Meet the new manager of Guild Care’s Haviland House dementia care home

For those not aware, Haviland House is Guild Care’s purpose-built care home in Worthing for people living with dementia.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 2:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 2:06 pm

Last month, I was appointed as Haviland’s registered care home manager. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m passionate about fostering a community where each person lives well with dementia, and each person is valued, wherever they are in their dementia journey.

I have been with Guild Care for seven years, beginning as a senior care assistant at another of the charity’s care homes, Caer Gwent. After this, I moved to Haviland as night manager before being promoted to deputy manager, and then ultimately my current position as care home manager.

Our focus at Haviland House is providing a truly person-centred approach, developed specifically to meet the needs of our residents, who we lovingly call ‘family members’.

Melody Akena, the new registered care home manager at Haviland House

To ensure that the specific needs of dementia care are catered for, Haviland’s three storeys are split into five ‘households’, designed to care for family members in particular stages of the condition. Each household has its own dedicated dementia support carers, who build rapport and provide friendship and stability for family members.

While the last year has been no doubt challenging, we have done what families across the country have done – we have pulled together.

It is the people who make Haviland a home. Each person – whether that be our family members, our relatives, or our staff – brings their own unique perspective. It’s what has kept us together and will continue to keep us together.

Care is in our DNA, most definitely. Our staff go over and above each and every day to create memorable moments and a sense of belonging for family members. And as a relative told me recently, ‘you can’t fake that’.

Haviland House has a person-centred approach, developed specifically to meet the needs of residents

I know that many highlight the challenging behaviours that those living with dementia exhibit. But behaviours are just a different way of communicating, and you need to hear what the person is saying. For me, the biggest challenge of dementia care is also the best bit – that’s when you reach the person behind the dementia and the relationship clicks into place.

As Haviland’s new registered manager, I want to foster a community and a home with a ‘small h’. I stress the ‘small h’ because Haviland is more than a building with 67 bedrooms. It has five communities, each with their own personalities.

I would love each person who interacts with us in any way to come away thinking ‘wow, I want to be part of that. I want to live like that’.

If you would like to find out more about Haviland House, our website www.guildcare.org has a wealth of information, including a virtual tour video. Alternatively, our friendly customer service team are always happy to answer any queries. You can call them on 01903 327327.