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Innovative dementia service gives carers a break

July 1st 2006

The Orchard Centre is based at Care UK's Appleby House Care Home in Epsom is open 24 hours a day seven days a week. The centre provides activity-focused care and support for people aged 50 or over in a safe and stress-free environment, giving their carers a much welcome break whenever it is needed.

The aim of the Orchard Centre is to provide a service that enables people to remain living in their own homes while receiving the support that they and their carers need.

The team of staff are fully trained in the delivery of activity-focused care and can offer a specialist service for people with dementia.

The night service offers carers and their family members peace of mind that their relative will receive the best possible practical and emotional support in the evening and during the night hours. This part of the Orchard Centre service is particularly suitable for people who are prone to wandering or who do not always sleep during the night. There is a range of activities provided by staff and light meals and snacks are available, including breakfast.

Care UK Development Director, Richard Pearman, commented "We know that a well-planned and properly implemented activity programme can enhance cognitive abilities and slow the progress of dementia, leading to improvements in life quality."

He added: "We recognise that this is a 24/7 undertaking and that is inevitably puts pressure on those who care for people with dementia and memory impairment. That is why we have designed the Orchard Centre to provide support for carers and their loved ones, so that carers can take a break, happy in the knowledge that their loved ones are receiving good care. We hope that the innovation shown here will lead to similar projects elsewhere."

The centre can accept referrals from social services departments as well as self-funding clients. Once the client has been assessed they can use the centre as and when required for a minimum of a 4-hour stay to a maximum 12-hour stay. For further information, please contact the Orchard Centre on 01372 730092.

If you are interested in developing a similar service in your area please contact Richard Pearman on 01206 517254 or email

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