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Swing into Summer!

The threat of rain and thunder fell away on Saturday 20th July as residents, family, friends and staff celebrated the Rusthall Lodge 2019 Garden Party in style. Last year's 50th Anniversary Party had a lot to live up to but everyone agreed this year was the best party yet!

The gates to the garden formally opened at 2pm but people started to arrive from midday. First to arrive was the wonderful Bursen's Street Organ that had serenaded us so beautifully (and loudly) last year. Mounted in a 7.5 tonne lorry with a wealth of music to play, the Organ is based in Cranbrook and is a familiar favourite at steam fairs and rallys across the South East. It's always a pleasure to welcome it back and to see the organ's owners Barbara and her husband at our events!

Roaring in for a close second, third and fourth (arrival) were more friends of Rusthall Lodge; members of the Morgan Owner's Club who joined us last year to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of their Plus 8 model. These beautiful modern but classically styled cars lined up side by side in our car park for everyone to see. Red, vibrant yellow and Brooklands Green made a stunning motoring palette in the bright sunshine.

'Swinging into Summer', The Palm Trio brought music from the 40s and 50s to the party with a mix of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Sinatra, Buddy Holly and Billy Fury. Bill Blackford, Kevin Randall and Leyla Pellegrini who toured in West End hits that included 'CATS', 'Starlight Express' and 'Our House'. The hour was all about evoking happy memories from times past and hopefully making some new ones!

With a packed garden of guests, it soon became time for afternoon tea and what a splendid spread the catering team had prepared under the guiding hand of Chef Rachelle Clark. Cucumber sandwiches, cheesy potato cakes, sausage rolls were only matched by the sublime (quail egg) Sctotch Eggs that had been freshly prepared by our CEO Paul Richards during his 'Walking in Their Shoes' session. 'Walking in Their Shoes' is an opportunity for all the members of the Senior Management Team to slot into another department within the Home to experience what it's like to cover a shift in maintenance, domestic, laundry, care or on this occasion, the kitchen.

Complementing the food was a selection of bottled drinks from yesteryear - traditional lemonade, cola, dandelion and burdock, ginger beer and the effervescent garden party staple, shandy; all of which had been purchased and stored for the occasion by our Chef. The afternoon was a great success and brought forth some wonderful comments from residents and families alike. It was an opportunity for everyone to come together to celebrate care home life.

Our community is a close community and we work very hard to foster this feeling. Creating a sense of community within a care home is very important to us and is different to creating a 'home-like' environment. 'Home' promises autonomy and a sense of long-term security, and these characteristics are difficult to replicate in even the smallest of care homes, thereby raising expectations that cannot always be met. Concentrating instead on fostering a sense of Rusthall Lodge being a community allows reciprocity of relationships and the opportunity for those residents who are able (and choose) to contribute to the care home.

Evidence shows that relationships between our staff, residents, family, friends and the wider community are the most important factor in determining the quality of life of residents. Continuity of staff, good communication, staff responsiveness, dependability, trust and a degree of personal control by the resident also greatly helps improve quality of life.

We are also very excited about the new improvements we're planning for the garden area at Rusthall Lodge. Everything we have planned is with the residents and staff in mind. We are very lucky to be blessed with a considerable amount of 'social' space, from two well-appointed first floor lounges, three lounges on the ground floor which can open up into one large entertaining space and a front garden that runs the full length of the building. Tended by our gardener Charles, his eye for detail and planting experience means our residents always have a fragrant and colourful vista to look out on. Plus, they are able to contribute to what's grown here and this is one exciting project we're working; enabling them to directly contribute to the garden area with accessible raised beds, a horticultural corner with vegetable patch and a potting shed.

Life at Rusthall Lodge is ever-changing. We're a home now that doesn't want to stand still in innovating the fabric of the building for the benefit of our residents and staff. Keep in touch with progress by visiting this site regularly and following us on socila media. 

Looking for a care home for you, or a loved one, to Live Your Life?

Call 01892 556 500 to arrange a visit to Rusthall Lodge Care Home

Serving Rusthall, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas in Kent and Sussex

Residential care, Nursing care, Respite care




Written on 23rd July 2019

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