Q: What eats 28,000kg of strawberries and drinks 330,000 cups of tea? A: The crowds at Wimbledon and at Edenmore Nursing Home, Ilfracombe

Watched by 300 million viewers in 200 countries, and with 500,000 spectators in attendance over the 2-week period, Wimbledon is the largest annual sporting event in Europe, with the cheapest seats for the finals currently costing around £4000, if you can get them!

It is much loved by audiences in the UK’s 11,300 Care Homes, too, with packed seats watching the matches in the build up to the Women’s final on 14th July and the men’s final on 15th.

At Edenmore Care Home, near Ilfracombe, the residents, are referred to as Family Members, and have matches viewable in numerous lounges and may be served traditional strawberries and cream and perhaps even a glass of something stronger than tea, to celebrate the finalists’ successes. The home has a speciality in caring for those living with dementia, and watching sport is thought to have a beneficial effect on that condition.

But what is it about this fascinating game that attracts so many viewers?

Perhaps it’s our pride in our own tennis stars, or the fact that it is the most famous tennis tournament in the world. Or is it the out-and out “Britishness” of it all with the strict, all-white uniforms, Henman Hill, and of course, the Royal Box?

When asked why they liked watching tennis, family members often cited the classic 1980 final between Borg and MacEnroe as the ultimate Wimbledon Final. MacEnroe saved 7 match points before finally losing to Borg in the 5th set.

This year, the only break in excitement levels at the Home­­­­­­­ is going to be when the call, “New balls please” is heard

Roll on Wimbledon. Now where’s my scone gone?

Jerry Short

Having her Jam and Eating it

For most people, spreading a slice of toast with jam is a task that takes but a moment from our busy lives, but for Audrey Payne, an 85 year old, living with dementia, this prosaic act is unusual as is frowned upon by some care homes. Audrey resides at the Edenmore Nursing Home in Ilfracombe, where they provide award winning nursing and dementia care for 47 older people. They are part of the Bristol based, Evolve Care Group.

They refer to their residents as “family members” and treatment is based on the six paragons of Comfort, Identity, Occupation, Attachment, Inclusion and Love. These are part of their “Household Model of Care” which aims to promote enablement wherever possible. One of the most confusing aspects that make living with dementia difficult, are changes to routines.

Audrey came to Edenmore, in March, after living on her own for many years, and her former breakfast routine always included tea, jam and toast. Minimising change was considered essential if her care was to be effective, so she was carefully assessed to be capable of making toast and using a butter knife, without posing a risk to herself or to others. A staff member is always on hand, keeping a respectful distance away, but giving Audrey enough space to feel like her routine is unchanged.

To foster inclusion, “Family members” are encouraged to eat together, sat around family style tables, in a relaxed way. To an observer, anyone watching Audrey’s slight smile as she carries her breakfast plate to her chosen table, her expression may not seem important, but it is not the look of somebody worrying about changes they do not understand. It is the smile of somebody looking forward to nicely browned toast, laden with scarlet raspberry jam.

Edenmore Nursing Home, Ilfracombe are Jumping For Dementia

Two of the marketing team from Edenmore Nursing Home, in Ilfracombe, Devon, have just raised around £1000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in two sponsored tandem parachute jumps. 99% of those being cared for at Edenmore live with dementia and Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

Jessica Caine and Luke Barnett took to the sky on Sunday 5th August, from Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon, and jumped, each attached to their instructors.

Jessica had parachuted once before and said the views were incredible, but it was Luke’s first jump. Prior to taking off, he admitted to being terrified of heights, preferring his feet planted firmly on the ground. Shortly after landing he said “It was all over so quickly, I didn’t have time to be scared”

They jumped from 15,000 feet, any higher would need an oxygen supply, and within seconds, they were plummeting downwards at 120mph, in a tandem jump, which is the easiest of all skydives. It requires only 30 minutes of training before jumping, each strapped to a British Parachute Association Tandem Instructor. Jessica and Luke said that jumping was a truly unforgettable experience, and a fantastic way to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society

They raised enough money to pay for 2 years’ worth of clinical trial drugs to search for an effective treatment for vascular dementia. Speaking afterwards, they said the day was a total success for both Edenmore Nursing Home, and for Alzheimer’s Society.

Jerry Short, Evolve Care Group

3 Surprising Parachuting Facts

  • There is a sport called Banzai Skydiving. You throw the parachute out of the airplane first and then jump out after it and put it on whilst freefalling. The world-record wait before jumping out is 50 seconds!
  • Afraid of flying, Muhammad Ali spent his first flight praying with a parachute strapped to his back. He was heading to Rome
  • In the 1940s the Idaho Fish and Game Dept relocated beavers into the wilderness by dropping them out of airplanes with parachutes
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