12 Oct 17

McMillian Coffee Morning

Limetree Care Centre joined in the fundraising for McMillian Cancer research on Friday 29th September 2017. We successfully held our very own “Coffee Morning” which was a delight.

We ordered our Coffee Morning Kit from the Macmillan website and off we went to get organising!

In preparation people living in the home baked and decorated cupcakes ready for the day. For people with dementia, especially those who may be losing interest in food and participating in mealtimes, an activity that focuses on stimulating the senses could provide the key to encouraging them to eat or being able to enjoy food again. For some, an activity that encourages sharing of memories related to food may be a powerful and positive experience. Baking is an activity we can enjoy together and really get our hand dirty. Baking is a great activity with lots of different steps for people to be involved in depending on their abilities and preferences. By remaining active and continuing to do the things they once enjoyed, people with Dementia are able to maintain their skills and independence longer.

Once the cakes were ready we struggled to resist them! They all looked so beautiful and tasted just as delicious. We had some home baked lemon cupcakes and chocolate cookies too…

10.30am arrived and our perfectly decorated table of cakes was ready and waiting in the reception area. How could you possibly enter or leave the home and be able to resist this table full of yum!

As the visitors poured in, the hot drinks, cakes and money began flowing nicely. Some people donated purely because it was a cause they held close to their hearts. Others because they wanted to eat some of the delicious looking cakes!

This is definitely something Limetree Care Centre would love to participate in all over again next year… And all for such a wonderful cause!

In the end we all had a great coffee break and managed to raise a whopping £100.00 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Pass me a cake & a coffee please!!

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10 Oct 17

Summer days and BBQ’s

Residents like to make use of the grounds as much as possible in the summer time with BBQ’s and a Pimm’s or tipple of their choice. We enjoy entertainment in the garden with the two J’s who visit regularly to enjoy a sing song.

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10 Oct 17

Park Avenue Care Centre receive ‘Platinum’ Gold Standards Framework award

On Friday 29th September Park Avenue Care Centre’s Business Manager Kim Bush and Clinical Manager Sujatha Kanagas visited the Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel on behalf of all the staff to collect their “Platinum” status award in recognition of the high standard of care and support given to people nearing and at the end of their lives. This care extends to families during what is a difficult time. Kim commented that it was a team effort involving everyone in the home, both clinical and non-clinical staff. All are involved in different ways with the aim of ensuring that people have a comfortable death reflecting their personal wishes, which have included wearing specific clothes, having their hair dyed, visits from animals and massages with lavender oil, to name but a few recent requests. When a person is able to die in the place of their choosing, surrounded by people who care, and in the way they wished, it is one of the most rewarding aspects of caring for someone, and helps those left behind know that all that could have been done, has been.

Well done to all staff at Park Avenue on this great achievement!

5 Oct 17

Sherrell House in Essex are celebrating after being rated as ‘Good’ in their latest CQC inspection

Sherrell House is part of the Excelcare group and has been ranked as good in all of the inspection categories; for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, following its inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in September 2017.

Regional Director, Helen Bennett said that the team at Sherrell House have worked extremely hard to deliver good person centred care and most importantly ensure people living in the home are given a quality of life. It really does take a special person to be a Carer and we are very lucky at Sherrell House to have a committed team, that go above and beyond and this has been reflected in the recent CQC inspection report:

  • One relative said, “At one time, there were always different staff, but now it seems a lot better. There is a book in reception to write concerns. I have no concerns about my [family members] care and have been to meetings at the home.”
  • Another person told us, “Some carers come in on their days off to see people. They come in to see someone who is passing away on their day off. The activity worker does shopping for residents in their own time.” A relative told us, “Staff are on hand, they are never left long. Everyone seems happy”.
  • One relative told us their family member was receiving palliative care and they wanted the person to stay in the service rather than be transferred to hospital and they told us, “The home has been great nothing is too much trouble. [Name of relative] has lived here for two years now, this is their home and they would be so stressed about going into hospital, the staff have got a hospital bed for them it is coming this afternoon.”
  • We spent time in the communal areas and observed how people and staff interacted. Staff had time to spend one to one with people and support them. There was a homely feel to the service and we heard conversations and laughter as staff stopped to chat with people. Staff were constantly ‘popping’ their heads into people’s rooms checking everything was okay
  • They told us that they enjoyed working at Sherrell House. One staff member told us, “I am passionate about helping people and whilst it is challenging, I enjoy my job.” Another staff member told us, “I am 100% sure people get good care here.”
  • One relative told us they visited their family member five days a week they assisted them to eat and was given a meal too, to enjoy with their family member. They said, “[Family member] is happy here, it’s a good home. [Family member] loves the food, they call him Granddad.”
  • The service had received compliments about the service that included, “Looking after my mum must have been difficult at times but all the staff have been kind and considerate at all times thank you.” And, “If ever I have had any requests no matter what, they have been carried out as communication is excellent.”
  • People were singing and playing musical instruments, the activity coordinator offered people a choice of instruments. One person told us “I used to be in the band at school, I played the tambourine”. The activity staff member gave them a tambourine to play. Two people were singing into microphones and others were smiling and tapping their hands to the music. Some people were having their nails painted by another staff member. We observed the activity staff member move around the room also spending time with other people not part of the group. The care manager working alongside staff was asked by one person if they could go to the garden, the care manager supported them to do this and spent time chatting with them in the garden.
  • Well done to all at Sherrell House in Chigwell, Essex.

27 Sep 17

Television Chef at Park Avenue

On Sunday 24th September Park Avenue care centre in Bromley enjoyed a magnificent traditional afternoon tea courtesy of Cherish Finden – television judge and chef, with the assistance of her team Marco and Beth.

Cherish’s daughter completed her Duke of Edinburgh medal at Park Avenue and Cherish wanted to “give something back” to our community. A couple of weeks earlier, Cherish visited Park Avenue with her daughter. Cherish saw the tea room and immediately suggested an afternoon tea. Cherish enlisted the help of the people living in the home in designing the menu. Mary gave Cherish her luscious lemon cake recipe and explained how she made cakes during the war when rationing was a problem. Another person told Cherish she would like any cake as long as it was chocolate!

On Sunday with the harpist playing in the background, Mary’s Luscious lemon cake took pride of place on the menu and Mary told Cherish that it was the best Luscious lemon cake she had eaten and gave her thumbs up! Bert concentrated on all the cakes in the stand and told Cherish that “it was a bit of alright”. Another person who is partially sighted had the cakes described to her and told Cherish that “these are very good quality cakes”. One person was celebrating their birthday, so the harpist played “happy birthday” and Cherish helped with the candles on her birthday cake. Cherish, her team and family provided more than enough cakes and delicacies for three sittings for everyone Park Avenue, and a big thank you to Cherish for giving up her weekend to create such a lovely afternoon.

25 Sep 17

Castlebar Featured in CQC Publication

Castlebar Care Centre has been featured in the recent CQC publication ‘Equally Outstanding; Equality and human rights – good practice resource’. The home has been featured in the case study section outlining how they have excelled in ‘culture and values to promote individual rights’ and ‘investing in service development’. Terry O’Connor, Registered Manager said ‘investment and culture change took patience and trust over time – but has led to big improvements in care and many areas of outstanding practice’

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8 Sep 17

Longfield Thrilled With Latest CQC Report

At Longfield Care Centre we are absolutely thrilled with our latest CQC inspection report in which we were rated “Good” in all areas. This achievement is due to our committed and caring staff team who work incredibly hard to make the home a happy place where residents feel important, cared for and safe. Some of the comments published in the inspection report include: “People were supported by kind and caring staff who were respectful and polite to people”, “People were listened to and their wishes and choices were respected”, and “People who used the service and their relatives praised the food very highly”.

The report recognises the wide variety of activities on offer and comments on outstanding features which, with further development, could achieve an outstanding rating. As the registered manager I am incredibly proud of the team I work with. I would like to thank each and every member of staff for making Longfield a happy home for our residents and helping us achieve such a positive CQC report.

5 Sep 17

Welcome to Brook House Beach

Brook House Residential Home for the elderly have been hosting annual ‘Brook House Seaside’ days within the homes grounds. This bright idea was brought up by our in-house activities co-ordinator Caroline Stevens. Caroline spoke to our residents during our homes monthly residents meetings after many of the residents expressed the want of going to the seaside but not wanting to travel the distance. This is the 3rd year of doing so and every year just seems to get better.

This year, the homes residents and a few of our lovely relatives sat outside (Would you believe the sun actually shone!) with seaside themed decorations and first enjoyed a performance from ‘The Carousel Theatre Company’ who performed of Summer Holiday which included a Butlin’s act followed by Punch and Judy. During this time the residents enjoyed some candy floss.

For lunch we ate Jumbo Fish Fingers with chips and mushy peas followed by delicious ice creams. After lunch we had a spot of hook a duck and a few other fairground rides which took only a slightly competitive edge.

We are so lucky to have such beautiful grounds at Brook House and for once the weather to enjoy our garden.

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29 Aug 17

Seaside Day at Hunters Down

On Friday 25th August, the sun was shining and Hunters Down Residents enjoyed the Sea Side event that happens in their large beautiful colourful garden on an annual basis.

There was a lovely seaside backdrop and paddling pools with flat sheets which had sand on them with buckets and spades etc. Toy fish and ducks in one of the paddling pools for people to try and fish out. It was lovely to see a resident’s family had brought their children along that the residents thoroughly enjoyed watching them play. The ambiance was filled with sea wave sounds coming from a speaker.

Residents wore summer hats, knotted handkerchiefs and sunglasses. There was a knobbly knee competition that Peter Presland won in good spirits.

There was refreshing fruit punches to drink. Then residents enjoyed eating cockles, muscles, prawns and shrimps on cocktail sticks. After enjoying Marshmallows and fudge on cocktail sticks. The pièce de résistance of the day was having what we call a proper ice-cream a Mister Softee 99. The ice-cream van came to the front of Hunters Down and the ice-cream were run through the reception out into the garden where the residents were enjoying the afternoon.

22 Aug 17

Ramsey’s 40’s Weekend

Saturday 19th August it was Ramsey’s 40’s Weekend. Three residents Douglas, John and Rodney from Hunters Down went to the event and said they had such a spectacular memorable day. Douglas said, “It was the best day he had had for a long time”.

Leaving Hunters Down at 10.30am the sky was blue but very cloudy. There were a few rain showers while we were watching a 1940’s fashion show under cover.

The sun then shone at times so the residents could visit many of the stalls and shops connected with the 1940’s era, with dressed up people re-enacting and explaining about the items on show.

We then went to the large circus tent that held the Lindy Hop dancers and Polka Dot Girls singing, watching the dancers while enjoying some traditional fish and chips.

C&BLE (Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire Lindy Experience) who specialise in teaching dances from the 1920’s to the 1940’s were teaching. John who has always loved music was determined to dance the day away. He was on the floor teaching myself as I have no knowledge of the dance. He then danced with Hoc Ewing one of the C&BLE teachers and Kim Hall who runs the Love to Move Exercise Class at Hunters Down. When John was not dancing he never took his eyes off the dancers and had tears in his eyes.

We arrived back at Hunters Down just after 4pm and all of the residents were left feeling with happy emotions.

Pearl Ewing said, “This is why I love my job so much to see our residents taken back to times that they can relate to which brings forward their happy emotions, leaving them with long lasting happy, excitable moods.

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