Nautical celebration for Haverhill care home

(l-r) Anne Head, Sharlene Van Tonder, Zoe Turner, Hilary Lee and Nikki Mitson
(l-r) Anne Head, Sharlene Van Tonder, Zoe Turner, Hilary Lee and Nikki Mitson

Residents are settling into a new Haverhill care home which recently celebrated National Care Home Open Day.

Cleves Place care home in Millfields Way has been open for a month and, on Friday celebrated with a nautical- themed party for residents and families.

Sharlene Van Tonder, home manager at Cleves Place, said: “It’s a cruise theme, with people working here dressed up to represent different countries, and I’m the ship’s captain.”

There was singing and a barbecue, as well as a wine tasting session. There was also line dancing and a karate demonstration.

Mary Paxman’s mother is a resident at the care home. She was impressed by the new facilities.

“It’s much better here,” she said. “It’s brighter and the rooms are very nice. Mum’s being well looked after and there’s a great sense of community here.”

Theresa Maguire is a resident at the home.

“I quite like it here,” she said. “The company is great and the staff are wonderful.”

The new home is designed to make residents feel more at home, with memory boxes containing personal items helping to personalise the decoration of colour-coded corridors and street names and numbers instead of the more conventional numbered rooms.

Mrs Van Tonder praised the way the staff worked together with the residents to create a homely atmosphere.

“Most of the staff only live a few minutes away,” she said. “That makes a difference, if you’re part of the community and you know each other.

“For our residents, it’s about being part of a group and feeling they’re at home.”

Responding to news that a change in care home quality guidelines had caused trouble for care homes across the country, Mrs Van Tonder said the new guidelines would simply make everyone at Cleves Place up their game.

“It will be more difficult,” she said. “Our standards are high anyway.

“We want to be a home away from home. We see each resident as part of our family. That’s how we want them to feel, too.”

The event at Care UK’s Cleves Place was one of thousands taking place across the UK to help challenge some of the perceptions about the care environment and show what day-to-day life is like for residents. The international day aimed to create lasting links between home residents and their local communities, and to develop relationships across the generations.