I have just read in a popular newspaper, the tragic account of how an elderly man killed his beloved wife of over 60 years as an act of mercy because of their fear of living in a care home.
But should we really fear living in a care home?
I have owned and run two care homes for over 35 years. They have been places of immense comfort, joy, peace, pleasure and laughter. Places where emotional and physical needs are met and those and their loved ones who are no longer capable of caring for themselves are enabled to continue their lives with dignity and hope.
It’s a bit like hospitals. We all fear them, but should we? After all, these are the places that restore our health. Yes, there may be some temporary discomfort both emotionally and physically in a hospital but surely those who have dedicated their lives to making us better are in truth not those we should fear.
The truth is, its not the “Care Home” we really do fear. I believe it is something much deeper. The “Care Home” is what we focus on and say we don’t want, but really what we are saying is “we don’t want to get old, be incapacitated, incontinent or confused and have to depend on others to care for us”. Somehow those things make us, in our minds, less of a person than we were, a worthless and helpless individual. But that is not true. Whatever our age or abilities we have value, we are loved and have a history to share. Most of all, we have the remaining “Days of our Lives” to live to the full.
Our care homes are wonderful places to live in. They are secure and warm. The beds are comfy and those who make their home with us enjoy the privacy of their own private bed / sitting rooms often with en suite facilities. If a person gets lonely there are people to talk to both other residents and staff. There is music and laughter. There is always a choice of appetizing home cooked food that appears on the dining table like clockwork no matter how inclement the weather!! You can be assisted with every aspect of personal care by well trained and chatty care assistants. What is more residents see the same staff regularly who really do care and get to know the individual preferences of all our residents.
I really hope that you will come and visit our homes and see for yourself that things in our homes are not quite as you might imagine.
I feel so sad that the fear of being in a care home actually contributed recently to an untimely and tragic death and hope that others are able to find a care home that provides the care that everyone deserves.
We are exceptionally proud of our two beautiful care homes which overlook parkland in one of Cardiff’s most desirable residential areas. Both homes offer superb care and accommodation, yet are quite different in character from each other.
“As with everything in life we believe there is no such thing as “One size fits all”, so when it comes to choosing a care home, not everyone wants the same thing. We understand this, and endeavour to provide that special touch.
It is apparent, when one walks into either home that care will be excellent and person centered. The food of a high quality, the accommodation comfortable, attractive and safe. However, some are looking for a smaller setting, where the atmosphere is very much like that of one big family. Others prefer a larger home where there is a greater choice of people to engage with, bringing a slightly livelier feel, yet still with the close bonds found in a well-run home. There are advantages to both. We have the choice. We provide this choice to you and your loved ones.
At the Lodges, we can meet all needs, fit to your requirements and care for your family as they would be at home.
Ty Draw and Wentworth Lodges have the difference you have been looking for.
Wentworth lodge has just 14 beds in a Victorian property with a pleasant enclosed garden to the rear. This makes it possibly currently the smallest care home in Cardiff.
Here there is incredible attention to personal preferences, a uniquely homely atmosphere and a feeling more akin to a Boutique hotel with care than any kind of purpose built care home. This is a setting in which those looking for a quieter lifestyle will feel very comfortable. Of course all the facilities for activities and entertainment in our sister home are available to those residents who would like to participate in them, and of course we provide our own activities within this setting too, just on a smaller scale. The manager of this home, Debbie is extremely experienced and has worked for us for nearly 30 years.
Tydraw Lodge is a much larger home located in the same road ,this time in a pair of Victorian proprties, comprising 32 beds, 6 of which are in a new purpose built wing. There is again an attractive enclosed garden to the rear suitable for residents to engage in gardening activities if they so wish. It is a hive of activity with a vibrant culture and a multitude of activities and entertainments. The care is superb and the accommodation offers considerable choice of types of rooms.
The recently appointed manger of this home has brought a whole new lease of life to it. Having had years of experience in other excellent care settings Toby has really taken us to a whole new level. We now have a little dog who comes in most days for the residents to enjoy. Opera singers, folk groups and string ensembles are just a few of the entertainers who have visited us recently.
June Lyons wins Gold medal at Cardiff Care Awards.
The Wales Care Awards are a celebration of excellence across the Wales care sector. The purpose of the awards is to congratulate those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field. The Wales Care Awards is an annual event run by Care Forum Wales to showcase best practice across the care sector.
This highly prestigious event attracts 450 attendees from the care sector every year and is an occasion to recognise commitment to the industry. There are awards in 20 categories including Care Practitioner Awards, Registered Manager Awards, Commitment to Training Award and the Craig Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year saw June Lyons who retired earlier in 2018 after 33 years service at The Lodges, nominated in the category “Outstanding Service Award”. The award ceremony held at Cardiff City Hall saw June win the Gold Award in this category thereby ensuring her remarkable achievements in the care industry were rightfully recognised by her peers.
June has worked for Ty Draw Lodge since 1985 and has been a caring and diligent registered manager who dedicated her life to the home.
June is incredibly well respected and well thought of by staff as well as residents and their families.
June although approaching 70 this year showed no signs at all of slowing down in her learning and development. She stayed abreast of current legislative reform and actively involved herself in the recent legal reform in Wales. (RISCA and SSWBA Wales).
Recent CIW inspections noted that other professionals had commented that “the manager is on the ball” and that couldn’t be more true. June left no stone unturned or referral unsent when it comes to health concerns of the residents and led staff to develop an amazing underpinning knowledge of the health conditions and comorbidities (often dementia related) of the residents. June became qualified in dementia mapping, arranged professional falls training and arranged state of the art equipment (a new Elk lifter) and was always looking to improve services for residents.
Mary Cottrell CEO of Everycare UK and The Lodges commenting on the award said ” I couldn’t express in words just how grateful I am to June for her years of dedication to both me personally but more importantly to the hundreds of residents she has looked after. I have seen her cover half shifts in the middle of the night, too often this meant leaving her family to do so, but she was always happy to make compromises between her home and worklife to ensure our residents has the best possible care they could. It was wonderful to see June after so many wonderful years dedication to The Lodges and their residents being recognised at such an important event. I am sure all our residents and their families across almost four decades will be as pleased as we are that June won this prestigious award. A very special evening indeed”.
This week saw a very special party at The Lodges as we said a sad but cheerful goodbye to June Lyons after nearly 35 years service.
June started her career at The Lodges in 1984 where she was quickly appointed as manager. Over the years June has been a major and important part in the lives of the very many residents who have lived at The Lodges and a friend and great support to many of their relatives.
June has always been held in high regard by residents, staff, relatives, friends, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. Always a comfort to residents and relatives, she recognised quickly when something was amiss and was there to always put it right.
June’s final day was celebrated with a wonderful party including past residents’ relatives, current and past staff and ex healthcare professionals. Also, in attendance were the staff from Everycare (the sister company’s staff), duty staff and current residents.
The party included a live band and a lovely selection of food with the resident Chef on hand to cook and join in the festivities.
We wish June a long and happy retirement.