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Reminiscence as therapy: advanced dementia care

Orders of St John state of the art residential home opens in Wiltshire

Trowbridge, 26 September 2017

Goodson Lodge opened by the Lord Lieutenant Sarah Troughton     

Goodson Lodge opened by the Lord Lieutenant Sarah Troughton
The latest addition to the residential homes of the Orders of St John Homes Care Trust in four counties was formally opened today by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton – the first woman to hold the position since its creation in the 16th century – warmly welcomed by Trust Chairman, Don Wood. The 64-bed Goodson Lodge was named after greatly respected former vice chairman of the OSJCT Trustees, Rear Admiral Brian Goodson, whose family were present at the touching ceremony.

Ceremony gathering-resident, Admiral nurse Ruth Stirton, the Lord Lieutenant

Ceremony gathering-resident, Admiral nurse Ruth Stirton, the Lord Lieutenant

To be able to help is a privilege

The Home offers the most advanced dementia care available. Reminisce therapy is a key element in the serenity of the residents, who are delighted to recognise items from their youth, displayed around the Home. Admiral nurse Ruth Stirton explains that the government has, over ten years, developed a dementia strategy and that there is recognition of the need to care for the carers, too, who are often family, but also friends or neighbours. Best practice for carers includes demonstration workshops and discussions on evidence-based care. Ruth joined the specialist care team after a degree in psychology and, inspired by the experience of a family member, then took a three year professional training in mental health nursing. ‘I feel lucky and privileged to work in this growing sector,’ she says. ‘Every day is rewarding – to be able to help is a privilege.’

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.