“The smiles tell the story…”

SmilesSeveral people have suggested that I should write a blog on the Middleton Hall website. I hope that judgement is not misplaced. Please go easy on a first time blogger!

Friday 20th June staged the second National Care Home Open Day. This is an opportunity for care homes throughout the UK to throw open their doors and encourage people to visit and find out what goes on. After several years of negative media coverage, a positive idea for the sector.

If people relied on reading the papers, watching TV or listening to the radio no one would ever choose to move to a care facility. On the back of publicity from the Southern Cross situation, Orchard View and the recent Panorama programme the sector has been painted in a poor light. However, this is not the story of the whole industry but that of the minority. It is of course wrong to tar all with the same brush. There are issues in the sector, but here was an opportunity to promote some positive news.

If I am ever having a frustrating day, my solution is to take a walk round our retirement village and have a chat with some residents and staff. Invariably I hear about some good things going on – residents satisfied with their lives and staff fulfilled in their roles. Immediately I am reminded why we all choose to be at Middleton Hall. My walk round on Friday was no different.

Although we are a full retirement village rather than a care home, we took part in the nationally organised open day given that three of our six services are care facilities. A great range of activities were going on, inside and outside:

  • Arts and craftsArts and crafts
  • Smoothie making on the Middleton Hall smoothie bike
  • Cake decorating
  • Ping Pong
  • Guided walks from the gardening team
  • Music from one of our youngest members of staff
  • Afternoon strawberry tea

(I also spotted the ominous sight of the Middleton Woods Bowling Team practicing on the bowling green… the annual staff v residents match coming up).

Laughter, conversation and plenty going on to give visitors a taste of Middleton Hall.

Smoothie BikeThank you to all the residents and staff taking part – a great example of the lifestyle that is possible in a retirement village.

I was particularly touched by a board, showing pictures of many residents taking part in varied activities. The common theme? Big smiles.

Hopefully the National Care Home Open Day has shown that there are some great places to live in older age.
Not just somewhere to be – somewhere to live.