When a Times journalist paid a recent visit to Hyman Fine House in Brighton she was surprised by what she saw. The opening of Alice Thomson’s article about this Jewish Care residential home read like an advert for a quirky, homely, beach side resort: “There are chickens in the garden, a cat’s bowl at the entrance and a list of the day’s activities that includes keep fit classes, choir and cooking. The home is two minutes from Brighton beach…”

For many of the those who stay at Hyman Fine, it is now their home. For others, it is a place they come for a short break, often when family or carers need a holiday themselves.

Bobby’s family are currently on holiday so, not for the first time, she is having a respite stay at Hyman Fine.

“It is really lovely here; the staff are so helpful, kind and patient. I am getting on for 96, but still fairly independent,” says Bobby.

“I am enjoying spending time in the lovely garden at Hyman Fine, talking to other residents. I have played Scrabble and bingo, but not yet managed a game of bridge. I am still going regularly to the local community centre where I take part in exercise classes. I am collected by bus from the home.”IMG_0108

Bobby believes that being at Hyman Fine puts her daughter’s mind at rest. “She’s on holiday in America. I speak to her every day and she is having a lovely time. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to me that would mean they would have to rush back and spoil her holiday. I have told her not to worry about me – I am being well looked after.”

Short-term care isn’t easy to find, but, for some, a stay in this home could provide the solution for carers in need of some rest and relaxation.

“A respite or short stay in Hyman Fine is not only a chance for carers to have a break while feeling confident that their loved one or friend is being well looked after, but it’s also a time for the older person to have some time in a different environment, a change of scenery, a holiday of their own,” commented Jewish Care director Neil Taylor.

Hyman Fine House is known for its creative activities provided by a range of local artists from photographers and painters to musicians. The home has several lounges where residents can socialise and there is a computer in the lounge where they can use Skype to stay in touch with family and friends. There are weekly services for Shabbat in the home’s purpose-built synagogue and a varied menu of kosher food on offer three times a day.

With a “good” CQC rating, the home provides personal, nursing and dementia care. The fully-trained staff are supported by a team of dedicated volunteers who together create a hamishe atmosphere with a broad range of activities on offer.

For those who don’t want to take part in the communal life in the home the comfortable en -suite rooms equipped with TVs are a quiet private space in which to relax with the knowledge that help is at hand should
it be needed.

Neil Taylor is fully aware of the guilt many carers feel when planning their own holiday; “We often find people who come to us looking at respite tell us they feel guilty for putting mum or dad in a home while they go on holiday but once they experience the benefits, they often come back.”

While, at this time of year, many of the homes’ short stay residents are there because of holidays, it’s not the only reason why people comes for a few weeks or months. For some, short stays can be a stepping stone out of hospital, an opportunity to be cared for and recuperate in a supportive, Jewish community home. Some people come for only a week or two; others could be there for longer until they are strong enough to go back to their independent living.

The home’s doors are open to those who want to look around and see for themselves. Just like Alice from The Times, you may well
be pleasantly surprised by what you see in
this beachside Jewish Care home.

• To arrange a visit to talk to someone about short stays in Jewish Care residential homes, contact Jewish Care’s helpline on 020 8922 2222 or email helpline@jcare.org