In 2016 Eothen Homes opened a brand new, purpose-built residential home for people living with dementia. Here Ron Ward, whose wife Margaret is a resident there, tells us why the specialist Wallsend development is second to none.
Tell us a little about you and Margaret and why you chose Eothen Homes for her care.
Around seven years ago there was the first evidence Margaret was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Her formal diagnosis came in 2012 and after this I became her carer for several years.
In May 2015 Margaret needed a hospital stay. Following this it was clear she required specialist care so I spent time and energy looking for a suitable home.
Unfortunately the home she went into was unable to cope with her various needs. Her lifestyle was very restrictive and her care inconsistent so much so that I used to take her out daily, sometimes all day to keep Margaret active and mentally stimulated.
Thankfully at this time I was introduced to Judy Mattison, the manager at Eothen’s Wallsend development, who explained to me about its specialist care facility with its ‘butterfly approach’. This means the care workers respond to residents’ needs rather than follow a structured regime and it’s much more like living at home, just with 24 hour support and company as needed.
Margaret moved in on its opening day and since then, we’ve never looked back. We have been incredibly pleased with her care.
What makes the actual Wallsend development different in terms of design?
Eothen’s Wallsend site is a lovely place to live and spend time. The place has had a huge amount of thought put into it. Margaret is in one of four spacious households each with their own shared kitchen, dining and lounge area, which gives it a warm community feel.
I spend a lot of time there and can easily go for a day and sit myself down in the Atrium with a book. In fact, I often volunteer time in the garden, helping to tend to the plants.
The main thing is the amount of freedom that’s afforded to residents. Margaret was a PE teacher and needs mental and physical stimulation. From her room she can access the garden and walk round the expansive grounds in total security. She can also enjoy the Atrium when the weather’s poor and the various reminiscence areas and activities that take place.
We also like the fact there is a Chapel on site so if Margaret or I wish to attend a service, we can do without the additional preparation that comes with taking her for a trip out, although we still go out and about, often to St Mary’s Lighthouse, very regularly.
What kind of care is provided?
It’s possible to see what kind of care is provided from the warm welcome you get by staff on arrival. Margaret is very content and it’s not just down to the layout and atmosphere but the attention and time she gets from the team. There’s a real family feel and it’s very personalised so everyone gets exactly what they need.
I know that if Margaret was ever sat on her own, someone would be across straight away to spend time with her, if that’s what she wanted.
It’s a very special place and I only wish other homes would mirror their approach to care giving.
What would you say to others about Eothen Homes Wallsend?
When I was first researching residential care homes there were more than 50 on the North Tyneside website and I must have looked at most of them. I didn’t come across one designed or run like this by Eothen.
Eothen Homes Wallsend is a completely unique development that is well worth a visit in order to understand what it has to offer, not to mention the actual scale and quality of the home.
If you or someone you love needs a residential care home, I’d definitely recommend taking a look and speaking to the team.