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Graham Care

Newsletter Summer 2013

Welcome to the Hawkinge House newsletter keeping you across all the news and events in our fantastic community.

Bridging the generation gap

Over the past few months we have had the delight of watching people three generations apart creating lifelong friendships. In partnership with Brockhill Park School Performing Arts Academy our residents have been taking part in an Intergenerational Dance Project with Year 10 pupils.

Dance classes have been held at Hawkinge House for residents from all three of our units. They each became ‘buddies’ with one of the school children using the creation of dance to bring young and old together.

The students even wrote and performed a play at Brockhill School attended by a number of Hawkinge House residents, families and staff. The project has culminated in a DVD being produced as a keepsake for all chronicling the valuable therapeutic benefits of the project and the sheer joy experienced by everyone.

However, the dance project has achieved so much more creating friends for life. Many of the children are continuing to keep in contact with their Hawkinge House buddies and some have become ‘textpals’ (penpals by text!). Our residents love having younger people spending time with them and the children learn so much about life before they were born. Sometimes we all forget just how much the world has changed over recent years.

We are looking forward to seeing these friendships blossom and our partnership grow year by year.

Project Babylon

For those of you that have been to our top floor unit recently you will be beginning to see a number of exciting changes as Project Babylon gathers pace.
We have a multi-layered plan, now in full swing, to transform the top floor into the most dementia-friendly environment possible. We have always been blessed with the most wonderful, purpose-built building boasting wide open spaces, beautiful bedrooms and suites, but we are taking this to another level.

Project Babylon has taken elements from all the best practice innovators in dementia care to create a vibrant, interactive and therapeutic environment. Even seemingly small changes make a huge difference. For example, we have painted all the handrails different colours to represent different areas of the unit. This means that our residents are able to identify colours to find there way around more independently. We also realised that we have wonderful wide corridors; so we have made the most of them by creating a ‘Memory Walk’ with artifacts and ornaments from the past, Hollywood stars and other pictures. Any donations would be most welcome!

We are changing the dining culture too. We aim to develop a Bistro-style environment rather than the traditional dining room. This will allow residents to be more flexible and comfortable when it comes to food. We want meal times to be daily social events.

These are just a few of the developments that are rejuvenating our community in our aim to be the best dementia care service possible.

If you require further information relating to any of the above topics please contact me by following this link.