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A look into the past provides a vision of the future as Cheshire care home celebrates its Dignity Awareness Week

March 1st 2011

The week-long event at the Crewe home will see residents and their relatives joining in entertainment and activities and staff taking on new training designed to increase the independence of the home’s 69 residents.

Kelly Harrison, a manager in the home’s dementia unit, said: ”The residents and staff have been really looking forward to the week. As well as entertainers and events, we are having a Down Memory Lane workshop that involves making scrap books, and our local library has joined in by supplying lots of wonderful books full of pictures of old Cheshire.”

Team members have also taken delight in finding out about Crewe in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as bringing in memorabilia including carbolic soap.

“Reminiscing helps people to remember a great deal about themselves and their lives - and it stimulates conversation.” Kelly added.
The team at Station House has pioneered the use of life story books that document where a person has lived, their family, career and interests. With these, staff can keep up a person’s interests and ward off boredom, which is crucial in the care of people with dementia.

Following on from this, Paula Chesworth, a member of the active living team, has started New Beginnings books which individually chronicle the experiences of the people living at Station House.

Kelly said: ”If someone has spent all their life studying history or gardening, taking that away from them would be terrible for their well-being and morale. We try to build up a programme of activities that plays to their strengths and interests, and allows them to remain as active and independent as possible.”

During this week, staff will create a year book that will be put on the Social Care Institute of Excellence website to allow other carers around the country to learn from the Care UK team’s innovations regarding dignity in care.

Last year the team won a number of regional and national awards for their work in improving dignity in care, but they will not rest on their laurels.

Station House Manager Carole Wardle said: “Our staff love their work and are keen to take on any new training. This week we have been looking at how we can increase residents’ independence so that they can, under supervision, take on activities such as making their own drinks, dressing, or arranging flowers, so they feel as if they are in their own home.”

”We have always taken the dignity of our residents very seriously and we are deeply committed to ensuring they have a fun, enriched and fulfilled life despite any illness or disability. This is their home and we want them to love it as much as they loved their own.”

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