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Dementia care at Woodbury House Care Home. The daughter of our late resident Bernard shares her story.

Woodbury House, Swallowfield-Tracy's dad Bernard pictured in 2019 (1).jpg

“I just knew it was the right place and thankfully Dad agreed.”

Finding the right care home for yourself or a loved one can be confusing and stressful. At a challenging and emotional time, many of us find it hard to know where to begin and often a decision needs to be made quickly.

Of course there is nothing better than personal recommendation. Talking to someone who has already been through the experience can be very reassuring and gives you valuable first-hand information.

Tracy Matthews, whose dad Bernard lived at Woodbury House until he passed away earlier this year, wrote to the team to thank them for their amazing care and here we share her experiences.

“My dad, Bernard, was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2015. He managed well enough with twice daily visits from myself and a carer until April 2019, but had declined considerably for about six months before then. It was at this point I knew he needed permanent care.

“Having had my Mum die nine years before from vascular dementia, I had an idea of what was involved so did some research and viewed five care homes; looking at menus, rooms and the activities on offer. I liked just two of the five but one in particular stood out for me and that was Woodbury House.

“I think it was just the feel of the home; it’s hard to describe so I hope this makes sense. There wasn’t the over- rehearsed tick list that stated how wonderful it was, nor the need to sell it to me. Just an open honesty and a realness from the Manager Sam and her team. There was no promise of perfection about how life would be, just a reassurance that the care for Dad would be based entirely on his needs and wants and that I could be as involved as much as I liked too.

“I just knew it was the right place and thankfully Dad agreed.

“Dad moved into Woodbury House in May 2019 and settled quite quickly; he constantly made reference to the lovely team and how well he was looked after. I visited every day and got to see how life really was on a daily basis - it didn't disappoint. When visiting, I've joined in with the singing, enjoyed a painting activity and even some hula hooping!

“There was a real sense of fun with lots of laughter and mischief from both residents and team members but everything was always professional. I was always offered a drink and a cheery hello and the door was always open for me to ask questions. It was so lovely to see the care given by the younger members of Woodbury House, they are so dedicated to their work as are all the team there.

“Unfortunately Dad deteriorated and had awful sundowners (confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night) and paranoia. It was very reassuring for me to see that everything was under control and that problem solving didn’t employ a one-size-fits-all answer. The team tried various things until the best solution was found. I don't think he was the easiest of residents.

“After a short while, I felt so relaxed in myself and always left the home knowing he was being really well looked after. I also felt so supported by all the team and will really miss not seeing them as sadly Dad passed away in April 2020. He was on a downward spiral for about a month before but I was always kept informed of everything that was going on via phone or FaceTime due to the Covd-19 lockdown. I was so lucky to have been with him holding his hand when he passed away.

“I cannot thank the team at Woodbury House enough. They are amazing and a real credit to brighterkind.”  

Tracy Matthews, August 2020


If you would like any advice or to find out more about what Woodbury House Care Home can offer please contact our Home Manager on 01189 733885. Whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place, we are able to discuss your care needs in detail and arrange assessments over the phone.

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