Interesting piece of marketing from a new Nursing Home in Surrey

Let me introduce you to what appears to me to be a perfect piece of marketing material.

It is a statement by Director Charlie Hoare of Huntington House Ltd about the impact that the opening of Langham Court has had on the lives of the first six residents to move in - this statement was in support of a "team award" nomination.

I looked at it and realised that it is a perfect testimonial that talks about the real down to earth "benefits" derived by residents, rather than the traditional marketing that talk about the features of the services provided.

I commend this as a great example of a potentially good marketing piece - now Charlie has to use this in his own web site and get some video evidence to support these simple but powerful stories


Employer Statement in Support of our Care Team at Langham Court

by Charlie Hoare (Director)

Having been involved in our family's care home, one way or another, since I was a child, I am used to residents asking whether I would be kind enough to make them a cup of tea. So within a week of Langham Court opening, it came as quite a surprise to see a sudden role reversal. Upon walking into Langham Court, I was asked by Mrs Secrett, one of our first residents, whether I would like a cup of tea.

Within days of moving in, Mrs Secrett undoubtedly felt at home in Langham Court. One evening, when I wandered into the lounge, she was sitting in front of the rather realistic looking log fire with her feet up on a stool looking very comfortable indeed. This sense of feeling at home has been achieved, in part, by hanging pictures that she painted earlier in her life on the walls around the care home. Not recognising them at first, she is now starting to remember them as her own, marking unprecedented progress in itself.

However, there was clearly more to this role reversal than simply feeling at home. Mrs Secrett had not just welcomed me into her new home, she had offered me a cup of tea. With that, she had demonstrated a purpose and displayed that all-important sense of worth, which motivates us all to get up in the morning. This is what makes our care team so special - their goal to give each resident a sense of worth.

Without a sense of worth I'm quite sure Mrs Secrett would not have gone so far as to offer me a cup of tea and, on subsequent visits, ask such questions as "You will be staying for a bite to eat, won't you?" when she has been sitting down to lunch with some of the other residents, and "You haven't got too far to go home, have you?" when it has been dark outside and I was saying goodbye. She seems so sure of her own wellbeing that she is motivated to look after others.

Mrs Secrett is not a one-off either, all of our residents have been made to feel at home and given a sense of worth by our care team. However, the change within Mrs Secrett has been more apparent because we had been looking after her in our other care home, Huntington House, prior to her moving to Langham Court and receiving our specialist dementia care.

Although she had been receiving excellent care at Huntington House, the hotel-like service had made her seem unsettled, and she would always say that she was going home soon. In short, with everything being done for her, Mrs Secrett had lost her purpose. At Langham Court, our care team have given Mrs Secrett her purpose back, and she has developed her own role within her new home, and she clearly enjoys helping out. She feels needed, which is so important for everyone's wellbeing, not only people living with dementia.

Our care team pride themselves on providing a purpose for each of our residents, and it certainly seems to be improving their wellbeing, with healthier appetites and sleep patterns, and advancements in speech and mobility. Providing a purpose is a simple care model, based on the Dementia Care Matters' Butterfly Project. Dementia Care Matters have pioneered this 'household model' where 3 elements - Leadership Consultancy, Team Leader Modelling and Coaching, and the "Being a Star®" learning programme for staff - help care teams achieve real outcomes in dementia care homes.

But these outcomes are only achievable by care teams that consist of people who really 'get it', in the words of Dr David Sheard, leading dementia care consultant in the UK and founder of Dementia Care Matters. Fortunately, we have a whole team of these people. People who not only care, but also enable. Enable our residents to live the lifestyle they choose to lead, as independently as possible. People who enable Mrs Secrett to make a cup of tea for anyone visiting Langham Court; enable Mr Peskett to weed the garden to keep it looking good for his daughter's next visit; and enable Mrs Thomas to play the piano after lunch for the other residents to enjoy, as she used to do for her own family.

Then, in turn, our residents enable each other. By playing the piano, Mrs Thomas encourages and enables Mrs 'Jo', as she likes to be called, to sing along. Often, Mrs Thomas will play Mrs Jo's favourite hymn for her to sing, which brings back fond memories and puts a smile on her face. This is the care team's ultimate outcome - to provide such a stimulating environment that the residents are enabling each other to care for each other, like a family.

Since seeing such a positive response from our residents to this care model, after just a few weeks of being open, I thanked the team for their incredible work. One of the care team summed it all up for me when they replied "No, thank you…I think I can speak on behalf of the whole team when I say we appreciate being given the opportunity to care how we have always wanted to care" - another testament to their selflessness.


To see an example of innovation in setting up a new care home - have a look at their web site (click on the link and admire)

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