New dementia guide helps people in East Anglia to 'Listen, Talk, Connect' | Care UK

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New dementia guide helps people in East Anglia to 'Listen, Talk, Connect'

May 19th 2014

A new guide with first-hand advice from care workers, family members and dementia specialists in East Anglia, has been created to help people know how to communicate with a loved one who is living with the condition.   

Ahead of Dementia Awareness Week (18-24 May), ‘Listen, Talk, Connect’ has been put together by those caring for people living with dementia and care workers from Care UK, which has 28 care homes in East Anglia.

The aim of ‘Listen, Talk, Connect’ is to help those who are affected by dementia and want to understand and overcome communication hurdles commonly associated with the emotionally-challenging illness.                   

With an estimated one in three people aged over 65 living with dementia and an expected 25 per cent rise in cases by 2021, ‘Listen, Talk, Connect’ provides advice and insight for a growing number of people who may otherwise lose a connection with a loved one living with the condition.

Free copies of ‘Listen Talk Connect’ are available to pick-up from any of Care UK’s 28 residential care homes in East Anglia, and the guide is also available to download from the Care UK website

Within the guide, contributors share the personal tips and advice they wish they had known when their loved ones were first diagnosed with dementia and there are practical tips on how to keep interactions positive and meaningful.  Central to this guidance is understanding that for someone with dementia, their thoughts, opinions and perceptions, which may be distorted, is the only reality they know.  

Maizie Mears-Owen is head of dementia at Care UK.  Maizie said: “It never gets any less painful and upsetting seeing someone who once was a loving parent, caring husband or affectionate wife lose the connection with their family as their memory travels back in time.     

“As a result, visits become less frequent as people worry about how to talk to someone struggling with the disease and wonder what sort of relationship they will be able to maintain as the illness progresses. 

“People tell us they just don’t know how to start a conversation with someone with dementia.  However, in almost every instance it is still possible to have those longed-for conversations. It just comes down to knowing how.”

Experts explain that it is key to talk about the period that the person with dementia is living in right there and then – whether this is a happy childhood or even the honeymoon period of marriage. More importantly, it is essential to accept the person living with dementia for who they are now, rather than how you may have known them.

Experts also advise never to challenge the person living with dementia, or force them to acknowledge the modern world.  Instead, the guide urges people to understand how effective and therapeutic it can be to walk with them down memory lane.

Families and carers also advise that words form only part of the conversation. Maizie explained: “Listening is key when it comes to communicating with someone living with dementia.  Not feeling listened to or heard can be a source of great anxiety and frustration to us all – and dementia will only amplify this.” 

‘Listen, talk, connect’ advises that by listening and interacting regularly with a loved one, you can help someone to live a fulfilling life despite the disease’s many complex aspects, while at the same time helping to cope emotionally.

Care UK is running a programme of free advice-led dementia sessions at selected care homes across the UK throughout the year, as part of Care UK’s commitment to inform and support those whose lives are affected by dementia.  To find your nearest care home and details of any events visit

Care UK operates 112 care homes across the UK and has a dedicated team of dementia care specialists.  There are 28 residential care homes in East Anglia:

Cambridgeshire -

  • Hinton Grange, Cambridge
  • Field Lodge, St Ives, Cambridge

Essex -

  • Tall Trees, Colchester, Essex
  • Silversprings, Colchester, Essex
  • Colne View, Halstead, Essex
  • Little Holland Hall, Holland on Sea, Essex
  • Haven Lodge, Clacton on Sea, Essex
  • Manor Lodge, Chelmsford, Essex
  • St Peters Court, Maldon, Essex
  • Cherry Orchard, Dagenham, Essex
  • Heatherbrook, Romford, Essex
  • Meadow Court, Ilford, Essex

Hertfordshire -

  • Chalfont Court, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Suffolk –

  • Angel Court, Hadleigh, Suffolk
  • Blyford, Lowerstoft, Suffolk
  • Crabbe Street, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Glastonbury Court, Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk
  • Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Ixworth Court, Ixworth, Suffolk
  • Lehmann House, Wickham Market, Suffolk
  • Mills Meadow, Framlingham, Suffolk
  • Place Court, Haverhill, Suffolk
  • Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Stradbroke Court, Lowerstoft, Suffolk
  • Wamil Court, Mildenhall, Suffolk
  • Wade House, Stowmarket, Suffolk
  • The Dell, Beccles, Suffolk
  • Paddock House, Eye, Suffolk

Media enquiries

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Colne View care home has a lively but relaxed atmosphere, including a ‘village green’ with its own coffee shop and cinema. Beautifully furnished lounges around the care home offer cosy spaces where residents can chat with friends and family, or join in with the many activities taking place.

Colne View
Dame Mary Walk
Colchester Road
CO9 2FF (For sat nav, please use post code CO9 2HD)

0333 434 3019

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Palliative care

Field Lodge is an attractive, purpose-built care home with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. 

Field Lodge
London Road
St Ives
PE27 5EX (For sat nav, please use post code PE27 5EZ)

0333 321 0922

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care

Step foot inside Haven Lodge and you’ll immediately notice the lively atmosphere. The home is just minutes from the sea, so a walk on the seafront is always popular with residents. Visitors are always popping in too – from the doctor, physio and hairdresser, to the therapy pets, and even inhabitants of the local zoo!

Haven Lodge
Reckitts Close
Holland Road
CO15 6PG

0125 580 7998

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care

If you or your loved one likes the thought of being by the sea then Little Holland Hall may be the ideal port of call. This comfortable, purpose-built care home is just metres from the seafront and close to the middle of town at Holland-on-Sea.

Little Holland Hall
Frinton Road
CO15 5SS

0125 5807 841

  • Nursing dementia care
  • Residential dementia care
  • Respite care
  • Palliative care

Manor Lodge care home is close to Chelmsford town centre, so is well placed if residents fancy a trip to the shops. There are regular outings to local places of interest too, and closer to home there’s always plenty going on, from gardening clubs and knitting groups to visits from therapy pets.

Manor Lodge
Manor Road

0124 580 9798

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Respite care

Silversprings is set in stunning countryside near Colchester and has lots to offer residents of all interests and abilities. In the grounds you can discover sensory gardens and nature walks, as well as doves, ducks and chickens, who are always happy to be fed.

Tenpenny Hill

0333 434 3069

  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Residential care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care

The team at Tall Trees is passionate about ensuring that it feels like home – both for residents and their loved ones. Residents’ families are encouraged to stay for as long as they like, and join in home life. Residents – many of whom are local – are also supported to continue playing a part in local community life.

Tall Trees
Oaks Place
Mile End Road

0120 680 7981

  • Nursing care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care