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Caring

Bridge House

Residential care for the elderly was once viewed as a last resort. How things have changed
Anyone can volunteer with Royal Voluntary Service as long as you are over 14.

Bridge House in Abingdon is a prime example of how the best residential care can, and will support your independence and make sure you enjoy all aspects of your future.

For most, moving into a residential home is a matter of lifestyle choice, although for some illness and disabilities inevitably mean that full-time care is the only option. But rather than residential care being viewed as the ‘final option’, there are actually massive benefits for both the individual and their family.

Medical opinions are unanimous in agreeing that keeping an active brain, body and social life for as long as possible is best for all of us, whether you are dealing with a condition such as dementia or just simply to ward away the signs of ageing. So when it comes to keeping brain and body active, residential care is ideal. And add the social aspect so often overlooked in later life – and Bridge House is the perfect choice.

One resident describes how, after the death of his wife, coming to Bridge House was less about his physical care needs and more about keeping social. “I thought to myself, you hear so many stories about old people alone or lonely and I thought well, there is no need to be like that if you find a care home with 20, 30 or 40 lively people. Bridge House is a great example of how you can enhance your life. Eating with vibrant people every morning, lunch and supper time prevents any feeling of loneliness, and living at such a high standard makes life here a pleasure. It would have been very cramped living at home with my children, but now none of us worry.”

Bridge House enhances the social atmosphere with some wonderful facilities. In fact, stepping into Bridge House is much more like walking into a rather nice hotel with unrivalled care facilities. All residents eat in dining rooms with more affinity to a favourite restaurant and there is also a bistro ready to serve coffee, tea and cakes all day long. For those still physically mobile, there is a garden to attend to, which this year narrowly missed out on an award, such is the dedication of the residents and garden team. There is also a gym, especially adapted to the needs of the residents, and if you are after a bit of pampering, a spa as well. And not to mention the cinema and packed activity list! But just as importantly, Bridge House also ensures that the lives of residents who are unable to take part in activities are also catered for.

One resident explained how she found Bridge House and how it has greatly improved both her and her partner’s lives. “My husband has Parkinson’s and is in the final stages of Alzheimer's, and was in another home until last January. Although the care was good it was a 50 mile round-trip for me and to be separated from him was just terrible.

"After hearing about Bridge House, I came to an open day and I didn’t know a soul, but people were very friendly. I went away and made an appointment and the long and short of it is that I moved my husband here and I am really glad I did. Although I had no complaints about the care at the other home, the distance was terrible.

"My husband will be 79 at the end of this year but he started to decline around five or six years ago. As my husband is very dependant the level of care has to be very good and it certainly is here. I have never, ever, ever heard a cross word from any members of staff. I think it has been a good move for both of us as although he can’t join in any activities, like the quizzes, he watches. And I think the outings are very good for him too and he seems much happier since he has been here.”

Another resident agrees that the staffing at Bridge House really helps to create a great atmosphere in which to socialise. “The carers are kind. That’s all I ever wanted.”

Activities at Bridge house range from Zumba classes to classical concerts. And it isn’t just the residents who can benefit! For a membership fee, senior citizens who still live independently can join the Riverly Club. This offers them use of the spa facilities, they can join in activities and get involved in the social life of the care home. It is ideal for those who have friends at Bridge House or who still want to live in their own home, but want to join in with some of the activities.

Keeping your mind active is great for health in later life. At Bridge House, the life of the individual is central to everything they do. This simple philosophy means that whatever your circumstances, whatever your health, Bridge House is there to help you thrive and keep doing the things you love for as long as possible.