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Raising standards of dementia care in Norwich

A brand new facility to provide care for elderly people with dementia is to open on the outskirts of Norwich, bringing the very latest thinking in dementia care to Norfolk for the very first time.

The Manor Lodge residential care home is due to open in Blofield, Norwich, on 19th October ‘2012, becoming the fifth care home of the family-run, Norfolk and Suffolk-based Swan & Cygnet Care organisation. It has been purpose-designed by Tom Ground, one of the foremost UK architects specializing in residential buildings for those with dementia.

Manor Lodge, which will occupy the same grounds as another of Swan & Cygnet’s residential care homes – Manor House – will provide care for 26 new residents at various stages of the condition, as well as short-stay respite and day care. Unique features of the new facility include the close proximity to gardens – including a sensory garden designed to stimulate mental activity and feelings of wellbeing for residents.

Comments Swan & Cygnet director and family member, Robert Blackham: “The family have over 60 years of residential care home experience between us, so it really is a ‘dream come true’ for us to be able to put all of our efforts into this unique new home. Our watch-word is ‘A Positive Approach to Residential and Dementia Care’ and that’s exactly the rationale behind Manor Lodge – to make life as positive as possible for people coming to terms with this debilitating condition either directly, or indirectly as family members of those affected.

“Everything here is intelligently designed and built with the residents’ and day visitors’ comfort, happiness and physical and mental care uppermost – from the forethought that’s gone into the room layouts and their positioning in small groups to promote a feeling of community, to the high quality of the fixtures, fittings, furniture and décor, which are all chosen to create the most homely environment possible. We’re so proud of what this represents in terms of the extra-special quality of life that we’ll now be able to provide. Our objective is to become a ‘beacon service’ for people with dementia in this part of Norfolk.”

Although the Blackham family are personally involved with all of the Swan & Cygnet care homes on a daily basis, Manor Lodge will be managed by Frances Friday who has been involved within the family organisation for over 16 years and currently manages sister home – The Moorings – in Earsham, rated ‘Excellent’ in the last inspection by the Care Quality Commission. Says Robert Blackham: “Having the right building is only a part of it – having the right team of people is paramount. Frances has a wealth of experience in caring for elderly people with dementia and has recently completed a diploma in Managing Dementia Care at Bradford University, under the leading light in UK dementia care, Tom Kitwood. Our future residents couldn’t be in better hands.”

The new facility is due to be officially opened on 19th October by Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP and Minister of State for Care Services.

For further details and enquiries, call 01603 713965, asking to speak to Frances or one of the senior management team, or email

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