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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.

A wonderful Christmas weekend at Rose Lodge


We had a wonderful weekend of activities and entertainment, as part of our Christmas celebrations.

On Saturday residents made Christmas decorations, Simon played the guitar, and Santa paid us a visit to give out presents to residents and staff. Mulled wine and minced pies completed the celebrations…

Sunday was, well, a little bizarre. Two gentlemen in drag performed a burlesque routine much to the delight of the audience. More civilised, one resident read out poetry, and another sang songs. A couple of staff members led a ‘London knees up’ and we finished up with all of us singing carols.

And of course on both days we had our photo exhibition of a year at  Lodge – we will keep the exhibition up for a while so feel free to come and have a look and see what we get up to…












We like to find opportunities to invite the community to Rose Lodge, so that our residents feel connected to the wider community and also so that the community can see what dementia care is about and perhaps change the negative image associated with dementia and dementia care. We firmly believe that dementia does not necessarily involve suffering, and we like people to see this for themselves.

This month we will have a photo exhibition of some of the things we have been up to the last year.

The public exhibition will be held on Saturday 18 December and Sunday 19 December, at 2p to 4 pm, and you are all very welcome!

This is also our Christmas celebration weekend and so it is also an opportunity to see how we celebrate special days at Rose Lodge

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.



Getting ready for the garden party and open day

Tomato plants getting ready for the Garden Party!

I just could not resist this picture of our garden, taken (by Alice I believe) from the terrace.

Notice the tomato plants, ready for the plant sale at our GARDEN PARTY