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Having opened on July 4th 2019, Speedwell Court is already establishing itself as a premier dementia friendly care home in Southampton's West End. Providing older people with exceptional care, support and companionship, Speedwell Court is set in stunning ground with state of the art fittings.
We caught up with Deborah Holmes, Customer Relations Manager at Speedwell Court, to find out how the how the house and it's brand new residents are settling in five months after opening.
How has Speedwell Court been received locally in Southampton?
We have been overwhelmed by the response of visitors to Speedwell Court, many younger family members exclaiming they would love to move in themselves. Reviews by families have been amazing, with them quoting; “I have been hugely impressed at the individual care my mother received and the kindness and compassion with which she has been helped to settle in”
What initiatives have you started since opening Speedwell Court?
Since we opened in July 2019 we have run a Community Café, encouraging the local community and older people to join us and for residents to have a social morning, enjoy a chat over home made cake & coffee! Local groups attend including members from Rotary and U3A.
We have forged great relationships with many local businesses and facilities, such as Haskins Garden Centre close by and a local Hospice, Countess Mountbatten serving Hampshire, jointly creating charity events such as fashion shows, memory walks (as part of Alzheimer's campaign). Our regular Dementia Friends sessions run within the community have created over 100 Dementia Friends.
Why was Speedwell Court so needed in Southampton?
Like many areas on the south coast we have a large older population, with many of those people living alone coping with health conditions and loneliness in large houses unable to get out to enjoy company, or get help for the times of day they need it. We help older residents and their families by supporting their loved ones care needs and helping to alleviate loneliness which can make health worries even greater.
What is your favourite part of daily life at Speedwell Court?
Two of the regular activities which are firm favourites with staff and residents are the visits by Lottie the PAT dog and the pupils from Riverside Pre-school, the hive of activity and energy during those visits brings smiles to all of us here at Speedwell Court.
How is Speedwell Court designed to make life more comfortable for those living there?
Families worries for their loved ones are usually around poor diet but life at Speedwell Court is focused on the individual needs of each resident, we have many facilities here to make life easier and more fun! Residents rooms are equipped with specially designed beds, making getting in and out of bed easier and less prone to falls. Private wet rooms make bathing easy and retain dignity. Community dining with seasonally changing menus. And we use Alexa style devices to help residents who have sight problems enjoy music and find out about news and current affairs.
Since Speedwell Court has opened, what has been your most memorable moment?
So many of these, but every day a resident moves in is memorable; a start of a new part of their life even though in later years. It is so emotive to see a resident start to socialise and get enjoyment and satisfaction from things taking place at Speedwell Court. Personally to have Countess Mountbatten visit for our Charity Fashion show and support our first event of this type was truly memorable.
What would you say to anyone thinking of moving themselves of a member of their family in to Speedwell Court?
Moving home is not easy, no matter what time of life it might be. Making the decision is the hardest part, with the support provided by us here the actual move is easy.
“Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change”. Jim Robin
How should people get in touch should they wish to come for a tour of the house?
Visit us – we have a Reception here 7 days a week! Alternatively just ring and chat to any of us.
For families finding it difficult to talk about the idea of a move to residential care our advice is just come along to a community event like our café mornings, gents lunch club, or one of the many other events which are open to non residents, it can make it easier, a less formal way of visiting.
Watch the video below to meet the team at Speedwell Court and find out more about life in the house.
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