That’s why, at Home Instead Leek and Moorlands, we’ve put together a quick guide to five of the best places in and around Ashbourne where we’d believe you’d enjoy taking your older relative or friend. A change of scenery can be really beneficial for those living with dementia.
Some of these places are only open occasionally – others can be visited at most times during the week. They are all relatively easy to access and have a range of facilities. We hope you enjoy trying them out!
Ashbourne’s Memory Café and Activity Group is run by the Alzheimer’s Society and meets on the first Thursday of each month for two hours, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. It’s a great support group for people with dementia and their carers, family and friends. The dementia café provides an ideal venue for you to have a relaxed chat in a friendly environment with those who’ve been affected by this illness, so that you can learn from the experiences of people in similar situations.
The group meets at the Waterside Centre in Ashbourne – but please contact the Alzheimer’s Society before attending (call 01332 208845 or email [email protected]). There’s parking off site and the centre is easily accessible, with toilet facilities and refreshments available. The Society often hosts talks by various local organisations who promote safety and wellbeing.
St Oswald’s Church in Ashbourne is well worth visiting – it’s one of the largest churches in Derbyshire and is open daily, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. There’s a sense of both tranquility and grandeur when you look at its noble architecture and magnificent stained glass windows. Many people come to explore its long history (it was built in the 13th century), wonderful musical tradition and stunning architecture. It also boasts a brass consecration plate from 1241 – the oldest in England and the second oldest in Europe – and a 212 ft spire. Author George Eliot described it as “the finest mere parish church in all England”.
The church stands proudly at one end of Ashbourne’s High Street. It’s good for people with walking aids or wheelchairs – there’s an accessible car park, and a level path to the church, that leads to an entrance with a ramp. Toilets with good access are also available.
The National Trust has recently reopened Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire as its first property dedicated to children. The site includes a fascinating museum called the Children’s Country House Museum (previously known as the Museum of Childhood). This will evoke many memories in older visitors, as it covers all aspects of work, rest and play for children throughout the years. It’s therefore a lovely place to visit with older relatives or friends who are living with dementia, as childhood memories are often the most enduring and accessible. It can be particularly enjoyable for them to see toys that they probably played with when they were children.
There’s a disabled parking area in the main car park and there are disabled toilets on site. There’s wheelchair access to the museum and a lift between floors for those who are less mobile. There’s also a café and gift shop at the hall.
If you’d like to take your guest with dementia on a trip out, where better than Ashbourne Recreation Ground and Memorial Gardens? At its heart are the Memorial Park and formal gardens, dedicated to those who died for their country. It’s a peaceful spot for sitting and watching the world go by – and perhaps for prompting memories of those who died in the war. The area boasts a river, duck pond, boating lake, bandstand, and a bust of Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army, who was born in Ashbourne.
There should also be time for a lovely cuppa or snack at the onsite café. There’s a car park near the entrance to the park, and the paths have been upgraded and are suitable for anyone using a wheelchair or mobility aids. There’s also plenty of seating dotted around, so your guest can take a quick rest if they’re getting tired.
Another lovely venue for a trip out is Brailsford, where you can find The Burrows Gardens – a lovely place for a gentle stroll, or for just sitting and admiring the beautiful surroundings. Those who have enjoyed gardening in the past might find their interest rekindled by the various flowers and shrubs – including many climbing roses, Italian-style gardens, a hidden bog garden, and a Cornish garden. It’s an ideal place for older guests to feel at peace, while they enjoy the natural world.
The gardens are flat, so they’re easily accessible, and plenty of seats are provided. However, the gardens are only open on certain days – so check first before visiting. Current opening times tend to be 11:00 am – 4:00 pm every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday from April to August. Tea and cakes are available on Fridays, Sundays and National Garden Scheme dates. Disabled access is good but no dogs are allowed.
So, Ashbourne has plenty to offer elderly visitors with dementia. And at Home Instead, we have the specialist knowledge required to provide home care for those with dementia. Our unique training programme for our Care Professionals is accredited by City & Guilds and tailored for the home environment, enabling us to provide the highest quality care for people living with dementia.
To find out more about home care in Leek and Moorlands, why not give us a call?