Judi Spiers cuts the ribbon to officially open new Dementia Community at Exeter Care Home

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Photography by Glen King: BACK ROW: Claire Gee - Home Manager, The Old Rectory/ Paul Courtney - Operations Manager, Southern Healthcare/ Karen Bolt - Director of Administration, Southern Healthcare/ Geoffrey Cox - Managing Director, Southern Healthcare/ Margot Whittaker - Director of Nursing, Southern Healthcare/ FRONT: Judi Spiers

June 30, 2016

Broadcaster Judi Spiers cuts the ribbon to officially open a new dementia community at The Old Rectory, a care home owned by Southern Healthcare, located in Old Tiverton Road, Exeter.

Long-established independent nursing care provider, Southern Healthcare owns four care homes across Devon. The homes based in Exeter, Dawlish, Seaton and Plymouth, specialise in complex nursing, dementia and residential care.

The new community at The Old Rectory, will enable staff to provide more specialist care for residents with a dementia, and other complex needs. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, special guest Judi Spiers had a guided tour of the new facilities, cut a special cake to mark the occasion and chatted to staff and residents. Guests enjoyed a traditional English afternoon tea in the new wing, and entertainment was provided by pianist Matt Carter and Andy, an in-house ‘Johnny Cash’ impersonator; a popular act who regularly serenades residents, evoking memories of their younger days.

It is estimated that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia and approximately one third of people with a dementia live in care homes. Speaking about The Old Rectory, Judi Spiers comments: “A lot of thought has gone into this Dementia Unit. The staff are happy and the residents are happy too. It is a warm caring and stimulating environment which is just as it should be for our loved ones.”

Southern Healthcare has been actively participating in a growing global network with a strong philosophy of addressing key issues in care homes such as boredom; loneliness and helplessness in later life, and developing a kind, caring and loving ‘home from home’. Southern Healthcare look to create a vibrant habitat, with meaningful activities such as; music sessions, different types of activities including various therapies, visits from schools, and a variety of cooking and creative workshops.

Geoffrey Cox, Managing Director – Southern Healthcare said: “The company strives to deliver confidence in the support it provides, and specialist nursing expertise to address a wide range of care needs. We are absolutely committed to building trusting, caring and valued relationships with residents, family members and staff alike.” He adds: “Having Judi officially open the new dementia community really helped to make it a special occasion and she was very popular with staff and residents alike. Judi really took time to engage with everyone and speak to individual residents throughout the afternoon, who were delighted to share their stories with her.”

On 1st July, Southern Healthcare and Hay House with the Devon Care Association and the Devon Care Kitemark Group are hosting a Dementia Conference ‘Caring about Dementia’. The conference is being held at Exeter Racecourse, and they are specifically looking to attract families and relatives as well as people with a dementia, to learn more about supporting people with the condition.

Geoffrey Cox comments: “This is a really exciting conference organised in collaboration with a number of different organisations and individuals, who are giving their time to help support those affected by a dementia, to deliver really positive messages aiming to make a positive difference to the lives of others. This event is free to the public, and we would like to encourage family members to attend to learn about the new developments in dementia care in Devon, and to find out how they can gain support for themselves and their relatives.”

Free to families and those involved in and affected by dementia / £40 for health care professionals

9am – 4pm, Exeter Racecourse to include lunch and refreshments.

For any further information on the conference or to book please contact:

Katie Western on: 01626 863 125 or email Karen Bolt on:

See coverage on the Express & Echo

See coverage in the Express & Echo