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MSP Educated and Energised by CrossReach Residents

MSP Educated and Energised by CrossReach Residents

Having promised to visit the CrossReach services in his constituency at the recent Scottish Parliament Reception he sponsored, true to his word, Jim Eadie MSP very recently dropped in on Morlich House and The Elms.

It’s hard to imagine what he thought he might find.

It’s equally hard to imagine he would have expected to have taken a literal trip down memory lane or to have enjoyed a short game of tennis.

The residents and staff at Morlich House have worked for a significant time planning and creating what has now become their very own memory lane.  In the summer of 2014 their 1950’s reminiscence home (a garage conversion with a difference) was opened and on Friday [10 March 2016], Mr Eadie enjoyed a recreational turn or two of the authentic mangle, situated in the scullery.

Walking past the display post box, there was an eager glance of anticipation through the window of the old fashioned sweetie shop (currently under construction) before the conversation turned to the importance and value of reminiscence. 

Supporting older adults without a diagnosis of dementia is a major focus of the team at Morlich House.  A majority of the residents come under that category and Glen Brady (manager) shared his passion for continuously improving and developing the support offered.

And so to Monday and an afternoon session of Tennis.

The Elms is one of CrossReach’s specialist residential homes supporting people who have dementia and their families.

In October 2015, the innovative introduction of Tennis ignited new and long lost passions for the residents.  In addition to the physical benefits, including increased co-ordination, balance and gentle aerobic exercise, no one could have anticipated the significant benefits for one resident in particular, who had played competitive tennis in her youth [read more here].

As a spectator of a short portion of the tennis session Mr Eadie noted surprise at the concentration, focus, stamina and dexterity evident 1½ hours into the session before enquiring about the practical application of supporting people with dementias.

Disorientation can be distressing for people who have a dementia and for those who support them. 

One of the ways The Elms have addressed this is by creating themed areas in the home (beach, garden and transport).  These have proven to significantly improve orientation, promoting conversation and reminiscence of holidays and interests whilst reducing the sense of isolation and stress.

Over a cup of tea and the obligatory slice of cake Mr Eadie, former Director of Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry Scotland, initiated a discussion surrounding the residents’ medication.  Specifically asking about the service’s practice relating to reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs, he noted his pleasant surprise at the frequency each of the 40 resident’s medication is reviewed (monthly) and commended The Elms for this.

He also commended The Elms for the 6 monthly ‘Client Reviews’ and for the extensive involvement of residents and their families in this process.

Before taking his leave, Mr Eadie took a moment to join the welcoming party for the newest members of the Home – the Living Eggs - which always promote excitement at the pending appearance of the hatchlings!

The residents and staff of Morlich House and The Elms were encouraged by Mr Eadie’s visits and even more so by his comments stating CrossReach provides a valuable service to people in the South of Edinburgh.



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Charis House, 47 Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2SR
Tel: 0131 657 2000 Email: info@crossreach.org.uk