6 Aug 19

Etheldred House delight in friendly competition with Dominoes games

This week, the people living at Etheldred House enjoyed stepping into the past and playing some friendly rounds of dominoes. As well as offering a chance to spend some quality time with others, classic games such as dominoes have many benefits. Logical games such as this help to encourage speaking and listening and thinking, as well as helping towards maintaining good hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

The group enjoyed speaking to Etheldred’s Lifestyle Coordinators about the game, sharing their own memories and teaching them new strategies and tips. Dominoes is a firm favourite at Etheldred House and always creates an atmosphere full of fun!

6 Aug 19

Winifred Dell celebrate Babette’s 90th Birthday

At Excelcare, we welcome any reason to celebrate with open arms! This goes without saying for the birthdays of those who live in our care homes; where family and friends are welcomed to enjoy birthday cake and a day of fun!

Babette, who lives at Winifred Dell Care Home, recently celebrated a very special milestone; her 90th birthday! Lifestyle Coordinator, Clare Cripps organised an afternoon of celebrations for Babette to make the day extra special. The sun was shining in the garden where Babette’s family and friends joined her, a live singer also visited and entertained everyone with their favourite hits, as well as singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song for Babette! The afternoon was spent with the group enjoying each others’ company, chatting and making memories of the wonderful day. We wish many more happy years to come for Babette!

6 Aug 19

Glennfield residents enjoy a summertime walk in the park

This week Glennfield Care Home enjoyed a walk to their local park with residents, Dianne and Pansy. The weather was sunny and warm, and the two ladies enjoyed the summer breeze, birds singing in the trees and hearing the children laugh as they played on the swings. They also made friends with a few dogs that passed by with their owners.

Dianne, Pansy and the Glennfield team members were delighted to bump into the NCS students who had recently visited the care home, where they had kindly painted and decorated their garden summer houses. The students were holding a cake stall and face painting in the park in order to raise money to buy craft items for residents to enjoy in the new activity room. Pansy and Dianne were happy to support the students and their cause, as well as enjoying their home-baked goodies including cupcakes, and even a rainbow cake!

The NCS students have since made a surprise visit to Glennfield and brought with them an array of arts and crafts materials, which they bought with money raised from their efforts in the local park. Glennfield Care Home have really appreciated the hard work and dedication shown by the NCS students and can’t wait to welcome them back in future!



6 Aug 19

St George’s Court hit the box office for Dementia-friendly cinema trips

The people living at St Georges Court Care Home enjoyed a ‘cinema experience’ over the weekend. Freshly-popped salt and sweet popcorn and sweets were handed out ready for the main event; a showing of the classic film The Sound of Music. The movie was played on all three floors of the care home so that no one missed out. Residents really enjoyed singing along to the popular songs and reminiscing on a much-loved family film.

The audience reminisced about the times they went to the cinema, and spoke about how nice it would be to go again on an outing. Lifestyle Coordinators Elouise and Kayleigh decided make some special arrangements! They team found a local cinema named The Light Cinema, which offers Dementia-friendly screenings. During these showings, there are no adverts or trailers and the lighting is slightly raised throughout the film. Although these screenings are designed to be accessible and comfortable for people with dementia, they are open to the public as well. Another bonus of the feature is that Iceland Foods kindly provide pre-screening refreshments for all guests attending the Dementia-friendly screenings.

With the plans in place, a group of residents travelled by taxi to watch the new film, ‘Rocketman’. Everybody said how fantastic it was and enjoyed singing along to all of Elton John’s hits and eating lots of popcorn! There are already plans in place to take another group to see the next friendly dementia film, ‘Aladdin’!

5 Aug 19

Glennfield residents practice grooming with Shetland Pony group

The people who live at Glennfield Care Home were surprised by a visit from a group of Shetland Ponies this week. The team at Glennfield regularly invite animal handlers to the care home as animal interaction has proven a relaxing activity, which aids in enhancing communication skills, and time with animals really helps to improve people’s overall sense of wellbeing.

As everyone gathered outside, the animal handlers gave them a short presentation around safety and showed them the correct way of grooming the ponies. Residents were then handed the reigns and enjoyed petting and brushing the horses with help from the owners.

Residents took turns spending time with the animals, everyone was chatting and enjoying their afternoon in the garden, while learning a lot about caring for horses. The handlers heard stories from the past as well as the more recent weeks at Glennfield.

Everyone who got involved found the session very therapeutic; the team, residents and visitors all had a great time with the animals and their handlers, so a follow-up visit is definitely on the horizon!

5 Aug 19

Excited Etheldred residents take a trip to Anglesey Abbey

Residents at Etheldred House Care home were full of excitement this week for their planned trip to Anglesey Abbey.

Anglesey Abbey is a Jacobean style country house with a beautiful garden and working watermill situated in North Cambridge. The people living at Etheldred love getting out into the countryside and seeing all the wildlife in the green, open space.

The first stop of the day was exploring the gardens that surround Anglesey Abbey. The smell of flowers in the air was refreshing for all as they made their way around the river walk. Residents stopped at an opening to enjoy the calming sounds of the water and take in the stunning scenery.

Wildflower meadows and a rose garden were two of the other exciting stops of the day and as they walked the route, residents had the opportunity to meet new people and connect with others on the trip, pointing out particular points of interest to each other.

Susan, a resident at Etheldred, was overwhelmed with the excitement of the day and felt very special as her husband had joined the team for the outing. They both stopped at the entrance of the watermill together and enjoyed learning more about its rich history.

As the group approached the end of the route, they stopped at a nearby café where they had time to relax with a cup of tea and slice of cake. Everyone began to reflect on the day, sharing their favourite parts of the Abbey and any stand-out wildlife sightings.

After finishing their drinks and snacks, the team headed back to Etheldred to share stories from their exciting day at the Abbey with people back at the care home.

5 Aug 19

Summer Fete fun at Aliwal Manor

Aliwal Manor Care Home hosted their summer fete last weekend with a fantastic turnout despite the rainy weather. The aim of the day was to welcome friends, family and people from the local community into the care home to have a look around and take part in some fun activities.

The day started with entertainment from team member Pip, as she got everyone up, dancing and feeling ready for the day. There was then time for everyone to socialise and meet with the team and residents who live at the care home; Family members were catching up with their loved ones and friends were exchanging stories from the previous week.

After a busy morning, the kitchen team started to bring out a buffet lunch they had prepared. There was a massive selection of food inside that everyone seemed to enjoy along with a barbecue serving burgers and hot-dogs to the people in the garden.

After lunch, the local Fire Brigade arrived to meet everyone at the care home and even let people sit and pose for photos inside the Fire Engine. This was certainly a big attraction of the day and had people queuing to get inside and have a look.

There was a great family atmosphere at Aliwal Manor and you could feel the community spirit in the air. People of all ages and backgrounds were socialising and the sound of laughter could be heard all around the care home.

Involving the community in what we do is important as it lets people meet with aspirational figures in the area and opens up opportunities for the residents and friends of Aliwal.

Through the generosity of those who came along, Aliwal Manor raised £900 towards their comfort fund which the team have partially used to book a seaside trip for the residents.

A great day for everyone involved and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.



5 Aug 19

Joan’s Story: A life fulfilled

Joan was born in Upware, East Cambridge, where she lived with her parents and nine siblings. She grew up in the area and went to Wicken School; a three-mile walk away from home which she did every day!

At school, Joan had many friends and was a keen athlete. Her favourite sports were rounders and netball which she had a natural talent for.

As Joan grew up, she lived isolated from most of her friends as her dad was a Shepherd and their house was quite secluded. This didn’t faze her though, because she had a large family that all enjoyed spending time together and has fond memories of hosting their own display on firework night.

Joan lived an active life as a child and could usually be found playing hopscotch, skipping with two ropes or spinning a top with a whip. If she wasn’t doing any of those things, her mum knew exactly where she would be; playing on the family swing. It was tied onto an old apple tree in the garden and is where Joan spent lots of time daydreaming and thinking about her future.

Other fond memories from Joan’s childhood include the fabulous cooking her mum used to do. Christmas Puddings were one of her specialities and would only get made on special occasions including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and her son’s birthday in January. This passion for cooking certainly rubbed off of the family as Joan and two of her sisters all worked in the food industry as Chefs or Bakers at some point.

Later in life, Joan met her husband-to-be, Kenneth, outside the local church and said they never parted sides since. They were married for 56 years and had two children together, Linda and Michael. They grew up around the church and attended the local Sunday School which they both enjoyed. So much so, that when Linda was old enough she began hosting the class each weekend.

Now living at Buchan House, Joan has continued to make lots of friends and is a very keen knitter. She spends her free time making clothes for her family and blankets for other residents who live at the care home. Her favourite things to do include arts and craft sessions as well as outings to different places with her friends from Buchan House.

Joan said her secret to staying happy is by always having something to look forward to.





2 Aug 19

Sherrell House celebrate Sheila’s birthday in Spanish style

It was a day of Spanish themed celebrations at Sherrell House this week as the team transformed the care home for Sheila’s birthday. Sheila is a resident at the care home and has fond memories of many birthdays spent in Spain, tasting tapas and having parties in the street. So this year, she wanted to bring some of those experiences to Sherrell House and requested a Spanish themed party with all the residents.

The team at Sherrell House wasted no time and started transforming the lounge with bright colours and Spanish themed items. Colourful bunting decorated the ceilings and costume items were spread around the room so residents could immerse themselves in the celebrations. The Lifestyle Coordinators had organised for a Spanish entertainment group to come in and perform as well as a buffet-style lunch to serve traditional dishes found in Spain.

On the morning of Sheila’s birthday, she received lots of cards and messages from residents wishing her a happy birthday which started the day on a high. As she made her way to the lounge, she noticed all of the bright colours bursting from the room and was incredibly grateful to the team for making her feel so special. The other residents came down to join the celebrations dressed in Sombreros and Ponchos which made her feel like she had landed in Spain for the day. Lifestyle coordinator, Erol, made a special effort and swapped his uniform for a full costume which made all the residents laugh.

As the entertainment arrived and the Spanish buffet was served, Sheila was overwhelmed with everything the team had organised and certainly made for a birthday that she will not forget.

Ensuring the residents get personalised care and experiences is a the heart of what we do at Excelcare and that little bit of extra effort can go a really long way!


2 Aug 19

Helicopter lands during trip to the park

Lifestyle Coordinator, Faith, took Goldenley resident, John for a trip to the park this week. John enjoys staying active and getting out in the community so team members frequently take him for walks around the local area.

As they were enjoying a stroll in the sunshine, John noticed an Air Ambulance Helicopter landing at the other side of the park and wanted to go and take a look.

As they approached the Helicopter, both were shocked at its size but admired the bright orange colour scheme. Noticing his interest, the Air Ambulance Crew came over to introduce themselves and spoke to John about what they were doing. They could tell he was excited and after a quick chat, allowed John to take a picture with the Helicopter. He was thrilled and definitely didn’t expect to encounter it during his walk.

After taking some pictures and thanking the crew, John and Faith headed back to Goldeneley to share the exciting news of their trip with the people back at the care home.