We offer a wide range of activities to make sure the residents enjoy as fulfilling, stimulating and varied life as is appropriate to them. Some of the activities that are currently available include exercise to music and singing. We have found that the karaoke machine is as popular with the staff as it is the residents! Our residents also engage in painting and there is a gardening club. There are reminiscence games and quizzes which enable the residents to talk about past experiences. This is good for their memory and general wellbeing. We also hold regular bingo sessions for those who enjoy it and those who do not can avoid them!
Trips can also be arranged into the community for those less physically able to make journeys on their own. Residents can have lunches out.
We arrange many trips from the home throughout the year. These have included recently visits to Flatford Mill, Tiptree jam factory and local supermarkets so that our residents can experience normal life. They have been on Stour Valley boat trips and visits to the local garden centres, museums, pubs and tea rooms
We also organise a variety of entertainment within the Red House. These include a mixed variety of shows and we consult with the residents to find out what they would like to see. We arrange trips to tea dances at the Delphi social club. Several of our residents were very keen dancers in their early days. There are quizzes and competitions. We hold annual events such as our strawberry tea and regular coffee mornings and cheese and wine parties. We have garden parties with fireworks displays and Annual Remembrance Services. There is also opportunities for the residents to express their concerns and wishes.
Our residents are very much involved in the planning of our activities. Many of the events have originated from suggestions made by individuals. We recognise that each individual brings to us a lifetime of experiences, interests and knowledge and so far as is possible we will do our best to enable them to continue to enjoy those activities. We also have religious services every Wednesday and sometimes on Sundays as well. Every second Sunday the Salvation Army attends to give a personal service. We encourage all residents to participate and join in but ultimately we recognise it is a matter of personal choice. No one is made to participate if they do not wish to do so.
Regular visitors are given the code to the security gate. You do not have to make an appointment. We do not have set visiting hours. Our Residents are welcome to have visitors (including well behaved pets and children on leads) at any sensible time of day or evening that suits them. Visitors are welcome to join the Residents for a meal if they wish. You will need to book in advance so the catering staff know how many to cook for. A nominal charge will be made to cover the cost of the food but it certainly will not be restaurant charges although you will find the quality will be as good if not better.
As far as we are concerned the Red House is your relatives home and we do not restrict who they want to see and when and if you want to take them out for the day that is absolutely fine provided that you tell a senior member of staff and sign the visitors' book.
If you want to talk to our Manager she will be happy to meet you at any time in normal working hours if she is free or make an appointment if she is not. You will always find one of our senior staff on duty to talk to you as well if you have any concerns or questions.
The garden comprises of lawns and substantial beds, and mature trees, surrounded on two sides, by a grade 2 listed, 18th century serpentine wall, (referred locally to, as a crinkle crankle wall). In one corner, there is also an 18th century gazebo (folly). Although close to the town centre, the garden offers an oasis of calm and tranquillity for the people that live and come to stay at the Red House. The theme of the garden is "cottage garden", with beds planted out in a largely informal style, with colour throughout the year. Established plant favourites, such as scented roses, and lavender feature, and annual bedding is mainly grown from seed and cuttings in the two greenhouses on site. The garden is planted and maintained in such a way, so as to encourage wildlife. A raised bed has been built purposely for use by the residents who are encouraged, if they so wish, to help with maintaining the garden. There are several fruit trees, comprising of apple, pear, plum and bullace, along with a small vegetable plot, and the produce is often used in the kitchen.
In 1998, the garden was given a significant makeover by Notcutts, and the paths were reshaped and re-laid, to allow easier access to various areas of the garden. A pergola was added, to help provide shade in the summer, and to add shape and form to the garden. A three tiered pond was added to the patio area, which is stocked with plants and fish. During the spring, the pond is always visited by ducks that often choose to rear their young in the area. An extra special feature has been added to the pond, in the form of "duck steps", purpose built to allow access in and out of the pond by the ducklings, thus providing extra free entertainment for all!
We employ 14 staff in the kitchen to cover the shifts and this enables to be certain that there are always sufficient members of the team on duty at any time to provide for the personal requirements of our residents. Every member of the catering staff is very experienced in their separate roles.
At any main meal there are always two alternative main courses which are usually a meat, fish or cheese dish. Salads and omelettes are always available as an alternative. Even with that variety available there are occasions when a resident prefers something different and the catering staff will always try to cook what the individual prefers. Our head chef works closely with the residents and their families to ensure that we take account of individual's special dietary needs and will study the Personal Care Plans which contains this information. The department also conducts dining room surveys to ensure that each resident is consulted about what food they enjoy the quantity of food that is provided and general levels of satisfaction. This information is used to form the basis of the five week cycle of menus which are adjusted seasonally. All our produce is sourced locally and fresh.
We have been awarded a 5 star Hygiene rating by Suffolk County Council and all the catering staff understand how important it is to work together as a team to maintain the standard that was required to achieve this. We find that residents with us on a short term Respite care basis often comment on the quality of the food available compared to the food that they have provided for themselves in their own homes, and part of the function of the Head Chef is to provide nutritional advice to them to enable them to maintain a healthy diet when they return home.
Our Catering Department's mission is to provide choice and variety for each resident and to ensure that they enjoy tasty fresh healthy and nutritional meals. We recommend you book yourself in to join your relative in a meal regularly so that you can form your own opinion on whether we achieve this target and please do tell us what you think.
The Red House is the first residential home in Suffolk to invest in the pop up Reminiscence Pod, "RemPod" as featured on the BBC's Dragon Den.
These revolutionary kits are helping to change the quality of life for people with dementia, currently living in care. The Pods are literally pop up reminiscence rooms and work by turning any care space into a therapeutic & calming environment. They also help to relieve boredom, work as a meaningful "fun" activity and most importantly, build better care bonds between our staff and residents.
Our 1950's RemPod includes the 1950's print backdrop, a fully working 1950's TV & Radio, installed with classic TV shows and songs. Complete fifties living room décor and furniture, as well as plenty of memorabilia for residents to enjoy.
The Red House has its own hairdressing salon with one chair and all the necessary ancillary equipment. We have a hairdresser who attends twice a week. She is very skilled, and all the residents who wish to have their hair done see her by appointment. Our hairdresser is also well known in the community. She is a long-time supporter of the British Legion and has many military connections within her family. She is a keen member of the local theatre, and a great source of local information. The residents enjoy chatting to her as they have their hair done.
All the residents can have their clothes cleaned in our laundry to a very high standard. Our laundry equipment is professional, and in addition we have a seamstress who attends once a week to do any mending and alterations that any of the residents are asking for.