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Men’s group blooms on trips to Orchard Cottage

Here at Four Seasons Health Care we’re committed to providing positive experiences for our residents. This could be something we do alone or in partnership with other organisations.

Abigail Lodge Care Home in Consett, have run a men’s group with Beamish, the Living Museum of the North. The pilot scheme allowed the men to socialise with one another and take part in activities based on their interests at Orchard Cottage.

The power of positive partnership working was highlighted in a recent case study, written by Beamish which is based on the group.

The case study can be read below:

“An example of a partnership with a Care home is our development of a ‘Men’s Group’ for men living in Four Season’s Care Homes. This originated from our original Men’s Group, which was set up in 2014 in partnership with an Occupational therapist at a hospital near to the Museum. It was for a group of men all living independently at home, with a range of cognitive impairments, with the aim of providing opportunities for them to socialise with other men and take part in group activities based on their interests and skills, e.g. woodwork, painting, DIY. One of the members of this group later moved into a care home as his dementia was advancing quite rapidly. This gentleman was so keen to continue to come to the Museum, and most importantly to water his leeks in the garden, as were his family, that we contacted the Activities Coordinator at his care home to see if we could arrange for him to still visit regularly as part of a group, and importantly, as part of a group of men.

“Through speaking to colleagues within the Four Seasons Group there was great enthusiasm for this unique opportunity for some of their male residents, especially given the very common high ratio of women to men in care homes and the common difficulty in trying to find activities that men will enjoy engaging with. 3 Care Homes, all near to each other, share the transport and regularly bring a group of men to Orchard Cottage. As well as gardening and tending to our prize winning vegetables (the gentleman won 1st & 3rd for the onions and leeks in our Agricultural Show!) we do all sorts of things together, whatever the group like to do. One of the participants ran a bakery for years and so taught everyone how to make bread and, weather permitting, we always try to go for a short walk somewhere too. As well the evident benefits for the men, with comments from them such as “the one good thing about having this dementia is that I get to come here”, the care home staff have also said they feel they are more confident in thinking of different activities they could do at the care home and they also feel they have got to know these residents much better and have discovered lots of things from their life story that they otherwise wouldn’t have found out.”

More information about Beamish, the Living Museum of the North and the service they provide is available on their website. Information regarding Orchard Cottage and the sessions there is available here.

Date published: 15 September 2017

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