A 72-year-old Market Deeping woman, who was bedridden when she moved into a care home four years ago, is now a popular visitor to the local weekly market.
Her recovery is not what people might expect if they had read the shocking story which hit the national headlines last week regarding a healthy retired nurse who chose to die because old age “is awful”.
Gill Pharaoh (75), who wrote two books giving advice on how to care for the elderly, was not suffering from a terminal disease, but ended her life at a Swiss suicide clinic because she did not want to end up as a “hobbling old lady”.
When Moira Bimbi moved into the Holland House Care Home she was so poorly she even had to have help sitting up.
Suria Webb, home manager, said: “Moira was not mobile and had terrible skin. We thought we would lose her, but now she is active and even goes to the market every week.
“To see her now is just marvellous. Everyone knows her and she is very popular.”
I’ve come a long, long way and I owe it to the staff hereMoira Bimbi, resident at Holland House
The transformation is part of the philosophy of the home, which is about to open new luxury facilities alongside Holland House, run by Country Court Care – winners of the Health Investor for “Residential Provider of the Year 2015 award.
Care for the elderly at Rose Lodge Care Home and Holland House could possibly be the closest thing in South Holland to that seen in the film The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which saw Judi Dench and Bill Nighy’s roles finding jobs in India.
Suria said: “When I started working in care homes 17 years ago things were very different.
“Everything used to be done for the client back then. Now our philosophy is about enabling people to become independent again and ensuring they are not only cared for but loved too.
“Although we take clients from the age of 66 most of them come to us from about the 80s.
“But we strive to make them feel that this is their home and take an active part in how it is run.
“Of course, there will always be some who will say ‘that is what we pay you for’.
“But we talk to them about what activities and trips they would like.
“And if someone said they would like to take a course and learn something they hadn’t had a chance to, when they were working we’ll help them do it.
“Our clients are free to go where they want and when – we are just there to support them if they need us.”
Moira (72), who jokes she lives in the “penthouse” at Holland House, retired to Spain when she gave up her job as a hairdresser, because she didn’t want to be “kicking her heels after enjoying a busy social life” in the UK.
However, while out there she became sick and returned to the UK and was admitted to Holland House at the age of just 68.
She said: “I’ve come a long, long way since then – and I owe it all to the staff here.
Lots of people know me when I go out and I’ve even hopped on the train to visit my family at Christmas.
“Wherever I go I take my phone with me just in case, but I always know there is help available if I need it.”
Sheila Giddings has worked at Holland House for 22 years and is a senior carer. She said: “Working in care has opened my eyes to the wider industry but Holland House is like a second family and all the staff and residents are like a home away from home.”
Rose Lodge Care Home is not the only one in South Holland changing the way our elderly are cared for.
An ambitious plan to create a retirement village in Long Sutton with its own cinema, restaurant and coffee shop that can be used by the community was been revealed after the care home it will replace was found requiring improvement on all levels.
Adderley Care Home closed in February – the same month the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected it and found it lacking in the safety of the service it offered and the care of residents.
Gary Sherwood, director of the home, said: “We will create a new, fit for purpose modern facility which will offer 25 apartments for over-55s as part of a care village concept that will also have a small cinema, restaurant and coffee shop for the residents and local community.”
Other homes have a long way to go. One carer said: “It’s all about the staffing.
“It’s easier to wheel people about than have two carers help them to walk.”
* The marketing suite for Rose Lodge Care Home, which is onsite next to Holland House in Church Street, Market Deeping, is now open – with an open day planned for Thursday, September 10.
This new 31 bed home is spread over two floors and all rooms will have en-suites. The lower floor boasts an orangery overlooking enclosed landscaped gardens. With spacious lounges and a coffee barista and snack station, the home moves away from set time meals and offers residents the opportunity to also make drinks for visitors.
An award-winning catering company Elior is working in the home to offer a fine dining experience and waitress service.
Rose Lodge will be one of the family-run Country Court Cares flagship homes.
The marketing suite is open on Thursdays to Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
To order a brochure or make an appointment, call head office on 0843 5069452 or see www.countrycourtcare.com