As we reach the end of the year, we can take a moment to reflect on the highlights of what has been a very interesting 12 months.
The main change at the Lodge was with the Registered Manager, Alicia Taskis, who took the helm and steered us through the year, introducing innovative changes, community engagement, staff empowerment and most importantly, a person-centred approach to care.
For Dementia Awareness week in May, we had an open workshop for members of the community to come along and find out a bit more about dementia, the symptoms, the effects on the individual and the family and to try and have a better understanding of how to support those living with dementia in the community. The success of this led to the start of our Community Dementia Awareness programme, where we approached local businesses to offer them free awareness training.
Our aim is to make our community an inclusive, supportive environment that values every individual within it and enables them to have a sense of belonging and being part of their community.
This has been a massive success and was helped by the local Southern Co-operative getting on board and saw 40 of their staff attend our sessions, along with many other local shops and other businesses, from the Village Bakery, Biscoes Solicitors and South Downs Funeral Services. A full list of participating companies can be found on the Community Hub page of our website.
Sessions will resume in February 2018 and we expect to run a full schedule throughout the year.
We raised awareness and funds for the Alzheimer's Society at our Summer Fete and doing our Memory Walk. The walk was done on a sunny Saturday in September by our proprietor's Carole and Andrew, our Manager Alicia, Head of Care Nikki, Seniors Cassie and Maria, Mark, our Activities Co-ordinator and me, Simon. I deal with IT things, our community projects, our website, our blogs and our Tweets!
We also had our CQC inspection and maintained our 'Good' rating in all areas and overall. We will continue to work hard to ensure that we get better and better. Our inspection report is available to view either from a link on our site or by visiting CQC's website directly.
This year we also welcomed new visitors to the Lodge, Glenn Ford, Becki Short, Wild Science, Cats Pyjamas and Door Stop Entertainments, to name just a few. The idea is to bring interactive entertainments and therapies that stimulated, engaged and involved everyone (that wanted too!).
We also said 'Good Bye' to old friends and shed more than a few tears, but have very fond memories and now create memorial books that all staff and residents that would like, can put down their memories, feelings and stories of those who have passed and the book is then given to the loved ones of the person.
We are now looking forward to embracing the New Year and doing more to help our community, growing our team and most importantly, helping our residents thrive and live a full a life as possible.
We are meeting with Alzheimer's Research UK at the end of January and will looking at ways that we can help with raising funds to aid more important research. We'll keep you all up to date with how things progress there! All in all, we are very excited about what 2018 has in store!
Thank you all for your support, good wishes and friendship throughout the last year. We wish you all good luck and good health and a very, very Happy New Year!