Age and dementia are no barrier to making friends – particularly in a purpose built and welcoming environment 

“You’re never too old to make friends”  is the prevailing attitude of those residents at Signature Senior Lifestyle’s award-winning luxury care homes across London and the Home Counties.

Rosetta Gooch, 81 and Jo House, 87, who live at Signature’s Bentley House in Hertford are one example.

Both ladies have been living with dementia but this hasn’t stopped a bond flourishing and a touching friendship developing – over a shared enjoyment of the arts, painting and drawing, flower arranging and music.

The pair struck up their friendship while having a cuppa in the on-site Peg’s Cafe in 2020.

Reflecting their outgoing personalities and zest for life, the pair have taken advantage of Signature’s busy menu of activities.

This includes arts therapies to encourage creativity in the form of painting, singing, dancing, as well as spontaneous activities.

Following a fulfilled life that has included time spent living in Guernsey and America, and numerous classic-car road trips with her husband in their vintage Bentley, Rosetta, who has six grandchildren, moved into the aptly named Bentley House in March 2020.

Meanwhile, Jo moved into Bentley House in Feb 2016.

A lover of swimming, walking and the arts, Jo has spent much of her life visiting private art gallery viewings with her husband, and enjoying trips to Europe, America and New Zealand to visit her sister.

Kendra Bray, Client Liaison Manager, Signature Senior Lifestyle says: “Rosetta and Jo’s friendship is truly heart-warming and has been beautiful to watch develop – it proves you’re never too old to make friends and that dementia doesn’t have to be a barrier.

They smile and laugh together like old friends who go way back which can really light up a room.

“Not knowing people can be a concern for some people moving into a new community but we pride ourselves on being welcoming and friendly – there is always something happening and someone to talk to if you want to. We understand the nuances of dementia and treat everyone with the individuality, respect and dignity that they deserve.”

For those with living with dementia, there is always help at hand, with ongoing advances in care and technology that prioritise people living comfortable fulfilled lives that don’t strip them of their vital independence.

Signature has a vision to be the most innovative and flexible care home provider, recognising that each diagnosis of dementia is unique.

It offers state-of-the-art, purpose built homes – which are all CQC rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ − that combine outstanding design and amenities with exceptional care.

Signature’s dedicated dementia suites have special features that offer support and exceptional care within a dignified and comforting environment.

Its dementia communities are small in size, with a comfortable yet elegant, family feel.

Signature’s newer homes are designed using the Gold Standard Framework from the University of Stirling, the UK’s leading dementia specialist researcher, ensuring market-leading environments.

While creating a home environment is vital, it’s the level of specialist training and staffing that really makes the difference when it comes to providing exceptional dementia care.

Signature Senior Lifestyle currently operates 13 home across London and the Home Counties with a further six in the pipeline – with one in Beckenham, in the London Borough of Bromley, due to open later this year.