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MHA has opened a new dementia care service in Warwickshire.

Ena Grewcock is the first person to move into the Avonside residential dementia care wing at Cedar Lodge care home in Bearley Cross. The home, whose care has been praised by Ena’s daughter Helen Douglas, is finishing a major renovation with new furniture, equipment and surroundings for residents.

 Mrs Douglas said, “Everyone is very kind and helpful at Cedar Lodge.

“My mother has her own private bedroom, completely brand new, with her own en suite toilet. I’m going to take in a small chest of drawers from home for her room.  The home also put some of her pictures on the wall before she moved in, so they were there and ready for her on the day. The maintenance man there has been very helpful.”

Mrs Douglas added, “She’s already had an appointment at the home’s hair salon – she had a perm done! The hairdresser was lovely too. And I know she will love meeting the Pets as Therapy dog when she sees him.

“I feel very reassured now that Mum lives in Cedar Lodge. She is warm, safe, comfortable and well cared for. The staff are so kind.”

Cedar Lodge was previously known as Arden Valley. In 2011, it was acquired by MHA, the national charity providing accommodation, care and support to 16,000 older people, and which was named Best Residential Care Provider in the Laing & Buisson 2012 Independent Healthcare Awards.

Under MHA, the home has undergone a thorough refurbishment, including the new Avonside residential dementia wing. It also provides nursing care.

Manager, Rick Bloomer, said, “We are very happy to welcome Ena to Cedar Lodge and provide her with the person-centred dementia care for which MHA is so well-known. Whether residents are in the dementia or the nursing care wings, they can all be sure of being respected as unique individuals – and our new refurbishment really enhances this.”

All bedrooms now have en suite facilities, benefiting residents’ privacy and dignity. They also have the latest assistive technology, so staff are alerted if residents should get up in the middle of the night.

The assisted bathrooms are brand new, with digital displays for water temperature, wheelchair accessible wet rooms and bath chairs.

Activities include music therapy, which MHA offers without charge at many of its dementia care homes. The therapy provides an alternative, non-verbal means of communication and self-expression for people with dementia. The home also has a dedicated Chaplain to provide spiritual and pastoral support to residents and relatives, of any faith or none.

Rick added, “We have entertainers, musicians, the Pets as Therapy dog, bingo games, quizzes, positive reminiscence sessions and so on. If a resident has a birthday or a wedding anniversary, we love to celebrate – the kitchen will prepare a cake for them and we’ll mark the occasion as the resident and their family would like us to do.

“We invest a lot in our staff and make sure they are very highly trained, with specialist training for dementia care. We also recruit people very carefully – they are dedicated to the job and have a great respect for older people.”

Rick is now looking forward to welcoming more people to the Avonside dementia care wing.

“Helen has told us that her mother enjoys gardening,“ he said.

“So when the weather is warmer we will be sure to take her out to enjoy the greenery – and she can be part of our upcoming gardening group as well!”

For more information about Cedar Lodge, or to inquire about volunteering opportunities, please call 01789 731168 or email home.ARD@mha.org.uk.

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