Care home residents will be able to get makeover after £75k revamp

A hair and beauty salon is being installed at a Black Country care home as part of a £75,000 makeover.

Marion Jones, aged 91, is first in line for Valley Court Care Home’s new hair salon when it can open in June
Marion Jones, aged 91, is first in line for Valley Court Care Home’s new hair salon when it can open in June

Liam Palmer, manager at Valley Court Care Home in Cradley Heath said the refurbishment would see new offices, computers, training room and the addition of a hair and beauty salon.

He said: "A visitor booth, regarded as state-of-the-art in social care, has also been included and the refurbishment has given a sense of moving from a nice traditional care home to one celebrating life and we aim to make people feel special."

The home has also worked hard to ensure that residents who find it difficult to eat are still treated to tasty dishes.

Jamie O'Connell, aged 34, who is head chef at the care home decided those among the 41 residents who had difficulty swallowing deserved to see their food in a desirable form and he now uses piping bags to specially shape pureed dishes.

He even ensures a full English breakfast resembles the original bacon, egg and sausage.

Jamie said: "I just wanted to ensure that the food actually looked like the real thing and carefully shape everything whether it is sausages or bacon or whatever.

"I think it is important that the meals look the same for everyone in the dining room.

"The residents love it and I think it is important to ensure the food looks and tastes good and since I have been doing this they seem to be eating more."

Jamie has worked at the home for more than five years and went on a special training course in food texture modification held in Dudley.

He said: "We have had lots of support from local businesses, schools and even celebrity messages from Paul Burrell and Scottish actor Gary Lewis, who played Billy Elliott’s dad in the hit film, who I contacted through Twitter.

"It is a ground-breaking way to ensure people with difficulties get the nutritional intake they need and that the food actually looks like what it’s intended to be."

The revamped home will be officially opened in June.

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