The mayor of Marlborough offered a moving tribute to the work of staff at a care home in the town as he officially opened a refurbished dementia wing.
The Orders of St John Care Trust has spent £240,000 refurbishing the 20-bed dementia household at the 60-bed Coombe End Court, off London Road.
Describing the home as “a highly regarded and important part of our community,” Cllr Noel Barrett-Morton said: “There are so many things that are sent to try us as we age, both physical and mental.
“But it is reassuring to know that we have a care home here in Marlborough which offers special care for almost every challenge.
“Through greater understanding, kindness and patience, we can all be positive about the future.”
The charity that operates the home has incorporated European ideas described by the Trust’s Janis Tunaley as “cutting edge innovations” to improve the lives of the 20 dementia residents.
“New zones have been created to promote reminiscence,” she explained. “There are objects, like sea shells in the beach room, which the residents can pick up.”
On the walls, picture frames surround felt butterflies and birds, which are designed to be touched.
The beach room, which its weathered wood walls, seafront frieze, and fruit juices to encourage hydration, is just one of the themed areas.
A cinema room, with comfy tub chairs, movie memorabilia on the wall, and boxes of popcorn on the tables, plays classic films all day, while the potting shed in the conservatory is decorated with garden accoutrements, and provides a view of the grounds outside.
There is also a shop corner – a mural recreating a village store with windows packed with fresh produce.
Baskets offer the real thing – residents are free to grab a chocolate biscuit or a piece of fruit.
The refurbishment also includes the creation of a ‘destination area’ for residents and their relatives, including a cafe and bistro. The home’s existing hair salon has also been given an update as part of the refurbishment.
“Because of all the work we’ve done here, lives will be better lived,” said Care Trust chief executive Dan Hayes.