Whilst you may have seen the frontage to this historic village property many times, as you’ve passed Easthorpe Street, you might be unaware of all that lies behind – including its substantial buildings and impressive gardens.
Orchard House is owned and operated by by MyCare – which also runs Balmore Country House and St Peter’s Care Home in Ruddington. It currently has around 30 residents who all get to enjoy its beautiful buildings, grounds and facilities on a daily basis. Older Ruddingtonians may recall a time when it was the rather grand family residence of Mr & Mrs M.E. King before being donated to the village for use as a convalescent home in the early 1950s. There’s a plaque in the garden (below) to record this generous gift.
Today Orchard House offers all types of residential care for those who have a variety of care needs, with support for their journey throughout their dementia illnesses, including that of end of life care. The property is registered to accommodate 50 residents who have reached a point in their lives when 24 hour care is required.
Jan-Marie Attenborough has been the manager of Orchard House since November 2012 and, during her time in charge, has been keen to safeguard its heritage whilst improving the facilities on offer to all who visit, live and work there.
“It has a hairdressing salon, two large conservatories facing the garden and many tastefully decorated rooms – some that overlook the garden – with both a platform lift and stairlift” explains Jan-Marie. “We are so very lucky that our garden – which was once just a lawn and green house – has been designed and refurbished to become an ‘outdoor extension of the care home. The garden has a large lawn area, café, bar, beach hut inspired summerhouse, BBQ area ( for ‘al fresco’ dining), woodland seating area and ‘garden of reflection’. It has been the focal point of many celebrations prior to the pandemic.”
The man responsible for carrying out most of the work in the garden is Malcolm Mather – a professional carpenter as well as gardener who’s worked at Orchard House for 25 years. Jan-Marie is delighted how he has been able to turn many of her ideas into reality: “We focus on an area to improve on an annual basis in accordance with the ever changing needs of our residents and try to adopt a ‘something for all’ attitude.”
Of course, times have been tough for all care homes recently: “The pandemic has been very hard for the residents, their loved ones and the staff” continues Jan-Marie. “Orchard House is used to having visitors and the residents and their relatives become family. Not seeing them and listening to their frustration and distress not only at not being able to see their loved ones regularly, but in coping with their own situations and unable to offer that comforting ‘hug’ or shoulder to cry on in person, has been extremely difficult. Staff have spent time attending the care home as their ‘safe zone’ and worrying about the residents they care for – as they would rather be at Orchard House amongst their extended family. However, ‘lockdown’ takes its toll on their well-being and we have all made every effort to support each other in an empathetic manner.”
Now that all residents are double-vaccinated, and COVID-19 restrictions are easing, it’s hoped everyone there can resume a near-normal life very soon. Usually there are trips out, residents’ parties, music afternoons, exercise classes, quizzes and much more. “Visits are currently taking place in our garden and in our heated and stimulating summerhouse. We are hoping to have a garden party in late summer (all health & safety observed) to properly welcome all of our new families, and assist them in introductions with each other, to further provide support and ‘share’ their experiences.”
Jan-Marie has nothing but praise for her colleagues at Orchard House: “The staff and management work together as a team. There is no hierarchy as such. Staff are welcomed with a philosophy of ‘no-one is better than the other, we just have different job roles’. I cannot put into words how caring the staff here are. They work above and beyond for the benefit of the residents for their health and general well-being. We will work tirelessly to make sure that loved one receives the respect and care that they deserve at a time in their life that they at their most vulnerable. There is no need for anyone to feel the effects of stress, worry, distress or alone. We know, we understand, we can help. We are Orchard House!”
If you would like to find out more about Orchard House , or about MyCare‘s other Ruddington properties Balmore Country House and St Peter’s Care Home, you can make contact and request a brochure >>HERE<<.