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Peaker Park care home gets deaf charter

A deaf couple living at East Midland’s first official ‘deaf aware’ care home based in Market Harborough have said “we feel lucky being here”.

When Leslie, 89, and Betty Key, 88, first moved into Peaker Park they were unable to communicate properly with staff but the team responded quickly with a range of measures.

In recognition of its high standards for deaf people, the home has been presented with a Care Quality Mark for Older Deaf People by three leading industry bodies – coinciding with National Deaf Awareness Week, which runs from 19 to 25 May.

Betty, who had a stroke in April 2013 which led to the couple moving to the 137-bed home, in Trojan Place, Rockingham Road, said: “I like it here, we feel being lucky here.”

Leslie – who spoke at a parliamentary event about deafness in April which he visited with Peter Van Herrewege, Chairman of PrimeLife, who runs the home – added: “We play bingo. I have got a gardening patch and I grow vegetables for this home. I have got a shed and also look after the hanging baskets. We have friends who live in a care home in Leicester and they struggle, but they really look after us here.

The care home responded quickly to cater for Betty and Leslie’s needs, with staff training in basic sign language and deaf awareness. The building’s communal lounges have also all been fitted with an assistive listening system known as an induction loop. It has moved away from sound-related group activities and uses a light machine for bingo. There are also subtitles on televisions.

Peaker Park is only the third home to receive the charter, which is part of the Deaf-Aware Care programme launched by deafness charity Sonus and the Royal Association for Deaf People and endorsed by care home association Care England.

Their daughter Liz Jones is the chief executive of Sonus. She said: “On both a personal and professional level I am delighted to see that older deaf people’s care needs are for the first time being adequately addressed by residential care providers and the quality mark is a way of rewarding their efforts and showcasing to deaf people the most appropriate homes for them to choose to live in.”

James Wood, Managing Director of PrimeLife, said:
“We are passionate about providing a high-quality standard of living tailored to our clients’ needs, and this is a perfect example of our philosophy.
“The team at Peaker Park has struck up an excellent relationship with Leslie and Betty especially team leader Kinga Kalinowska, who always goes above and beyond to ensure they are happy and comfortable.”

The couple are both profoundly deaf. Betty was born deaf and Leslie lost his hearing aged two through meningitis. They visit a deaf club in Leicester every Wednesday.

Their other daughter Angela Herrick, 49, who also lives in Market Harborough, said: “It gives me piece of mind. I think they have been brilliant. I can go home and know my parents are safe, happy and well looked after.”