CARE homes across Dorset opened their doors to the public as part of National Care Home Open Day.

Each home organised its own activities and was designed to encourage members of the public to visit care homes in their neighbourhood and to provide better links between the community and the care homes.

Residents at the homes also joined in with the day of activities, with raffles, talks by special visitors, live music and even a birds of prey display held by the homes.

Anna Carter, activities officer at Danmore Lodge Care Home in Weymouth, organised a day of First World War-themed activities at the home.

She said: “The whole day went very well, all of our residents loved it and they all wore First World War hats as well.

“We had lots of flags and bunting flying, and our chef made a trench cake which the residents shared among themselves and they all enjoyed it, “We have had quite a few members of the community coming in, visitors from other homes to the home and joining and it just allows us to show that the homes are not a frightening establishment as they are perceived and I think we have achieved that.”

Stephanie O’Neill, activities organiser at Signature House Care Home in Dorchester, said: “It was a nice and steady pace and the whole day went really well.

“We had someone come in from the Royal British Legion, Age Concern and social services to offer advice, and quite a few members of the public visited as well.

“The purpose of today is to get the community into our home and to get residents part of the community.

“Because we are so well situated here it’s a real advantage for the residents to feel part of the community and to get behind local projects.”

Dawn Palmer, manager of the Maiden Castle House Care Home, said: “Today is for people to come in and spend time with us and see what we are about.

“It’s a chance for families and people that might be thinking about living in a care home to come in and have a look around and see what we do, and see that it is a lovely home to be a part of.

“We have great links with the local schools and really want to embrace the local community.

“A lot of our residents have really enjoyed themselves, getting involved and listening to the talks we have had.”