UP CLOSE in Kingston: Justyna Johnson, Dementia Manager at Coombe Hill Manor

By Ellie Brown - Local Democracy Reporter

2nd Nov 2021 | Local News

Justyna Johnson, Dementia Manager at Kingston care home Coombe Hill Manor (Image: Coombe Hill Manor)
Justyna Johnson, Dementia Manager at Kingston care home Coombe Hill Manor (Image: Coombe Hill Manor)

This week as part of our ongoing UP CLOSE WITH series we caught up with Justyna Johnson, Dementia manager at award-winning Kingston care home and Nub News sponsors Signature at Coombe Hill Manor.

Justyna has managed the home's dementia community, Auguste, since the home opened over seven years ago.

Her passion and belief is that everyone living with dementia can lead a happy and fulfilled life, and her priority is to look after the well-being of Auguste residents, their families, friends and staff.

Extensive life history folders are made for the residents she looks after, with input from their families to ensure treasured memories aren't lost.

Meaningful activities are chosen to create magical experiences for residents. For example, a swim at a hydro pool, taking a trained ballet dancer to visit to see Swan Lake, or arranging for a Scottish gentleman to escort the piper bringing the haggis on Burns Night.

This makes deep and lasting impressions for those who have these experiences, and even with memory loss the impact of such incredible activities means these memories are kept.

Justyna's hard work came to the fore during the early part of the pandemic, when she went the extra mile to ensure that residents had a personal phone, as well as the laptop being used to communicate with families.

This meant that at all times of the day loved ones could talk to and see their relatives.

Families received pictures and videos for daily updates, providing important reassurance during this worrying time.

Justyna's role also includes helping members of her team develop to their fullest potential by sharing her expertise and encouraging training to gain confidence.

Staff at the home say she is dedicated, driven and committed, and praise her for her honesty and infectious enthusiasm.

In 2019, Justyna was one of five finalists in the National Dementia Care Awards.

A spokesperson for Coombe Hill Manor called this "a tremendous achievement," adding: "Everyone at Coombe is very proud of her."

Speaking about her work, Justyna said: "I strive to create a little family community.

"I am a perfectionist and I take my responsibilities to my residents and staff seriously.

"I value my residents' families' expectations and strive to deliver them in all I do.

"I feel that they are my family and I work to look after my residents as if they were my own Grandparents."

A spokesperson for the home said: "Knowing her residents and families so well ensures that Justyna makes them feel safe, comforted and secure.

"Justyna's team, with her support and guidance, ensures that Auguste is a stimulating, vibrant, engaging and homely environment where residents can live a fulfilling meaningful life supported by caring, enthusiastic and committed staff."

Find out more about Coombe Hill Manor here.

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