Fernhill House has appointed a new dementia lead to help residents enjoy an active and fulfilled life. 

Paul Turvey joins the home from Age UK Hereford and Worcester where he was a Home from Hospital adviser and independent living administrator.

He has previously been a senior care assistant at another Worcestershire home, looking after the needs of people living with dementia, and a healthcare assistant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. 

Paul has undergone a wide range of professional training courses aimed at understanding the needs of residents with particular requirements.   

He explained: “I allow myself to enter the world of the person with dementia, becoming part of their reality and I truly believe this helps me to deliver the best possible care I can.   

“It is important to me that residents have choice, which I give them from the moment they wake up. My ethos is ‘always make a difference to someone’s day.’ It’s important to find out what makes our residents tick and to create activities based around their likes and interests, such as organising pet therapy, encouraging them to use a relaxing sensory room or picking herbs from the garden.   

“The meal time experience is another opportunity to bond with residents, giving them the choice of what they would like to eat, allowing them to see and smell each meal separately and use plain brightly coloured plates to make it easier for them to see their food.    

“Fernhill House is a happy, homely place, rooms are personalised, memory boxes are filled with favourite things, walls are decorated with art residents can relate to.”   

Indeed, the home has innovative dementia friendly facilities such as an indoor potting shed, a ‘real’ pub, a shop and 1950s and 60s themed games as well as assistance from staff dressed casually in vintage clothes.   

The home, with its ethos of fun and enjoyment, also has its own beautifully equipped children’s nursery complete with lifelike dolls which residents can ‘adopt’. This doll therapy can be a very powerful way of helping people with dementia manage their condition – with some very touching outcomes.   

Regular activities and outings add to the feeling of vibrancy at Fernhill House, with some guests returning on a regular basis, such as the Poppy Sisters, with their vintage musical act. They are particularly popular among those living with dementia, for whom reliving their youth is often very therapeutic.   

In addition to arts and crafts, holistic therapies and gardening, events such as tea dances, choir therapy, recitals by string quartets, celebrity guest speakers, cooking workshops and bubbles and blinis evenings are regular fixtures on the activities calendar.