27 Aug 19

Bill thanks online fans for supporting his watercolour paintings

William, also known as Bill, is a resident at St Fillans Care Home who thoroughly enjoys painting and craft activities. So much so, that Bill has a dedicated painting desk in his bedroom and is the place where he completes all of his art, with views of fields and trees from the window.

Bill was always a right-handed artist until he suffered a stroke in 2014, causing weakness to the right-hand side of his body. Unfortunately, Bill found painting a challenge after the treatment and couldn’t hold the brush as he had been previously.  Bill wasn’t willing to give up on his much-loved hobby though and one day swapped the paintbrush into his left hand. It wasn’t an easy transition to make, but after lots of practice, Bill’s natural talent shone through and he began life as a left-handed artist.

Bill has been painting ever since his recovery and enjoys creating colourful, true to life country scenes using watercolour paints. The team from the care home recognised his talents and decided to create a Facebook post telling his story and showing off some of his artwork. After posting the story, it received lots of positive comments from the public and reached an impressive 1,000 likes! Bill was so happy to hear the news and was very grateful that so many people had shown support towards his story and paintings.

To thank his growing crowd of online followers, Bill created a special painting featuring a personal message that reads, “Facebook Friends, thank you for all your kind words, love Bill”.

Support from friends, family and online communities can really help to better a residents’ overall sense of well being and brighten their day.

Bill, you are a true icon and we’re proud you are part of the Excelcare family.

27 Aug 19

Double celebrations for Doris as The Willows’ resident turns 100

Doris is a resident at The Willows Care Home and last week, celebrated her 100th Birthday! Reaching such an iconic milestone requires more than one celebration, so the team from the care home celebrated the special occasion twice.

On the day of Doris’ 100th Birthday, she received lots of cards, messages and presents from the team and residents wishing her a Happy Birthday. Balloons and banners had been placed on the walls to mark the day and made Doris smile as she made her way to the conservatory.

Her family were eagerly awaiting her arrival and as she made her way through the door, received a huge surprise and happy birthday wishes from everyone. Having her family around on such a big day was very special to her and made it even more memorable.

The celebrations continued as the Lifestyle Coordinators welcomed professional singer, Alison Carter, to sing some of Doris’ favourite songs. Doris said the music took her on a trip down memory lane and reminded her of other special moments from previous birthdays. The whole room joined in singing and dancing along to the music, creating many happy memories in each other’s company.

One of the highlights of Doris’ day was receiving a telegram from Queen Elizabeth, wishing her a happy birthday. The card included a message as well as a picture of the Queen and is something Doris said she will always treasure.

Although the day was drawing to a close, this wasn’t the end of the celebrations as the team had an afternoon tea planned later in the week. Friends and family from all around joined Doris for tea, cakes and lots of laughter at The Willows. Those who had travelled from further away were excited that they could celebrate with Doris and the second celebration was certainly enjoyed as much as the first.

After lots of fun at the care home, Doris’ family donated £100 to the resident’s comfort fund so they could make more happy memories in each other’s company.


27 Aug 19

Dinah reminisces during one to one session with Mounia

Dinah is a resident at Etheldred House Care Home and this week, spent time with a Lifestyle Coordinator chatting and reminiscing during a one to one session.

Dinah has always enjoyed getting creative and used to sew women’s clothing items including cardigans, jumpers and blouses. This is something she used to enjoy, so Mounia, a Lifestyle Coordinator at the care home, spend time showing Dinah a range of different clothes that had been sewn by others. She enjoyed looking at the complex patterns and colours that had been used, commenting on similar items she used to own. This simple activity helped to create connection and communication between the team members and residents, whilst helping to bring back memories from the past.

Dinah then told a story that had sprung to mind from her time spent living in France. This is where Dinah did most of her sewing and told Mounia about the different types of French couture she used to make. She spoke with passion and you could tell these were fond memories that meant a lot to her.

After telling stories and looking at lots of pictures, Dinah wanted to decorate an empty picture frame that she had in her room. She picked from a selection of stickers, choosing a butterfly to go on the front. She said that she hadn’t seen many butterflies recently and chose this so she can see one every day, from the comfort of her room.

Both Dinah and Mounia had a special time together, learning about each other and taking part in activities that hold personal memories. These sessions are really important, as something so small can bring back a memory and allow residents to relive special moments from their life, all over again.


27 Aug 19

Addenbrooks Hospital receive second donation from the Knitting Club

Buchan House Care Home host a weekly knitting club for the residents, where they come together in a communal area to knit and chat with their friends. It’s not all fun and games though, as the club has made it their focus to make blankets and donate them to the Neonatal (Newborn) Ward at Addenbrookes Hospital. The group has already donated a batch of blankets to the ward, but have been working hard and recently made a second set of blankets for the hospital.

The Neonatal Ward at Addenbrookes looks after and delivers newborn babies on a daily basis, so blanket donations are really appreciated as they help to keep the children warm and comforted. It’s also a very fulfilling initiative for the residents to be involved with, as it gives them enjoyment whilst making the blankets and satisfaction when donating them.

Since Buchan House donated their first blankets to the hospital, the knitting club has grown meaning they can produce more in a shorter space of time and other residents can feel the positive effects of being involved. Some of these benefits include; lower anxiety levels, improved focus and better communication skills.

Members of the group from the care home went with team members to hand over the colourful blankets they had made. Staff from the hospital liked the bright patchwork and said they will certainly stand-out amongst the rest. This made the residents smile and content knowing the activities they take part in at Buchan House, benefit important, local community functions.

The hardworking group are already in the process of making more blankets and will no doubt be back at Addenbrookes Hospital to donate them soon.


23 Aug 19

Castlebar Care Home hosts Hawaiian themed summer party

It was a day of Hawaiian themed fun at Castlebar Care Home last week, as the Lifestyle Coordinators hosted the annual summer party. The whole team helped to decorate the care home in preparation for the day, with bright colours and traditional decorations filling the ceilings, walls and mantlepieces.

Residents, family members and friends attended, dressing for the occasion in multicoloured garlands, grass skirts, headbands and themed shirts. There was a buzz of excitement around the care home as everyone mingled, sharing stories from the last couple of weeks and catching-up. It also gave residents the opportunity to meet some of their friend’s families and everyone enjoyed introducing themselves to one and other. Social events like the annual summer party help to improve people’s confidence, verbal communication skills and betters their overall wellbeing.

With a whole mix of different ages groups in the care home, it helped to bring variety to the daily routine and the company was appreciated by all.

DJ James came to play songs for the residents and helped to create a lively atmosphere, similar to a beach party in Hawaii. Everyone was cheering, laughing and of course, dancing along to the music.

After a fun-filled morning, the kitchen team served a buffet lunch with a range of different foods and exotic fruits to compliment the Hawaiian theme. It really felt like Hawaii had landed in Castlebar for the day, giving residents the opportunity to reminisce about previous holidays abroad.

After an action-packed day at the care home and lots of family fun, the residents took some time to relax and spoke about their favourite moments from the day.

Thank you to everyone who came along and the made day a great success – we look forward to seeing you all together again at the summer party next year.


23 Aug 19

Stanley Wilson receives a visit from Acehounds Friendship Dogs

Residents at Stanley Wilson Care Home were visited by a pair of specially trained friendship dogs this week. The mother and daughter duo (Tina and Rose) used to race competitively, but now live a more relaxed life with animal lover Elaine, spending their time spreading love and making friends.

Acehounds is managed by Elaine and her colleague Dawn, whose aim it is to harness the human-animal bond, a form of communication that doesn’t rely on the spoken word. This allows people living with all different types of health conditions to reap the benefits of their company through animal-assisted activities.

The people living at Stanley Wilson love interacting with animals when given the opportunity, so when they heard that Acehounds were coming in, there was lots of excitement around the care home.

As they arrived, residents enjoyed stroking the dogs and feeding them small treats. Both Tina and Rose were very gentle and sat patiently with each of them, showing affection to all and their calming nature certainly rubbed off on the group. Those who are comfortable moving independently are given the opportunity to take them for short walks, which is hugely beneficial for their well being.

Elaine and Dawn are also great with the residents and enjoy chatting and connecting over things they have in common, which in most cases, is a love for animals!

The session was very successful and everyone enjoyed building a bond with Tina and Rose. Acehounds will be visiting Stanley Wilson for the next 6 weeks and everyone is already excited to welcome them back.

A special thanks goes to Uttlesford Voluntary Services and Essex County Council for organising and funding this initiative.

23 Aug 19

Glennfield residents enjoy beach inspired day at the care home

The residents of Glennfield Care Home all have one thing in common, they love spending time at the beach. The stunning views and fresh sea breeze offers a calming and enjoyable place to spend time with their friends and family.

The team at Glennfield Care Home host day trips to the coast regularly, but with bad weather on the horizon, the Lifestyle Coordinators decided to host a seaside-inspired day at the care home. To prepare for the day, the whole team helped to transform the lounge with items you may find at the seaside. Palm trees, Seagulls and other colourful blow-up items were placed around the room, creating a tropical scene for the residents.

One of the things that everyone enjoys about coastal trips is fish and chips, so the kitchen team made a home-made version for lunch. The food was well-received by all, with some people saying it was better than restaurant versions.

After lunch, local childminders came to the care home with the children they look after to join in with the activities. Encouraging residents to mix with other the younger generations is beneficial as it helps to improve their physical and mental health, whilst bringing back fond memories from early family life.

To keep everyone entertained, the team invited Billy Banana to host a Punch and Judy show with candy floss and hot dogs available. Laughter and excitement filled the room and residents enjoyed the traditional approach, bringing back lots of memories from their childhood.

Everyone had a great day and enjoyed the seaside theme and nostalgic feel of the activities. As the childminders and their children left, they said a big thank you to Glennfield for the invite and such an enjoyable day.

After great success, there was talk of more seaside-inspired days at Glennfield Care Home.

22 Aug 19

Kirsty enters Scottish Half Marathon to raise money for Sherrell House

Kirsty is a Care Assistant at Sherrell House Care Home and recently entered the Scottish Half Marathon. She is a keen and talented runner who usually takes part for fun, but this race will help to raise money for the residents’ comfort fund.

Kirsty is a very dedicated member of the team and has some great friends who live at the care home. Kath (pictured) is one of these residents and feels special knowing the tough training she is going through to provide new equipment and exciting days out for the people living at Sherrell House.

Kirsty will be taking part in the half marathon on the 22nd September, so please join us in wishing her the best of luck via the Sherrell House Facebook page.

If you would like to sponsor Kirsty and support the residents of Sherrell House Care Home, donations can be made through her Just Giving page.

22 Aug 19

The sky’s the limit for Glennfield Care Home

Yesterday, a brave group of five staff and friends of Glennfield Care Home leapt from a De Havilland Twin Otter aeroplane at 10,000ft, skydiving to raise money for the residents’ comfort fund.

The team comprised of Glennfield Care Home’s Lifestyle Coordinator, Jackie , Care Assistant, Jeanette, Jackie’s son, Sam, friend DJ Chapman and Karen, whose sister lives at Glennfield. The jump was with North London Skydiving, at March, in Cambridgeshire and was one of 80 jumps happening that day. Before donning their safety kit, Jackie who came up with idea said, “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m actually scared of heights but thought why not? I told Jeanette about it and she literally jumped at the opportunity! Right now I’m feeling apprehensive and excited and can’t wait for the experience.”

“We wanted to do something a little bit different to raise money for the people that live at Glennfield Care Home – we’re really hoping to raise around £1000. This will go towards our brand-new Activity Room, which will house a cinema, sensory area, cooking area and karaoke.”

“As part of our ongoing person-centred care, the residents will be choosing how they want the areas to look and feel. It’s very much going to be a collaborative project for us, so it’ll be great to have the funds together to get this started.” Jackie continued.

The weather was perfect for the skydive, it was bright and clear and everyone that came to support took photos of the team as they embarked on the daring feat. Tony ‘G’, a friend of Glennfield Care Home, who came to watch said, “I’m full of admiration for them and what they’re doing – I think it’s great!” Spectators watched the plane take off and gasped in awe to see the colourful parachutes open far above, and gently start to descend. As each of the jumpers gracefully landed, there was a huge cheer and the atmosphere was one of pure exhilaration.

To donate to this fantastic cause, please visit the Justgiving page here.

22 Aug 19

Buchan House residents unwind with afternoon game of bingo

Debbie is a Lifestyle Coordinator at Buchan House Care Home and last week, hosted a game of bingo for the residents. The people living at Buchan House enjoy playing bingo as it’s a familiar game for everyone and creates lots of excitement around the care home. To add some friendly competition between the group, prizes are occasionally added to the game, giving residents the opportunity to win something special.

Bingo sessions are usually hosted on a Friday afternoon as it’s a fun way for the residents to end the week, but as they are so popular, Debbie tries to fit in games in between other activities. Everyone who wishes to take part gathers in the lounge and Debbie begins reading out numbers as they are selected.

The people living at the care home enjoy group activities like bingo as it allows them to socialise with friends whilst playing a game they all enjoy. It also offers a range of health benefits, including increased concentration skills, improved short term memory and enhanced listening skills.

It’s always refreshing to see the residents so engaged with a game, whilst having fun with the team and their friends in a communal space.