People living with dementia at a specialist nursing home in Yeovil are being introduced to the regular delights of a tea-dance at Sherborne’s Café Baglioni, thanks to a determination to ‘ring the changes’ by new activities co-ordinator Juliet Bannister.

Juliet has recently started working with dementia care specialists Camelot Care at Acacia Nursing Home on Hendford Hill in Yeovil, and already has an exciting programme of activities planned.

Juliet said: “I love dancing, and I’ve seen how it can bring people out of their shells, so when Baglioni agreed to organise tea-dances for the people we support, I knew that idea would be a winner – and it is!”

Bread-making is another new activity for many of the residents of Acacia, while for others it allows them to resurrect a skill that may not have been exercised for a while.

“Bread-making is an activity which appeals to the senses,” said Juliet. “The kneading is rhythmic and physical, and the smell and taste of newly-baked bread is irresistible. Our residents find the whole process deeply satisfying.”

Other outings being organised for the residents of Acacia are excursions to favourite local carvery restaurants for Sunday lunch, and evening visits to the pub.

Juliet also plans to take them on trips to the local garden centre, and to support those with an interest in gardening to work on the borders of the gardens at Acacia.

Born and bred in Yeovil, Juliet has recently returned to the town after 28 years living in Cornwall.

Running a playgroup, raising a severely autistic son and experience of working with people with dementia in Cornwall, have together helped Juliet develop a creative approach to caring and making the most of life, whatever challenges it presents.

A wide range of hobbies – past and present – include car rallying, dancing, arts and crafts, and ‘cheffing,’ which according to Juliet combine to give her ‘plenty of inspiration’ to keep Acacia’s residents entertained.

Acacia Nursing Home is one of four specialist homes based in Somerset and Devon run by award-winning care provider Camelot Care.

For more information about Acacia Nursing Home visit: www.camelotcare.co.uk  or call: 01935 470400.

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