Diss care home offers enriching experiences for residents

The Croft care home in Diss

Operating since 1996, The Croft provides specialist residential care for eight adults with learning disabilities. - Credit: Andrew Thorpe

The Croft care home in Diss, Norfolk has been helping its residents to gain confidence and independence for the past 25 years, creating a safe and supportive environment where adults with learning disabilities can live in the way that they choose.

Operating since 1996, The Croft - which is part of the Priory Group - provides specialist residential care for eight adults with learning disabilities. Some of the residents that moved in to the home upon opening are still living there today and have built strong, trusting relationships with staff.

“We know our residents really well,” says registered homes manager Andrew Thorpe. “We get to see their progress, their achievements, their development in activities and their growing independence.”

With such a small group of individuals living at the home, staff at The Croft really come to know each resident and become a huge part of their day-to-day lives. That’s why it’s vital for new starters to be friendly, adaptable and willing to learn.

“It can actually be quite overwhelming how much information you need to take on board as quickly as possible. But there’s no real shortcuts to get to know someone. It just takes time,” says Andrew.

“But we have got some very detailed care plans that have evolved over the past 20 years. They’re always evolving and being updated.”

The needs and abilities of residents at The Croft vary greatly, so the team supports their individual care requirements and personal wants through a person-centred approach that recognises each resident’s own goals and aspirations.

The Croft kitchen

The team at The Croft supports its residents to help them lead more fulfilling lives - Credit: Andrew Thorpe

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Using bespoke plans for each resident, the Croft organises a diverse range of activities and outings in the home and in the community to help everyone enjoy a more fulfilled and active life. This can include anything from taking a resident to a local café for a cup of tea each morning, to organising a weekend away at a holiday park. 

Recently, the team organised for a resident to meet up with their family for an exciting day out at the zoo and another resident successfully completed a period of work experience at a local garden centre.

Of course, the past 18 months have been incredibly difficult for everyone at The Croft, as multiple lockdowns have prevented staff and residents from taking part in activities in the wider community. But, like many of us, the care home has explored more insular hobbies such as crafts and gardening, which have helped the residents to express themselves and stay active. 

Earlier this year, some crafty team members at The Croft held a Chinese New Year themed day, where the team helped residents to create Chinese lanterns and calendars before serving a Chinese meal in the evening.

The Croft is always happy for team members to bring their own personal flair to the support that they provide. Andrew says: “If someone has a particular skill or interest, then we’ll definitely try to tap in to that. A few of the staff here can play the guitar really well, so they will often sit down with a resident and play the guitar. That can actually really help to calm the resident if they’re feeling anxious.”

The Croft gardens

The Croft has a large garden where residents could explore hobbies like gardening during lockdown - Credit: Andrew Thorpe

And for those looking to progress through a career in care, The Croft provides clear career pathways to assist staff in their growth; facilitating training and opening the door to extra responsibilities and opportunities that will help ambitious individuals get to where they want to go.

“You could start at The Croft as a support worker and then follow the very clear pathway up to the registered manager roles and maybe even beyond,” adds Andrew.

For more information on The Croft, please visit www.prioryadultcare.co.uk, or email adultcare@priorygroup.com. If you are interested in learning more about a career in care with the Priory Group head to https://jobs.priorygroup.com

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