Jane Lowe

Did you know that there are places that provide care during the day for people who have dementia ? They can be lively and inclusive places, immersing people in arts and crafts, with music on, spontaneous dancing, laughter and cooking. Places like this do exist and DO make a difference, allowing you, the carer, some much needed time to yourself. It’s a necessity when you look after someone with dementia, nobody should be expected to the job without a break and additional support.

Top Tips from Jane Lowe, Founder of Ivy House

When looking for day care think about

1. Ratios of support, Ivy House for instances operates a 1:5 ratio

2. What does it smell like?

3. Would you like to go there?

4. Are the staff happy?

5. Do people look happy and engaged

6. What is the atmosphere like?

7. Ask to see a care plans profile?

8. You should be able to drop in with out appointment of course we all prefer to know that there is a visit because we would often pull in an extra member of staff to give the enquiry the attention that they deserve.

About Ivy House

Ivy House provides a service in the Eastbourne community for those with dementia.

Ivy House is the dream of Jane Lowe, a qualified psychiatric nurse who has been caring for people with dementia for many years. Concerned with the problem of improving the quality of life for those living with dementia she conceived the idea and a few months later, in 2011, after acquiring a beautiful Victorian property in central Eastbourne, the idea became a reality.

Ivy Care is focused on "seeing the person". Each person's condition is different, as is their character and personality and the nature of the lives that they have lived. Perhaps more importantly, their memories are also quite unique and understanding this is critical to understanding how to help them.

In its turn, Ivy house delivers a unique product, which is widely different from what is available elsewhere. The House produces improvements in wellbeing and enhances the quality of life of the individual as well as his or her carer. In many cases this means that home life can be continued for much longer than would otherwise be the case.

Jane and her team listen carefully to the person, establish a close and highly personal relationship based entirely around the individual. This enables the establishment of a bespoke care plan, carefully tailored to the individual. Over the days and weeks the team monitors individuals and develops care plans to match the progress of individuals such that, in very many cases, wellbeing which has slipped by virtue of lack of contact and stimulation, is recovered. Improvements are sometimes startling.

With no formal "routine" at the house, which is carefully arranged to resemble and feel like a family home, individuals are never without the individual attention of one of Ivy's experienced, and carefully trained carers and engage in an array of cognitive therapies designed to retrain them in the basic skills which many have forgotten.

People take part in the cooking and the preparation of meals, they are helped to paint and sing and dance and go for walks in the local area. Some enjoy darts and pool and take part in woodwork or pottery, others help maintain the garden. Alongside these more formal activities the team engage people in conversation, play simple games with them and focus closely on developing skills which the person may have lost. All within the boundaries of a care plan specifically developed to the needs and desires of the individual.

The team also organises parties and events, in order to return their voice in society to these most valuable of its members.

For more visit

the Ivy House website