The new Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan MP, visited Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on Tuesday 21 September.
The Minister was taken on a tour of the award-winning dementia house to experience first-hand the exceptional care delivered at the Home.
Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. It also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe.
Ms Keegan, who took up her new position on Monday (20 September), spent nearly two hours talking to the charity’s Chief Executive Andy Cole, Home Manager Helena Maher, residents and staff.
She was taken on a tour of the Home’s Lister floor, which provides care to people living with dementia. She watched residents use the omiVista Mobii interactive table – a motion-activated projection system that creates dynamic images on a surface – and keeps them physically and mentally active by stimulating movement, memory, reasoning and recall.
Ms Keegan spent time talking to residents and carers on Lister, before seeing the rest of the Home, including the physiotherapy room and hair salon, and chatting to more residents. She then joined nurses and carers in the garden to discuss their experiences during the pandemic.
After her visit, Ms Keegan said: “It was great to meet staff and residents at Royal Star & Garter care home to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, and see the innovative care they are delivering to support those living with dementia. While our workforce continues to go above and beyond, the UK is also leading the way in dementia research – it’s crucial we continue to accelerate progress on how we look after, treat and ultimately find a cure for this cruel disease.”
Royal Star & Garter Chief Executive, Andy Cole, said: “We are delighted that the new Minister for Care was able to join us to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, and experience the outstanding dementia and nursing care we provide in our Homes. I am grateful that the Minister took time to speak with our staff, hear about the challenges they have overcome in the past 18 months and listen to their views about the issues affecting the future of the care sector.”
The Home Manager, Helena Maher, added: “I was really proud to showcase our exceptional care and wonderful environment to the Minister on only her second day in post. The residents really enjoyed chatting to her and were impressed that someone so senior was visiting their home. It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister and I hope she will come and see us all again soon.”
World Alzheimer’s Day is an international campaign to raise awareness and highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia.
Royal Star & Garter’s outstanding dementia care received national recognition by winning the 2021 Professional Excellence category in Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Hero Awards. In August, the Surbiton Home was also named one of London’s Top 20 Care Homes by carehome.co.uk.
The charity’s Solihull Home welcomed Ms Keegan’s predecessor Helen Whately during a virtual visit in February this year. Caroline Dinenage also visited Solihull in 2018 when she was Minister for Care.
Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton is welcoming new residents. For more information, please go to www.starandgarter.org/surbiton