‘We provide unique care here’

Suzanne Goodman (right) organising the home’s dog show
Suzanne Goodman (right) organising the home’s dog show

Following our recent feature about Chamberlain Court Care Home, this month we catch up with the business’s Lifestyles Lead, Suzanne Goodman, to discover what her role entails, and what makes her proud to work at this industry-leading, residential, nursing and dementia home in Tunbridge Wells…


Please tell us about your role at Chamberlain Court?

I lead our Lifestyles team and organise the activities and wellbeing at the home. My job is making sure the residents have meaningful engagement during the day and that
their mental and emotional wellbeing is being looked after
by offering a really robust and varied programme.

What does a usual day there look like for you?

On a normal day, I come in and set up the communal areas with interesting articles, magazines books, jigsaws and other things to do that are specific to individual residents. I also say good morning to everyone and talk about what they would like to do that day. After that I run activities or plan activities with my team, I meet with the team and go through one-to-one activities planned and things that individual residents need for the day. In the afternoon I like to get out in garden with the residents or run another activity.

What is unique about the activity offering at Chamberlain Court?

We have different schedules for residents living on our residential, nursing and dementia communities. These range from morning stretches, seated yoga and tai chi to art history, poetry, quizzes, and gardening, to musical activities such as singalongs, which are enjoyed immensely. Our residents really enjoy intergenerational activities such as visits from local nurseries and schools such as nearby Rose Hill. We also host a ‘Songs and Smiles’ session every Tuesday morning which is wonderful. We can arrange day trips outside of the home which include Penshurst Place, the local garden centres and boat trips throughout the summer with a picnic on board.

How do you ensure residents engage with the activity programme?

We do so by getting to know each and every resident and how they want to spend their day, but also by offering activities that are exciting. We change the programme every week and when a resident moves in, we will change it again to tailor it to them and what they would like to do. In addition to this we hold resident and family meetings where we encourage and embrace ideas from them and add to our schedule.

Do you host any annual activities and events?

There are a few which take place every year, such as the much loved Chamberlain Court Dog Show where the judging panel are our residents! It’s a really lovely day for them and their families. This year all money raised went to Pets As Therapy, whom we are delighted to support. Twice a week our therapy dog Dexter visits with his owner Val. Our residents are also very much involved with Hallmark In Bloom. This is an annual competition held to find the greenest garden in the country across our Hallmark homes. We are very excited about this year and are going for gold!

How do you encourage the team to really get to know the residents?

Our Customer Relationship Manager gains as much information from the resident and their family prior to the move-in day so that we can as a home have an insight into that person. During the first week when a new resident comes to us, one of our team will visit them every day and take an activity to them to get a flavour of the activities the resident likes and enjoys. We also have a number of residents who enjoy welcoming new friends to the home and take them under their wing and support them during those early days.

And finally why are you so proud to be a part of Chamberlain Court?

I would say it is the person-centred care that we provide at Chamberlain Court. Everything we do here has residents at the centre and however they want to live we will make it happen. When people move in, we adapt the way we provide care because our residents and their interests and needs are changing. I hope that people who live at Chamberlain Court feel like they’ve got a really good sense of themselves and are part of a warm and friendly community.


To learn more about Chamberlain Court or to arrange a visit, please call 01892 618773

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