Care UK opens first two of four new care homes in Kent

Care UK has officially opened two new homes in Kent providing specialist care for an ageing population, with two more homes due to open by 2020, bringing multimillion pound investment and over 500 new jobs to the county.

In Whitstable, the Lord Mayor of Canterbury (pictured centre with former land owner Mary Neam and Care UK RD Angi Knight) opened the town’s newest care home. Harrier Lodge will be home to 65 residents and will provide 24-hour nursing and residential care, short term respite care and specialist dementia care.

Like Smyth Lodge, it too has a ‘magic table’ which provides an entertaining and enjoyable way to stimulate people with dementia to move more and interact socially. The home has already built up a wide range of activities, including music and art classes, baking and reminiscence sessions, as well as tailored one-to-one activities.

The Mayor of Bexley officially opened Smyth Lodge in Sidcup, which offers state-of the-art design and facilities as well as a Tovertafel or ‘magic table’, which provides stimulating activities for those living with dementia.

The building will be home to 80 people and is managed by Lorraine Eastmead, who has experience as a specialist nurse and as a home manager. Lorraine said: “We were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Bexley to officially open the home. It was made even more special as he opened the home alongside Smyth Lodge’s first resident.

“The residents had a fantastic time celebrating, and we were so pleased to be joined by so many local people on this very special occasion.”

Chris Hopkinson, Care UK’s Operations Director South, said, “The new purpose-built care homes have been designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The homes incorporate space for hobby and leisure activities, including their own cinema, hairdressing salon and café.

“Bistro-style dining with attractive, dementia-friendly crockery is being teamed with delicious and nutritious hot and cold menu choices, all tailored to residents’ tastes, diets and cultural needs. This helps to keep up residents’ life skills and social interactions, and encourages them to eat at a time when appetites tend to diminish.”

Two more Care UK homes are set to open in Kent: Montford Manor in Ashford opens under the management of experienced care home manager Cheryl Shorter in October this year, and in Maidstone a new home opens in 2020.

Hopkinson added, “These homes will also offer a full range of older people’s care services in hotel-style surroundings, including a café, hair and beauty salon, bar and cinema.

“Our new suite of homes will bring over 500 new jobs to Kent. These highly trained and professional teams will deliver nursing and residential care, as well as dementia care, respite stays and end of life care for up to 75 older people.

“We will also offer step-down care, to support people to get back on their feet after a spell in hospital and before returning home. The homes will all offer the ultimate in tailored care, luxury and compassion.”