Home creates shopping lane after success at sister site

St George’s care home in Suffolk has introduced a shopping lane after seeing positive results from a similar scheme at its sister home.

A care home has created a dementia-friendly shopping lane to boost its residents' wellbeing after a similar initiative at its sister home was hailed a success.

Wellbeing Care's St George's care home, based in Beccles, Suffolk, introduced the lane after doing so at its The Dell in nearby Lowestoft. Management there say they have seen a significant improvement in resident wellbeing since early 2022 and hope the same results will be seen in Beccles.

Inspired by elements of the traditional British high street, the shopping lane includes a fresh flower shop, mini grocery store and telephone booth, alongside a new coffee area in the dining room that encourages residents to catch up with loved ones over tea and cake.

By undertaking familiar tasks, such as visiting the newsagents or purchasing fresh ingredients from the local store, residents can maintain a sense of independence and normalcy, which has proven to be exceptionally beneficial. The shopping lane has already received positive reviews from residents, with Lee Page, 94, saying: “This has really brightened the home – we can look in the windows at all the lovely flowers and fruit.” 

Joy Henshaw, registered manager of Wellbeing Care, says: “Following the success of our shopping lane at The Dell care home, we decided to launch the shopping lane across our other care homes too. The initiative has already proven successful, as residents have reported feeling more independent. It is clear that the shopping lane provides a higher sense of self purpose, subsequently improving residents’ confidence and self-esteem.”

She adds: “The shopping lane facilitates social gatherings, as residents can now arrange to meet up with friends, fellow residents or family members in a secure, controlled environment. We hope the increased social activity will help combat resident loneliness, which has been heightened nationally due to the recent lockdowns and restrictions. We look forward to continuing seeing our St George’s residents react to the improvements we are making, as well as the subsequent effect it has on their happiness and wellbeing.”

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