A CARE home is celebrating one of its residents who won 16 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show before being diagnosed with dementia.

David, 83, has been a resident at Care South's Maiden Castle House in Dorchester since 2020, and has been taking part in reminiscence work recalling fond memories and events from his past, delighting care home staff with his stories of winning 16 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show with his wife Jill, who is from Swanage.

As part of the reminiscence work, a member of staff brought in a camera for David to use which gave him the opportunity to photograph flowers from the home's gardens, and reminded him of his love of gardening.

Aaron Whitehead, director of residential care at Care South, said: "Our job is to help support and nurture our residents to help them keep living fulfilled lives. Everyone loves seeing David in the gardens photographing the flora and it is so fascinating to hear about his wonderful life and the man amazing experiences he has had.

Dorset Echo: David won 16 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show Picture: Care SouthDavid won 16 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show Picture: Care South

"Recognising the early signs of dementia and understanding when it may be time for your loved one to move into a residential care home can be very difficult and upsetting. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing and does not just affect older people which is a common misconception."

Rachel Sohorye, home manager at Maiden Castle House, said: "We know it is incredibly difficult for families that residents can live such full and wonderful lives before living with dementia. We also know that residents can find the changes happening to them so frustrating and can find it difficult to recall their wonderful life experiences.

"It's very important for us that we continue to push forward with dementia research, training and care so that we all understand it and know how to interact with and respond to people with dementia, as well as support our residents' families.

"David, along with all of our residents, is a joy to have in the home and it feels like such a breakthrough when we uncover reminiscence activity that brings the biggest smiles to faces."