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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.

Celebrating in style



Last Saturday we opened our gardens and home to the people of Exmouth as we celebrated our 2 star award by CQC. The weather was wonderful as we were entertained by a couple of our regular entertainers, pianist John Hammond and Singer Scott Moore. The sales tables were laden with plants that the residents have grown and one of the residents took charge of selling our produce. A couple of local artists also sold their wares.

It was a great opportunity to share our gardens which provide a unique environment for relaxation and for enjoyable and purposeful activity. Guests admired the raised planters on the terrace which residents had planted out with their favourite vegetables and flowers, and enjoyed the goings-on in the chicken pen where our three resident laying hens went about their business.

Many of the resident’s families and friends joined in the occasion and it was just wonderful to see four generations of family enjoying themselves together on the lawn and the terrace.

This was a fantastic team effort by the staff of Rose Lodge who turned up in force to make this an enjoyable and relaxing day for the residents.

A special mention should go to the butcher Reynolds and Sons who kindly donated the burgers, sausages and pasties for the barbecue.

The pictures speak for themselves….


Highlights from our CQC inspection in May 2010

Today we received the draft report of our key inspection in May 2010, and we are very pleased with how CQC have recognised the quality of life at Rose Lodge. As the report is not yet available on the CQC website, I have summarised the highlights here:



People benefit from a good admission and assessment practice, which ensure that the home is able to meet their needs.

“Staff told us in their survey that they had enough support, experience and knowledge to meet the different needs of people living at the home, which demonstrates that the home does not admit people inappropriately”.


People living at the home benefit from living at a home where their individual physical, psychological and emotional needs are met by well informed staff.

“We also observed how staff were quick to pick up on people’s changing moods, offering reassurance when people were upset, and subtly intervening when people became distressed or agitated. A good level of observation by staff and appropriate intervention meant that throughout the day the atmosphere remained calm and relaxed.”

“A visitor told us that they visited at different times of the day and always found the home to have a calm atmosphere.”

“We saw a recent report from a visiting pharmacist , which confirmed that medication is safely managed. “

“Staff took time to make eye contact and be at the same level as the person they spoke with. We saw staff explaining to people what they were going to do before they carried out a care task, for expample  explaining how they were going to help someone move. Staff acknowledged people’s past achievements and roles in life, as well as acknowledging help that people provided around the home, which also helps maintain people’s dignity.”


People living at Rose Lodge benefit from the home’s commitment to offer varied activities and occupation, which helps keep them stimulated and provides an improved atmosphere at the home.

“On the afternoon of our inspection, a quiz took place run by an external entertainer. Some people taking part were supported by staff, while others answered independently, with everyone being praised and listened to amidst laughter and a relaxed atmosphere.”

” A person visiting the home told us they always felt welcomed by staff and we saw another visitor being greeted warmly by staff and being offered tea while they sat and chatted with their spouse”.

“There has been significant work to make the large garden an attractive and welcoming place to be with raised flowerbeds and plants and vegetables grown by the people living at the home. During our visit we saw people being supported to access the garden, watering plants and feeding the fish. They looked relaxed, interested, and interacted with the staff commenting on their surroundings.”

“A person visiting the home commented on the sense of calm in the home, and we noted that the atmosphere had improved since our last visit with people being occupied and staff appearing confident in their roles. A staff member commented in their survey that “the home is now a happy environment”.

“The main meal was well presented, with a selection of vegetables and served on appropriate crockery, and smelled appetising. We watched how a number of people seemed to really enjoy their food, making appreciative noises as they ate and requesting more. People were offered a range of cutlery to meet their needs and staff intervened sensitively for those that needed support.”

“Later in the day, people were given a buffet lunch, which included lettuce grown in the home’s garden. We saw home made cakes and saw that the kitchen was well stocked.”


The home has responded to complaints in a timely manner, and has shown that the safeguarding of the people living at the home is taken seriously.

“A relative told us that staff were approachable if they had a problem, and six visitors told us in their survey that generally they know who to speak to informally if they had a problem and five knew how to make a formal complaint.”


Changes to the home’s environment has made the home a more attractive place to live and has increased people’s independence. The home is clean, odour free and well maintained, which makes it a pleasant place to live. 

“There have been improvements to the appearance of the home, both externally and internally, as well as to the layout of the communal areas. These improvements have been made to help compensate for people’s mental health needs. The communal areas are clean and we saw fresh flower arrangements, attractive tablecloths and place settings.”

“The home has invested in a new carpet for the communal areas, thought had been put into making it an appropriate colour and style, which includes ensuring that it is a continuous stretch of carpet without dividers as the owner is aware that this can cause a visual disturbance for people with dementia and prevent them moving around with confidence.”

“We saw that people looked relaxed in their surroundings, moving around freely.”

“Throughout the day we saw staff joining people to sit and chat, which included looking at magazines and newspapers, which people seemed to really enjoy.”

“One visitor commented that thought had been put into making the home look more homely, which includes fresh flowers, plants and chairs around the communal areas so that people can watch the life of the home from different positions. The home has a level garden with raised flowerbeds, which were planted with plants chosen by people living at the home, as well as vegetables sown by them.”

“All rooms were clean and odour free”

“Bedroom doors display an individualised sign for the room’s occupant, to help people identify their own room. Signage for other areas of the home was clear and well positioned to help promote people’s independence.”


People living at the home benefit from being cared for by a knowledgeable and caring staff group; who are recruited in a robust manner and at appropriate levels, and who have access to high quality training.

“On the day of our inspection, the level of staffing met people’s needs because people were not kept waiting, staff responded quickly and appropriately to people’s changing needs, and people living at the home appeared contented and stimulated.”

“The role of the activities coordinator means that even when staff were busy meeting the ranging needs of people living at the home, there was someone to spend time with groups of people or individuals to offer mental and physical stimulation'”

“We saw that the staff team across the home have a range of skills and experience and appeared confident and at ease with the people living at the home.”

“Throughout the day, staff were busy but generally communicated well with one another, and the people they were supporting. For example we observed staff working well as a team when supporting people to move by using equipment.Staff were able to change their approach to meet the different needs of individuals, and showed compassion and an understanding of people’s individual anxieties and life experiences.”

“When we looked at how people living at the home interacted with staff, we saw that they were relaxed and at ease with them. People were not afraid to make their wishes known and staff responses showed they knew individuals well. “

“Since the last inspection, the home has significantly invested in training for their staff, which has had a positive outcome both for the people living at the home and the staff group.”

“The home has invested in a four day course in dementia awareness from a well established company which was available to all staff to help support a consistent and confident approach by staff.”


The current management team have shown a commitment to ensure that the home is run in the best interests of the people living there and improvements are ongoing.

“We read the minutes from meetings with people living and working at the home, and saw examples of how people can influence the service, and how these have been actioned. We saw that the home has been innovative about involving a person living at the home in some staff interviews, which they felt had been very beneficial to both the quality of the interview, to promoting the ethos of the home and to the person’s sense of well-being.”

“They have moved the manager’s office to the lounge area so that the manager can stay in close touch with resident, relatives, and friends, and staff, so making her accessible but also enable her to monitor the quality of care and the well-being of people living at the home.”

“We saw evidence of the meetings between the manager and the owner that review specific areas of development for the home. We also say that the manager has introduced an auditing system to measure the quality of care, for example medication administration.

“We say that people were moved in a safe manner, and the staff records we looked at showed that training in this area of care was up to date. The home has also recruited a staff member who in the future will be able to provide further training in this area.”


CQC rates Rose Lodge a two-star (good) home

Today Rose Lodge became a two star (‘good’) home following a key inspection by the Care Quality Commission. The new rating is a clear recognition by the inspector of the tremendous developments that have taken place at Rose Lodge since the new management team took over in December 09. We are immensely proud of the wonderful care team that dedicate themselves to the wellbeing of our residents every day. We are expecting the report in the next few weeks and will then publish further details on this blog.

We are now one of only two 2-star rated specialist dementia home in Exmouth, and there appear to be no 3 star specialist dementia care homes in the whole of Devon!