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Information & Resources

Home Instead Basingstoke runs two "Tea and Talk" cafes each month:


  • In Tadley, at the Methodist Church Hall, Main Road, Tadley RG26 3NU, on the third Friday of each month at 2.00-3.30pm. The next ones will be on:
    • Friday 21st September
    • Friday 19th October
    • Friday 16th November
    • Friday 21st December


  • In Old Basing, at the Parish Rooms, St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Old Basing RG24 7DJ, on the fourth Monday of each month at 2.15-3.45pm. The next ones will be on:
    • Monday 24th September
    • Monday 22nd October
    • Monday 26th November
    • Monday 17th December


Our Tea and Talk cafes are free and are intended to provide opportunities for any elderly members of the local community, including anyone living with with memory loss or dementia, together with carers and family, to meet up, reminisce, share experiences or just get out of the house.

These are informal and unstructured sessions with refreshments and access to information.  No need to book.  No need to stay for the whole session.  Everyone’s welcome, so why not just pop in and say hello ?

For more information please feel free to contact Sally on our office phone number, 01256 840 660.



Maintaining good nutrition plays an increasingly important role in staying well as we get older, but Home Instead research has found that one in five over-75s struggle to cook their own food, and 30% of over-85s are at risk of malnutrition. Here are some tips for encouraging your loved one to enjoy mealtimes.

  • Shopping – help your loved one to make their shopping lists and think about healthy meal plans for the week ahead.
  • Stimulate interest in mealtimes – eg by involving your loved one in the selection, preparation and serving of meals. Exposure to the aromas of cooking can help stimulate the appetite.
  • Consider the dining area – is it comfortable, free from distractions and a nice atmosphere ?
  • Think about portion sizes - an older person’s appetite may not suit three large meals a day, and finger foods may be more appropriate than a traditional meal.
  • Provide snacks – healthy snack options and drinks, available throughout the day, can be useful in maintaining food and liquid intakes.
  • Avoid calorie-free or low-fat products unless they have been specifically recommended by your loved one’s GP.
  • Create regular routines that prioritise mealtimes. Gentle persuasion to eat, rather than rushing or coercing, will be more successful in achieving a regular food intake.
  • Beware of weight loss – weight loss is not a normal part of the ageing process and is likely to indicate malnutrition or another problem.

Home Instead can help with shopping and meal preparation, or provide a general helping hand around the house. We would be pleased to discuss your particular needs, and how we can help your loved one eat well and stay well at home.

How much do you know about maintaining a healthy diet as you grow older ?  Why not test yourself on some common myths ?

  • Does your stomach really get smaller with ageing ? No, this is not true; although your appetite may change, the stomach remains the same size.
  • Your metabolism slows down as you age, but does this mean you must eat less ? Not necessarily; eating good food remains as important as ever to protect and fuel our bodies, and allow us to age well.
  • For many of us actively keeping our weight down throughout our lives may be healthy, but should we continue this in later years ? Generally no, dieting and unintentional weight loss by the elderly should be avoided unless advised by a GP or dietician.
  • Should you only eat when you feel like it ? This approach by the elderly could be risky as ageing affects the usual hunger triggers; a loss of appetite is not normal and could indicate an underlying health problem.
  • Is a low-fat diet best ? Not necessarily; some fats are important sources of energy and some older people may need to eat more fat to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Should I eat more vegetables ? Nutrient-rich vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet, but the diet should also contain protein, carbohydrates and liquids. Protein becomes more important as we age because it helps protect our muscles, immune systems, organs and brain.
  • Do I only need to drink water when I’m thirsty ? If you feel thirsty then your body is probably telling you that you are already starting to get dehydrated. Dehydration is a major risk in older people, causing confusion and increasing the risk of UTIs.
  • Can I rely on meal supplements ? Our bodies cannot manage on meal supplements and vitamins alone, and some supplements just don’t do what they are claimed to do and can even interact adversely with our medication. Better to enjoy proper meals with family & friends rather than rely on supplements – in Home Instead research nearly 20% of over-75s say they go for three months or more without having someone to dine with.
  • Must elderly people continue to eat three square meals a day ? Eating regularly is essential, but three meals a day can become difficult if your appetite is affected. It may be more comfortable to have five or six smaller meals or well-proportioned snacks instead.
  • Is malnutrition is to be expected with older age ? Malnutrition can affect people of any age or size; it is not a normal aspect of ageing, but it is a particular risk and we must look out for the warning signs.

Helping our clients maintain good nutrition by helping with shopping and meal preparation, and monitoring food and drink intake, are a major part of our service. For more information about how Home Instead can help you or your loved one maintain a happy and healthy life at home please get in touch.

September is World Alzheimer's Month, which is about raising awareness of dementia and challenging the associated stigmas.

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International someone somewhere in the World develops dementia every three seconds, and there are now more than 50 million people living with this condition.

Stimulating the mind and body, and encouraging social interaction, through activities and hobbies, is a good way to help those living with dementia to find enjoyment, reduce boredom, feel fulfilled and maintain their social relationships. Here are a few ideas for stimulating activities:

  • Crosswords
  • Needlecrafts, knitting or crochet
  • Dominoes
  • Walking
  • Games designed for people living with dementia
  • Exercise classes such as Tai Chi
  • Reminiscence and looking through photographs
  • Music and singing
  • Meals or drinks with friends
  • Attending a dementia café or other social group

 At Home Instead Basingstoke, about 30% of our clients have dementia and we are committed to helping them to continue living fulfilling and independent lives in the comfort of their own homes, for longer. Our CAREGivers undertake special training to equip them in understanding the condition and supporting those living with it.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we might be able to help your loved one live well with dementia.

The warning signs of dementia

We’ve put together some of the main dementia warning signs:

  • Daily life being disrupted through memory loss.
  • Difficulties in making daily arrangements or solving daily problems.
  • Familiar tasks at home, work or leisure becoming uncommonly difficult.
  • Getting confused with seasons, dates, times or place.
  • Difficulties understanding visual images and spatial relationships – for example not understanding who they are seeing in the mirror.
  • Difficulties with words in conversation or in writing.
  • Placing things in random or unusual places, and possibly accusing others of theft as a result.
  • Deterioration in judgment or decision making
  • Changes in mood or personality, such as confusion or becoming suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious.

If you have any concerns about dementia, the first step should be to raise them with your GP, who can give you the necessary guidance.


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"We are overwhelmed with the sheer professionalism and humanity that your agency provide.  You have proved to be very flexible and treat my mother with such respect and dignity.  It is giving my brothers and sisters and I, finally, a little bit of peace of mind for the times when we cannot be with mum.  For that, we cannot thank you enough."

Mrs JO