Basketball star visits new £20,000 dementia centre

Operations Manager at Rowlandson House Care Home, Rowlandson Terrace, Ryhope Road, Sunderland, Lee Turner in their new dementia room
Operations Manager at Rowlandson House Care Home, Rowlandson Terrace, Ryhope Road, Sunderland, Lee Turner in their new dementia room
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Residents at a Wearside care home were treated to a visit from a slam dunk star as a £20,000 specialist room for those suffering from dementia was officially opened.

Newcastle Eagles basketball player Charles Smith did the honours at Rowlandson House, in Ryhope, as the refurbished room opened for the first time.

We want to take away the stigma that’s attached to dementia.

Lee Turner, operations manager at Rowlandson House

“Charles has been fantastic with the residents, who’ve been speaking to him and getting photographs too,” said the care home’s operations manager, Lee Turner.

“We stripped out the whole of the room and built it back up from scratch, so that we have a dementia-friendly environment.

“We want to take away the stigma that’s sadly still attached to dementia.”

The colourful room, complete with a starry night sky ceiling effect, is designed to provide a more welcoming and homely atmosphere for residents who have the condition.

“The colours aim to relax and stimulate at the same time,” added Mr Turner, who says all staff at Rowlandson House are being specially trained to care for those with dementia.

“It’s about putting a positive experience into people’s lives.

“There’s a wealth of knowledge that seems to be forgotten because these people go into care, but that should not be the case.”