Northbourne care home has created its own village in its building
Northbourne care home in Gateshead has created its own village including a ‘man cave’ and pub for its residents in an annex building.
After 11 months of work and fundraising by staff at Anchor’s Northbourne in Durham Road, Low Fell, the Mayor of Gateshead Councillor Jill Green officially opened the project at 3pm on Friday 30 November.
The staff at the home asked the residents what they would like to see in the annex and so the idea was born to turn the seven rooms into different aspects of a village with its own cinema, pub, hair salon, kitchen area and shop.
The project, which was part funded by donations from local businesses, was led by Deputy Manager Emma Robertshaw, Wellness Co-ordinator Amy Rushworth and Handyman Tony Charlesworth.
Emma said the aim was to provide meaningful experiences for all the residents living in the home and to make them happy.
She said: “Meaningful activities, such as tending plants in the indoor garden or having their hair done in the salon, benefit their physical and physical wellbeing. Cooking in the kitchen will also be a fun activity.
“More men are moving into care so as a bit of fun we have introduced a ‘man cave’ where they can spend time chatting with the male staff while they do practical work, such as building a birdhouse and feeder for the garden or helping the handyman with small jobs. Female residents are also welcome to use the room too. It’s an opportunity for residents to share their knowledge and gives them a sense of purpose.
“Going to the cinema is fun for everyone, particularly those living with dementia as watching a film doesn’t rely on the kind of memory that dementia impacts. The person may forget they have gone to the cinema but the emotional memory remains intact, so positive experiences and good feelings are really important.”
Amy added that families will be encouraged to take the relatives to the home’s cinema and plans are underway to invite nursery children to watch films with the residents as an enjoyable experience for both generations.
She said: “The shop will be an important hub of the community where residents, who used to work in retail, will be able to man the tills and residents will be able to decide what they want to buy rather than relying on relatives to buy things for them. This will give them a sense of autonomy which they would have enjoyed before moving into Northbourne.
“Everything we do provides good quality care for the most vulnerable people in society. We want the residents to have fun with news friends and have opportunities to try new things.
“This project means residents can choose each day how they would like to spend their time. If a resident wants to, they can do some baking for tea for visiting relatives before they have their hair done in the salon and then enjoy a ‘night out’ on the town, watching a film in our cinema and having a drink in the care home’s pub.”
Residents are thrilled with village and are looking forward to the official opening ceremony.
Resident Alan Addison, 95, who has lived at Northbourne for 10 months, said: “I’m looking forward to going to the pub for a pint of John Smith’s beer and using the tools in the man cave. Seeing all the old items on display, such as the ration book and Brylcreem, brought back many memories. This isn’t what you’d expect in a care home. I give them full marks.”
Friend Pat Hartshorn, 84, who used to work in care homes, said: “It’s amazing. I can’t wait to start baking again in the kitchen area which is big enough for all my family to sit in for a cup of tea.”
For more information on Northbourne, contact 0800 731 2020.