Bistro and grocery store created in home's shopping lane

Residents at The Dell, in Suffolk, now have a shopping lane complete with a bistro café, post office and grocery store to enjoy.

A care group has created a bistro café, post office and mini grocery store in its residential home to preserve residents' independence.

Wellbeing Care has installed the shopping lane at The Dell, near Lowestoft in Suffolk, which provides residential, dementia and respite care, to maintain a level of normalcy for its community.

It enables residents to undertake familiar tasks, such as going to the newsagents or buying fresh ingredients from the store.

These tasks can be beneficial to individuals with dementia, as research has demonstrated it can boost mental wellbeing by providing a sense of purpose and pleasure.

Resident Betty Hyde-Clarke, 94, says: “I visited the shopping lane yesterday to meet up with one of my friends. I had such a lovely time – it was great to have a chat and cup of tea in a different environment.”

And Claire Selby, manager of The Dell, says: "We are beyond excited to launch the new shopping lane in our Dell care home. The initiative will provide residents with more independence and a higher sense of self-worth, as tasks which may have associated risks can now be undertaken in a controlled, safe environment.”

The shopping lane includes a post office and bistro café

She adds: “The shopping lane will also encourage increased social interaction, as residents can arrange to meet up with friends, fellow residents or family members. We hope the increased social activity will help combat resident loneliness, which has been on the rise due to lockdowns and restrictions.

“We are pleased to hear how much the residents enjoy the improvements we are making and the beneficial effects it has on their happiness and wellbeing."

The family-run Wellbeing Care supports people living in Suffolk and Northamptonshire through residential care, nursing care, dementia care, respite care, day care and supported living services.

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