After a lifetime of working and caring for his family, my Dad, who is now 93 was diagnosed with Dementia about 5 years ago.
When my Mum died in 2008, we had suggested that he sell up and move to a smaller house nearer to either myself or my sister, but as always, he was fiercely independent and was firm in his view that his home was in Upminster, and that's where he would remain.
After a few years, we noticed that his short term memory was getting worse, and he was becoming unable to cook and look after himself.
Dad was unable to see that there was anything wrong, but gratefully accepted our help in having him stay over at our house, and help at home from a variety of carers that we arranged for him.
As the Dementia took hold, his care needs increased, and my wife Esther eventually left work and took on the role of full time carer for my dad.
Eventually, as his abilities deteriorated further, his care at home became impossible, and we reluctantly started looking for a care home where he could live and be looked after 24/7.
After looking at many care homes, some good, some bad, we eventually settled on moving him to Dudbrook Hall, at Kelvedon Hatch near Brentwood.
This was neither the cheapest or the most expensive, but what impressed us about the home was its homely atmosphere, and how caring, approachable, and professional the staff and management of the home were.
Dad moved into Dudbrook Hall in Jan 2017, and although it was upsetting to move Dad into a care home, neither myself, my sister, or my wife have any regrets in doing so.
Dudbrook remains an excellent and caring home for an elderly person with Dementia. The staff organise many events such as visiting singers, quizzes, and karaoke to entertain the residents, and trips out in their mini-bus for pub lunches, and other places such as Duxford Air Museum to provide further stimulation.
I try to attend as many of these events as I can, and always take my camera to the home when visiting, as many of the elderly residents like having their photos taken and appreciate being able to see the results on my iPad.
The pictures above, and gallery below are a collection of these photos.
If family members would like copies or prints of these, or would like to engage me as Photographer for family portraits or events, just click on the "Contact" link in the menu on the left and I would be pleased to provide you with a quotation.
Rich Leighton (Jnr)