Ardale Oakham Grange Care Home

Gainsborough baths ‘bring tears of joy’ to residents at new Ardale Oakham Grange care home

Located in scenic Oakham, Rutland, Oakham Grange opened in 2020 and is the latest luxury care home from Ardale. It delivers a new level of care in the UK’s smallest county – supported by the latest accessible bathing solutions from Gainsborough

This contemporary 60-bed building is organised into three households providing quality homes for residents with a range of conditions from restricted mobility to dementia.  Oakham Grange delivers a sense of belonging to all residents, so they experience a genuine homely feel, whilst benefiting from the latest care facilities.  As a loyal client, Ardale has recommissioned Gainsborough to provide three specialist Gentona baths to ensure its care excellence ethos is present in the bathrooms of Oakham Grange and beyond.

The family-run healthcare provider responsible for Oakham Grange first specified Gainsborough baths for its Marbrook Centre, a specialist neuro rehabilitation facility in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire. These bathing solutions were so successful they led to further Gainsborough installations at the Ardale Potters Grange care home in Hertfordshire and now Oakham Grange. 

Gentona baths provide powered height adjustment and bather transfer seats so bathers and carers benefit from safe moving and handling.  Bathers once again have freedom to bathe and enjoy the sensation of soaking in a bath. 

The mental and physical health benefits of bathing, as opposed to adapted showering, are frequently reported – results show improved mood, positivity, and wellness for residents. In addition, care staff are protected from back injury as manual lifting and adjustment of bathers is not required.  Eye level engagement is possible and administering personal care does not involve uncomfortable stooping. 

With the inclusion of multiple safety and therapeutic features built-in, Gainsborough baths are now providing a vital hygiene and sensory experience at Oakham Grange. 

Catherine Ferguson is the General Manager at Oakham Grange and has been highly impressed with their Gentona baths, as she explains:  “Our Gainsborough baths have been an absolute bonus for our residents and staff. I’m really proud of them.  They’re one of our highlights when we show potential new clients around as they are vital for well-being.  Times have been really tough over the last year with Covid so being able to soak in a bath has become a real treat for residents, not just a procedure for personal hygiene.  They can enjoy the airspa bubbles, chromotherapeutic lighting and even music through the inbuilt Bluetooth sound system – really stimulating for people with dementia.  So many clients haven’t had a bath for an awful long time before they arrive, due to challenges at home.  Here they can, with safety and peace of mind, resulting in the most amazing differences in an individual’s positivity and mood.”

The flagship Gentona bath from Gainsborough continues to be a leading choice for healthcare providers.  It delivers an ultra-efficient bathing solution that reduces water and energy consumption without compromising comfort for bathers.  A key Gentona feature that gives Oakham Grange a care advantage is the BioCote antimicrobial technology which is included in every one of Gainsborough’s UK manufactured baths.  This silver-ion technology ensures advanced, dependable hygiene with up to 99.9% 24/7 protection against microbes such as influenza A H1N1, E.coli, Salmonella and CRO, CRE, VRE and MRSA.  As it is integrated into the glass reinforced plastic, it cannot be wiped or worn away whilst also reducing stains and odours.  This world-class additive has been proven effective for over 20 years across the world and now brings a new level of hygiene and peace of mind to Oakham Grange. 

The safety and comfort of residents is always top priority for all ethical healthcare providers. However, without equipment that also protects staff, care can be compromised through injury, staff absence and a reluctance to perform certain tasks.  This is where Gainsborough baths again excel and Catherine continues:  “We wouldn’t be able to physically lift someone into a standard bath and our residents wouldn’t be able to get in.  How our clients can access a bath is a common question we get asked when potential clients come for viewings.  With the Gentonas and their powered transfer seats, staff can manoeuvre bathers with ease and without hurting themselves – strengthening our moving and handling best practice.  This prevents team members from having time off due to bad backs and also makes them more likely to use the equipment.”

The ergonomic support the baths provide is clearly valued by the care staff as Cat Statham, Senior Nurse, confirms:  “I’ve been a nurse for over 20 years and I’ve never come across equipment like these Gainsborough baths.  I would recommend them for both healthcare professionals and residents alike.  From the point of view of care staff, movement of residents in and out of the bath is easy as we do not need to rely on traditional bath hoists which can be difficult to manoeuvre. With literally the touch of one button we can transfer bathers without manual handling.” Cat is on the front-line of care and encounters on a daily basis how access to a bath enhances resident wellness. She continues: 

“With residents, you see them benefit time and again from bathing; we have experienced many tears of joy over the years.  It can be a very emotional experience for all of us especially when a new resident is able to bathe for the first time in years.  When you start to lose your mobility, being able to access a bath safely is one of the first things to go.  Here at Oakham we facilitate a return to bathing freedom through equipment we can trust. We have a specific resident who used to be bed bound in hospital and through our physio and Gainsborough baths is now able to mobilise.  He loves to have a bath, if possible, especially in the morning when he can feel the warmth and bubbles around his joints. As people get older they can experience more stiffness and pain which can also have a detrimental effect on mental health.  This particular gentleman always comments how he feels better, clean and fresh after a bath. This is a significant mental sensation that adds to the physical benefits of bathing.” 

The quality of service at Oakham Grange is matched by its design excellence.  Throughout this light and airy home, there is a clear attention to detail with many considered elements that promote successful living – with flexible support options for more independence where appropriate.  There is a range of bedroom types and apartments for couples to share, all with en-suites to support the communal bathrooms.  Each room has individual characteristics and Oakham Grange actively encourages residents to retain their own personality through personal possessions and hobbies.  

As with other Ardale homes, Oakham Grange has been constructed and decorated using best practice, making the home a dementia friendly environment.  From colour coded door frames to memory wall boxes and appropriate flooring, the whole environment has been considered for individuals with cognitive challenges.  The latest technology has been installed for smart monitoring, and lower windowsills allow wheelchair users to freely view the external leafy residential setting. 

In the exterior courtyard, a 1966 Morris Minor in mint condition is positioned as a talking point.  A putting green adds to the stimulus of attractive gardens outside so multi-generational engagement is relaxed when younger relatives come to visit.  Overall the atmosphere inside and out at Oakham Grange is one of positivity – enhanced by the presence of Gainsborough bathing solutions. In conclusion, Catherine states: “Our aim at Oakham Grange is to provide an environment that allows every resident to truly relax, however they want to.  Whether that’s enjoying a glass of wine or soaking in the bath, we make sure individualised opportunities exist. Being able to bathe can set residents up for the day and help with sleep at night.  Bathing also helps to maintain well-being and reduce anxiety, which in turn improves happiness and ultimately health as residents are less prone to infection. Our Gainsborough baths have massively changed some of our resident’s lives.”