Taz is a Welcome Addition to Our Home

Taz has been a welcome addition to our home.

He has such a calming influence and has helped reduce signs of stress, depression and anxiety in some of our residents. He provides comfort and unconditional love to them, their families and even the staff when times get tough. 

 We’ve found that Taz has been an incredible comfort to residents and families at the end of life stage. He has the amazing ability to sense when someone is poorly. One example of this is when he slept outside the door of a lady who had reached end of life, and even kept popping his head in around the door almost to check on the lady and her family throughout the nights. He did this up until the day she passed away. Taz also started sleeping in the room of another lady who was at the end of life stage, again staying in the room until she peacefully passed away. He brought great comfort to her family who even mentioned him in a thank you card for the staff!

 Many of our residents have previously had pets including cats and have missed having them around. Having Taz curled up on their lap, watching him stretched out in the sun, or even feeding him his meals has brought back a sense of reminiscence and normality.

Oak Lodge Sky Dive for Charity

A team from Oak Lodge Care Home recently took part in a charity sky dive to raise money for Age UK.

A team of six staff members from the home jumped at the airfield at Dunkswell.  The Team jumped from 15000 feet on Saturday 25th March.  Healthcare Assistant Abbie Sergent who works in The Acorns suite caring for residents living with a dementia   said “Age UK” was an obvious choice for us to fundraise for.  They are the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. Age UK provide services and support at a national and local level to inspire, enable and support older people.  All of the Oak Lodge staff support the campaign to help reduce lonelines and enable older people to love later life.

Abbie’s colleague Jo Molony added, “The whole team would like to thank all the staff at Sky Dive Buzz for their help on the day.  It was an experience that far exceeded our expectations.  The instructors were so professional and helpful and really put our minds at ease.    Overall our team raised in the region of £2400 for AGE UK, although the exact total is yet to be confirmed.  We would like to thank Majesticare and everyone else for their support and sponsorship donations.

Christmas fair held at Oak lodge care home

Everyone had a wonderful time at the Christmas fair held at Oak lodge care home. The Mayor of Chard, Councillor Dave Bulmer, popped along to wish everyone a merry Christmas and even visited Father Christmas for a few presents.

A spokesperson for the care home said ‘Residents and guests enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of cake and played the tombola, raffle and other games such as guess the weight of the cake and guess the name of the pug. The children enjoyed meeting Father Christmas in his magical grotto and received a present from Santa and his elf. Overall we raised £180 for the residents fund. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the fair, and special thanks to Claire and Barry Gibbs for their help with the grotto.’

The Mayor of Chard, Councillor Dave Bulmer, collects a present from Santa and his elf.

Plenty of OOMPH

Residents at Oak Lodge Care Home in Chard forgot about their age and took part in the first of a new series of exercise classes being held at the home.

As well as staff and resident’s mayor of Chard Dave Bulmer and town councillors Jenny Orchard and Dave Orchard took part.

 Three members of staff at Oak Lodge Care home, Lord Leaze Lane have trained as Oomph instructors and led the exercise class.

Among them was Senior Activity Co Ordinator Gemma Jones.  She said “We’re very excited to be on board with Oomph!  It’s such a fresh and exciting new initiative for us to be involved with.

The launch Party was a great success and received really good feedback from everyone who took part and comments from residents were really positive.  All the staff are excited to see the benefits that regular OOMPH! Can achieve.

The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of physical activity on at least three separate occasions per week for older adults with poor mobility.

Gemma Jones added “regular exercise not only helps people maintain their movement and mobility but also helps them to regain it”.  Exercise sessions can help combat loneliness and can encourage socialisation and interaction between residents.  Oomph! Is also proven to reduce depression reduce the risk of falls and help dementia management.  

The participants are reminded to only do what they can and to at their own speed.  The props such as scarves and pom poms add to the fun. 

Angela Rippon launches Somerset’s own Dementia bid

Broadcaster and journalist Angela Rippon is happy to tell the good news – Somerset schoolchildren are helping to build a dementia-friendly generation.
Angela was in the county yesterday to launch Taunton Deane’s bid to become a dementia-friendly community.

Ms Rippon’s mother developed dementia 12 years ago, and the broadcaster is a driving force behind the Prime Minister’s challenge to encourage communities across Britain to become more aware and accepting of the condition. Ms Rippon admitted she had “no idea how to react to this woman who was gradually becoming a stranger rather than the mother I had known.”

Others presumed she would be embarrassed to talk about it but she said: “why? I wouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about someone with heart disease or cancer.

“Dementia is one of the greatest social and medical challenges of the 21st century, and one which requires a whole community response. One in three people will die with dementia, whether it has been diagnosed or not”, she added. Ms Rippon is patron of Somerset-based charity Reminiscence Learning’s ‘Archie’ project, which uses the story of a scarecrow mascot named Archie to help schoolchildren understand dementia, and get to know those who have the condition.

The project uses books, a dvd, a board game and song to explain the problems to youngsters. Schools also link with care homes and sheltered housing schemes to share activities such as games, gardening and story-telling.

Children from Wellesley Park School, Wellington, their teacher, Fiona Doidge, Lee Butt, a teacher from Manor Court School, Chard, and Gemma Jones, senior activity co-ordinator at Oak Lodge nursing home told of new friends made. Mrs Doidge’s own mother was beginning to show symptoms of dementia when the project was launching at Wellesley Park. “I think we have been on a journey together. It has been very emotional,” she said.

The school’s choir sang the catchy Archie song with its message that people with dementia must not be allowed to become lonely and “invisible” and with friendship and understanding can have lives full of colour. Mr Butt said the Manor Court said pupils “absolutely dote” on the residents they meet.

Reminiscence Learning was founded by Fiona Mahoney, an occupational therapist whose mother showed signs of dementia in her 60s, and died at the age of 71. Taunton Deane Borough Council is working closely with Reminiscence Learning, The Rotary Club of Taunton Vale, Somerset County Council and other partners to make the area dementia friendly. Eight schools in Taunton Deane will take part in the Archie Project.

Ms Rippon said: “I believe creating a dementia friendly generation of young people, who will grow up recognising and understanding dementia, is the key to ensuring that people with dementia and their carers can live well with the condition. The Archie project plays a key role in getting that message across and does a brilliant job in connecting with young people”.

Archie Project

Oak Lodge Care Home in Chard Raise Awareness for
the   “Archie Project”

A coffee morning was held an Oak Lodge for the Archie
Project, which aims to make the town more dementia friendly.   Archie’s
story is an inspiring tale of how to avoid someone with dementia becoming
invisible.  It is an intergenerational project linking schools, care
homes and businesses.  The event was help visitors learn how to
become more involved in the community project and to gain a better
understanding of dementia.