – reminiscence and celebration
13 Day trip and picnic to World of Country Life
June 19 Father’s day
25 Open Day Barbecue and Garden Party with musical entertainment
July 15 Day trip and picnic to Seaton Tramway in Community bus
August   Artist in residence week
    Day trips to Exmouth Seafront in Rosemobile
September 3 Garden picnic for family and friends
  Harvest festival and church service
October   Open Day Art exhibition (work from Artist in residence week in August)
  Making Halloween pumpkins
29 Resident outing to Exmouth Pavillion to see the Sound of Music
November 6 Wartime remembrance with entertainers ‘Blitz and Peaces’
6 Fireworks display in evening
December 8 Resident outing to see the Christmas lights
17 Christmas Party with secret Santa presents and entertainment
  Open Day Photo Exhibition – A year at Rose Lodge
  Carol singing by local school
  Christmas Church service (carols ?)

Our hall of fame


One of the portraits in our exhibition


This week we exhibited a collection of stunning  portraits of some of our residents, drawn by young artist Anamaria Marzec-Smith. It was just wonderful to see how she had captured their personalities and many of the relatives came to admire the portraits. Some of the relatives decided to buy a portrait which certainly brought a smile to Anamaria’s face!

Two of the portraits in our exhibition


Our activities coordinator Alice put together a brief life history for each of the residents in the collection, and it was wonderful to be able to read about people’s lives while admiring the portraits. I found it to be an intensely personal experience. If art is about eliciting an emotional response then this exhibition certainly did that for me.

Part of the portrait exhibition in our quiet lounge

While the exhibition was well attended and received by staff, relatives and friends of the residents, the response from the community was perhaps a little disappointing. I guess many people are uncomfortable about stepping into a dementia care home – perhaps they expect to see a lot of suffering (they wont at Rose Lodge) or maybe they just dont know how they will respond. Whatever the reason, it would be great if we could let the wider community enjoy these portraits so we will see if we can display them at a more ‘neutral’ venue somewhere in Exmouth.



Varied activities programme at Rose Lodge

As reported by Exmouth Journal 21 October 2010

Rose Lodge, East Devon’s specialist dementia care home, have a varied activities programme that helps residents stay connected to the wider community. The appreciation of beauty is an important strand of the programme, as research has shown that this ability stays with people as their dementia progresses. Next week, Rose Lodge is exhibiting a series of compelling portraits by artist Anamaria Marzec-Smith, who spent a week at Rose Lodge as ‘artist in residence’, getting to know the residents, sketching, and participating in daily life. She has now worked up her sketches into a series of compelling portraits, beautifully capturing their personalities. Rose Lodge will be exhibiting these portraits in their quiet Lounge, on October 26 and 27, from 2 pm to 4 pm. There will be an opportunity to talk with Ana about ther work at Rose Lodge, and of course to join the residents and staff for a cup of tea. Ana said “This has been the best experience in my life. I have experienced emotions I didn’t know I would feel, and met people I never thought I would meet”.