22 May 2018
Finding Kew House Care Home
Richard and Jane share their story of finding the perfect care home for their dad.
After our dear mum passed away, Dad busied himself by volunteering at the local hospital and the Cancer Research shop in his hometown of St Andrews, where he was in charge of books until the age of 90. In 2017, after a series of falls, Dad ended up in hospital. We hated the thought of him going into a care home but realised it was no longer safe for him to live alone. Thankfully, he was in agreement. As the majority of the family live in the south of England, he put his faith in us to find a home from home near London.
We trawled the internet, researched various places and made numerous phone calls. First impressions are so important, and the manner in which our enquiry was often met left us feeling despondent: the uncaring tone of voice at the other end of the line, the lack of information and customer follow-up. When we visited one care home, we left feeling anxious and depressed. Then we came across Kew House Care Home in Wimbledon. What a difference! The phone was answered immediately by a friendly voice and we were put through to Jane Knight, the Customer Relationship Manager, who was so empathetic and professional.
A tour of the home was arranged, and we knew from the moment we entered the bright, buzzing reception/café area that this was the home we’d been looking for. With its cheerful team, home-made pastries and cakes, wholesome meals, beautifully laid out dining rooms, cinema, hairdresser, spa treatment room, peace garden and varied activities and events, Kew House felt alive. Our brother, who lives in Scotland, made an unannounced visit and was made most welcome. After being shown around, he agreed with our choice and an assessment was promptly arranged.
Moving day was very emotional for us, but the lovely team greeted us with open arms and our anxiety and sadness soon gave way to relief and positivity. Within hours of his arrival, Dad’s family and wartime photographs were hanging on the walls and his clothes were labelled and neatly put away, making him feel at home. We were invited to join him for lunch – the first of many delicious meals we have since shared with him.
It’s the little things that count too; everyone, from the senior carers to the cleaners, are smart, professional and cheerful. They always greet Dad by his first name with a friendly wave and a smile and treat him with dignity and respect. They know how he likes his coffee and which biscuits are his favourite. On Valentine’s Day, every resident was given a rose with a message attached that read: “You are loved”, and on Mother’s Day, each lady, whether a mum or not, was given a daffodil.
The reception and café area is the hub of Kew House, and those residents who live on the nursing and dementia communities are included in the daily goings-on. We have got to know the team, as well as many of the residents and their families, and feel Kew House has enhanced our lives as well as our dad’s. Though Dad suffers from memory loss and his conversation is limited, he keeps saying how lucky he feels to live at Kew House and that he now feels “part of the world again.”
As with many major decisions in life, it’s important to pay attention to your inner voice, and we are so glad we listened to ours.
Thank you, Kew House – we are so grateful and happy that destiny led us to your door.
Richard & Jane Lambert
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