28 Nov 19

St Fillans Care Home residents pet Pygmy Goats

The residents at St Fillans Care Home, Essex, had an exciting day recently when a group of pygmy goats came to visit.

Pygmy goats are surprisingly calm animals and like to be stroked, so the residents always enjoy their company and calming nature. This helps to boost wellbeing too, as it gives them a chance to interact with animals and enjoy some quiet, controlled time with them. For people living with dementia, this is especially beneficial as they can sit, chat and reminisce with their friends, whilst enjoying the feel of the goat’s soft fur.

Blackwater Alpacas and Goats were behind the trip and brought along their pygmy goats to spend some time with the residents. The goats were only two weeks old so the residents were surprised at how small they were. Knowing they were only babies was more impactful for some of the residents, as not only did they want to stroke them, but mother them too!

As they sat in their chairs, team members from the company put a goat on each of the resident’s laps and ensured they were comfortable before starting the session. Residents were then free to stroke them, speak to them if they wished, or engage in group conversation whilst petting their animal.

The people at St Fillans love this type of relaxed animal interaction as it’s accessible for all and makes for a very personal experience. It’s not often that the residents can get so close to these animals and engage with them, so they savour and make the most of every moment.

All of the residents came away from the session with a smile on their face and talk of the visit spanned into the evening around the dinner, a sign that this was very much enjoyed!

Thanks to Blackwater Alpacas and Goats for coming by to host this experience with the residents, the boost in well-being and mood was noticed by all the team members. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!

27 Nov 19

Longfield celebrate win at The Prosper Awards

Every year, Essex County Council invite nominations from Care Providers, volunteers, residents and relatives for their prestigious care awards, The Prospers. They receive hundreds of nominations from around the county. This year, two nominations made by a regular visitor and supporter of our Longfield Care Home, Anne Jenkins, were shortlisted.

The kitchen team were shortlisted in the category of Outstanding Diet, Nutrition and Hydration and Margaret Leach was shortlisted for the very special award of Outstanding Carer/Support Worker.

The team were invited to attend The Prospers awards ceremony for a 3 course meal at Chelmsford City Racecourse; a beautiful venue with a fantastic atmosphere. Home Manager, Gina Copsey, said “We were very proud to be shortlisted and even more proud when the winners were announced!”

Margaret achieved a commendation in the Outstanding Carer category for consistently putting others first. “She is kind, caring, and a wonderful mentor to new staff. Plus she regularly goes over and above and gives her own time to make the lives of our residents better.” Gina commented.

Longfield Kitchen Team were the overall winners of the diet, Nutrition, and Hydration category. Head Chef Anna Selfversparra, has worked at Longfield for 10 years and alongside her colleagues Nick Holland, Nina Tullett and Peter Tullett always goes the extra mile for residents. Every member of the kitchen team makes a huge effort to get to know residents and makes note of preferences and special requests, tailoring the menu to include special dishes requested by them. Their tasty international cuisine, including Mediterranean, Indian, Caribbean and Chinese dishes is very popular! However, it is the kitchen teams’ commitment to combatting the common risks in older people of weight loss and dehydration that really stood out to the judges. The team have made sure they are well educated in MUST scores, food textures and fortification and make sure they always know if a resident is at risk or has lost weight. They work closely with the senior team, the residents and their families to find the right, person-centred approach for each individual.

Gina concluded, “This is the second year in a row Longfield has received awards at The Prospers. What will 2020 bring? Third time lucky we hope!” Congratulations from everyone at Excelcare to the team at Longfield. The awards are well deserved!

27 Nov 19

Park Avenue Care Home gets ‘Good’ news after its CQC inspection

Park Avenue Care Home in Bromley has undergone a period of radical change over the last year. Home Manager, Gemma Weldon, was brought in to take lead and improve daily life and there have also been extensive refurbishment works, bringing three new living suites and a wellbeing suite to the care home.

All of these changes aimed to improve the lives of the residents and ensure the surrounding environment is as supportive as the team members working there.

With all the works now completed at Park Avenue and residents settled in their new rooms, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) came by unannounced to assess the quality of care and overall effectiveness of the care home.

Since Gemma’s appointment, she has introduced a range of schemes that aim to boost wellbeing and keep people engaged. ‘Connected at 12’ is one of them, which takes place daily and involves staff and residents down tooling to spend some quality time together at 12 O’clock.

With all the positive change that Gemma has helped to introduce and support, she was hopeful yet confident that inspectors would be impressed with life at Park Avenue.

This week, the CQC published their results in which they scored Park Avenue ‘Good’ in all five categories! This is a big achievement for the care home and one that Gemma and her team are very proud of. They take pride and put their all into caring for the residents each and every day, so this result has helped to validate and reward the team’s hard work.

In response to the news, Gemma said, “The team and I are so proud of what we have achieved together. There has been lots of change in past year that all of the team members and residents have taken in their stride which I applaud them for. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me to achieve this rating, I couldn’t have done it without you.”

27 Nov 19

Excelcare celebrates Staff Appreciation Day 2019!

Excelcare team members across the group are celebrating Staff Appreciation Day today. This celebration runs annually and celebrates the important work of team members, whether you’re a gardener or regional manager, everyone is appreciated and rewarded for doing their bit!

The theme for the day this year is superheroes, as team members do a super job at caring for the residents on a daily basis. Staff across the group received some themed-sweet treats when they came into work this morning as well as a ‘thank you’ note from Chief Executive Officer, Ozzie and Chief Operating Officer, Sam Manning.

To bring the theme to life, team members and residents have had fun dressing up, posing and taking part in superhero style activities. Each care home is also receiving a surprise visit from a superhero to drop off some extra special gifts!

Residents have enjoyed the day and taken the time to thank team members that help them live to their full potential every day. It’s been a fun-filled morning for all, especially when the superheroes stopped by!

Although staff appreciation day is only celebrated once a year, the hard work, compassion and care that Excelcare team members show is recognised and praised every day. They all help to improve the lives of many and the dedication they show to supporting the resident’s needs is admirable.

Happy Staff Appreciation Day to everyone at Excelcare, you’re all superheroes!

26 Nov 19

Ashlyn residents take a musical trip back to the 1940s

Residents at Ashlyn Care Home had a fun-filled day recently when musical performer, Annie, came to visit.

Live music is well received and very powerful for the residents. It helps to bring energy to the care home and provides more opportunity for the residents to engage. For those living with dementia, music is able to connect with them and can often help to bring back memories from their past.

Residents from both suites gathered in a communal area on the ground floor and enjoyed a quick catch-up while they waited.

When Annie arrived, she wasted no time and started her set with some popular songs from the 30s and 40s, eras that are familiar for most of the residents. She sung some old war-time songs as well as popular hits from the period which got everyone in the mood. As she sang, residents were tapping, dancing and singing along with her.

It was heart-warming to see the positive effect that this session had on the residents, they were all lost in the music and smiling as they sang along with their friends. This performance helped to bring back memories for many of the residents, from nights out with loved ones to social events with friends.

Everyone was very impressed with Annie’s performance with one resident shouting “Let’s do it again.” There’s no doubt this helped to brighten everyone’s day and we look forward to welcoming Annie back soon!


26 Nov 19

Gratitude 43 teach Glennfield residents how to up-cycle old items

Arts and crafts enthusiasts from Gratitude 43 came to Glennfield Care Home this week to teach residents how to up-cycle old items and turn them into beautiful arts and crafts.

Gratitude 43 host all-inclusive craft sessions that encourage people to think out of the box and explore their creativity through art. The sessions are open to people of all ages and abilities and focus on a person’s unique ideas and style.

Debbie from Gratitude 43 got the idea after she turned an old glass bottle into a decorative vase. She was so proud with what she achieved and surprised how her old items could be made into new, usable things. She quickly took it up as a hobby and started looking for other items she could up-cycle. She soon found that people were loving her creations and buying them, so she took it on full-time and decided to pass her skills and techniques on to others.

When Debbie arrived at Glennfield, the residents were really excited to see her. They all love taking part in arts and craft activities and were especially eager to see what they would be making. Members of the group were handed a decorative plaque and were given the freedom to design them as they wished. Using Frenchic paint and some stencils, they were able to make intricately designed plaques without having to draw the shapes themselves. One of the residents decided to add some free-hand painting on her plaque to give it character and make it more personal.

The residents really enjoyed this session as it gave them the opportunity to experience arts and crafts in a different way. They loved the idea of using old items and turning them into new and exciting things – something they have pledged to do more of.

The residents thanked Debbie for coming to the care home and hosting the session with them. The finished plaques will be hung around Glennfield so everyone passing through the care home can see the residents’ magnificent creations.

25 Nov 19

Ozzie and Sam celebrate ‘Oustanding’ achievement with team members at Water Hall

Water Hall Care Home in Milton Keynes have been celebrating their ‘Oustanding’ result following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is in charge of inspecting social care services to ensure they are maintaining standards and providing excellent care to the people living there.

The inspectors judge each facility using five separate questions; Are they safe, Are they Effective, Are they Caring, Are they responsive to people’s needs and are they well-led? Each of these questions is answered using a sliding scale of choices; Inadequate, Requires Improvement, Good and Oustanding.  These results are then collated to give the care home an overall rating.

In their most recent inspection, Water Hall Care Home received an ‘Oustanding’ rating after scoring highly in all categories. This called for massive celebrations as not only did they achieve this impressive award, they are the first Excelcare home to receive it for two years in a row.

To mark the occasion and celebrate with the team, CEO & Chairman, Ozzie Ertosun and COO, Sam Manning went to visit the care home. Upon arrival, Ozzie and Sam said some words and praised all team members for their collaborative hard-work to secure this result. Team members were given gift vouchers and ‘Supercalifragilistic’ badges for doing so well.

A huge congratulations to everyone at Water Hall and all other team members who have supported the care home. We’re now looking to the future and aiming to maintain this status for three consecutive years at Water Hall!

25 Nov 19

Stanley Wilson residents do some Christmas Arts and Crafts

Residents at Stanley Wilson Care Home had a fun morning making some festive arts and crafts when team members from a local art group came to help the residents make some Christmas cards. The plan was to create some beautiful bespoke cards that the residents could sell and put the profits towards their amenities fund. This helps to buy new equipment and fun days out for the residents, so they’re always excited to help with these events.

To help support the fundraising efforts, the local arts group came to share some tips and techniques so the residents could create some stunning card designs. Members from the group had pre-prepared some Christmas stencils and brought them along, making it easy for residents to transfer the shapes onto their card. The people at Stanley Wilson enjoyed laying out the different designs on their card, before filling them in with brightly coloured ink.

Arts and crafts activities are very beneficial for the residents, as they help to bring out their creative side, keeps people feeling relaxed and encourages group engagement. They also help to develop hand-eye coordination skills, making other daily tasks and activities a little easier.

With thanks to the people from the local art group, the residents were able to make some very professional looking cards. This also gave them the opportunity to engage with others in the community and enjoy an afternoon of activities, whilst making some new friends too!

25 Nov 19

Primrose residents recite popular rhymes for National Nursery Rhyme Week

Residents at Primrose Croft took part in National Nursery Rhyme week celebrations with some themed activities at the care home. Nursery rhymes help to take residents back to special moments in their life, whether that’s from when their parents read rhymes to them or when they read them to their children, everyone has a memory they can recall.

To join in with the national week, residents gathered to talk about and recite some well-known nursery rhymes. One of the most popular rhymes remembered was Jack and Jill, whilst others included Old King Cole, Humpty Dumpty and Little Jack Horner to name a few. Some of these nursery rhymes have been forgotten by the younger generations and replaced with new ones, so it was pleasing to hear some traditional ones being sung again.

Pat was one of the residents in the session, who said her favourite rhyme was ‘Hot Cross Buns’, and treated her friends to a solo performance.

After sharing the rhymes they already knew, the group looked through a book to remind them of other traditional rhymes and learn some new ones too –  it was great fun reading them before discussing their meanings together. When ‘Lavender’s Blue’ was read out, residents sat back in their chairs, closed their eyes and immersed themselves in the poem, imagining they were in a field full of lavender.

This group session was also hosted separately with less mobile residents in their room. These activities were hosted in a one-to-one format and the residents thoroughly enjoyed hearing and engaging with a variety of nursery rhymes from their past.

After taking part, the residents thanked the team and said it was a very fun session that brought back sentimental memories and feelings. We look forward to taking part in more nationally recognised events at Primrose again soon!

22 Nov 19

Glennfield waves farewell to Home Administrator, Wendy

Residents, relatives and team members at Glennfield Care Home had an emotional day yesterday waving farewell to Home Administrator, Wendy.

Wendy has been a part of the team at Glennfield ever since it opened in 2008 and has made a positive impact on the people living there and passing through the doors each day. To celebrate her time there and wish her well for the future, everyone at the care home gathered in a communal area to give her gifts and cards.

As you can see, Wendy was very popular at the care home and loved by all. Team members said the reception smelt like a florist with all the flowers that she got!

After receiving her presents, Wendy said a few heartfelt words about her time at Glennfield.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Glennfield and will miss seeing you all every day. Thank you for all coming together and making my last day so memorable.”

From everyone at Glennfield Care Home, we wish you the best of luck in your new role and look forward to seeing you when you visit!