The team at Yeovil’s newest care home, Chestnut Lodge enthusiastically embraced the recent opportunity to take part in National Afternoon Tea Week and will be adopting regular afternoon tea celebrations as part of their ongoing social activities programme.

For this first occasion they chose the theme of ‘Putting on the Ritz,’ inspired by the reputation of London’s Ritz Hotel as being one of the country’s premier places to have afternoon tea.

Graham Oakes, manager of Chestnut Lodge, said: “All mealtimes are important events because they give us an opportunity to create camaraderie, and Afternoon Tea Week was the perfect excuse to step this up a notch.

“There’s a skill to making mealtimes into calm, enjoyable experiences for our residents because dementia can cause issues around co-ordination and recognition.

“But the rituals around a classic afternoon tea are reassuring, and because it’s a familiar tradition it also prompts pleasurable reminiscences which spark smiles and laughter.

“Our team did an amazing job of sourcing accessories to set the scene, producing a tea-trolley worthy of The Ritz, with a retro china tea service, champagne bucket and stylish cakes stands.

“Soothing piano music and a vase of fragrant pink roses with fresh mint leaves enhanced the sensory experience.

“And the tasty and attractive looking savouries, sandwiches and cute cakes certainly tickled everybody’s tastebuds.

“People living with dementia enjoy familiar activities, so we’d invited those who wished to help with preparations to polish the silverware, and the two who had done this were very proud to see the results on display.”

Chestnut Lodge, which opened in April, has been operating a policy of gradual admissions to ensure each new resident is given all the time they need to feel at home in their new surroundings.

A purpose-built care facility, the home has recently been fully refurbished to a very high standard and can now accommodate 38 residents in single rooms, each with a personal wet room.

The home also provides respite care tailored to meet carers’ needs, with stays from 1-30 nights available.

Families wishing to enquire about a place should call Graham Oakes on 01935 513555 or email graham.oakes@camelotcare.co.uk