Mayor to open new-look dementia unit at Forest Care Village on National Care Home Open Day 2015

Friday 19 June

The Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood, Councillor Richard Butler, will open a new-style dementia unit at Forest Care Village in Borehamwood on Friday 19 June, as part of National Care Home Open Day 2015.

Lavender Walk, one of three specialist dementia units at the custom-built care complex on Cardinal Avenue, will give residents living with dementia the freedom to visit a French bakery, pop to a flower stall, head off to their local underground stop or stroll to the nearest post box.

The unit has been redesigned to look like a traditional high street with a mixture of shop fronts, brick walls and a grass-edged path on the floor – even the doors to the residents’ rooms have been fitted with functional letter boxes and door knockers to make them look and feel like proper front doors.

The idea to take Forest Care Village’s dementia-friendly environment one step further came from manager Wendy Lawther and has been a year in the planning: “As a dementia specialist care home we are always looking at how we can better support our residents with dementia and we know how important it is to foster a sense of independence - that’s why we decided to turn Lavender Walk into a street. All the changes to the environment have been carefully thought through to be relevant to our more elderly residents with dementia and give them the feeling that they can still participate in everyday life as they remember it from their younger lives – from popping to the local shops to opening their own front door. The residents love the various landmarks on the street, it makes it easier for them to work out where they are, and they enjoy the variety of spaces and bygone atmosphere. We’re delighted that it’s already made a big difference to their daily lives,” says Wendy. It has also helped staff to understand the dementia condition and positive outcome of reminiscence, both in activity and environment.

During his visit the mayor will tour Lavender Walk and have the opportunity to chat with residents and members of staff, hear their stories and find out what life at Forest Care Village is like.

As part of Care Home Open Day, members of the public are invited to join Forest Care Village for a summer-fete-style afternoon of fun from 1pm-4.30pm. Entertainment will include activities such as hoola hoops and hook-a-duck, a barbecue starting at 2pm, the Seaside Sunshine Show (a variety comedy performance) from 2.30pm-3.30pm, rounded off by a catwalk-style fashion show featuring staff and residents wearing national costume at 3.45pm.

Adds Wendy: “Anyone is welcome any time to come and see the excellent services and fantastic work that goes on here at Forest Care Village but the great thing about the national Care Home Open Day is that it challenges misconceptions about care homes and encourages local people to visit care homes in their community to find out what level of services are available. Once they do, they’re usually pleasantly surprised to find that care homes like ours are very welcoming, and full of friendly, interesting people! If you ever find yourself faced with finding a care home, either for yourself or a loved one, thats very reassuring to know.

Forest Care Village has 178 bedrooms, all of which are ensuite, spread across three floors. Each floor is self-contained and staffed according to the needs of the residents, from those with long-term neurological or spinal conditions aged 18 and over, to specialist dementia care for young and older people. Forest Care Village is part of the Forest Healthcare group of homes, which includes 13 individual homes throughout the South East of England. For more information, please visit or call 0208 236 2000.


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