18 Nov 19

Park Avenue residents get crafty for Excelcare’s Christmas card contest

Care homes across the Excelcare group are taking part in a Christmas card making competition this year. The contest is open to residents, team members and their families to design the best Christmas card, with the winner’s design featuring on the front of all the company’s Christmas cards. Not only does this encourage engagement with craft activities, but also gives them something to work towards and be excited about.

When Park Avenue’s Lifestyle Coordinator, Gladys heard about this she was determined for the Bromley-based residents to take home the prize. To help come up with some interesting designs, Linda from Creative Mojo came to support.

Using their new activity room in the Wellness Suite, the residents had all they needed and enjoyed experimenting with different decorations and techniques. Linda from Creative Mojo showed the residents a technique using a template, a brush and some paint. The Christmas themed templates helped residents to map out their designs before filling them in with colour. Some of the residents opted for brighter designs, whilst others stuck to traditional colours.

Linda was on hand to support throughout the session in-line with the resident’s needs. Although some aspects are more challenging for some people, they all enjoy bringing their design ideas to life.

The cards were left to dry for all to see on the window seal and they looked great in the sun. The different colours and designs used have already brought festive-feelings to the people living at Park Avenue and we wish you the best of luck in the competition!

18 Nov 19

Glennfield Care Home celebrates its 11th birthday

On the 11th November 2008, Glennfield Care Home opened its doors. Situated in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the 84 bedded care home provides nursing, dementia nursing, frail and dementia care, with facilities that cater for people living with early-onset dementia too.

Earlier this month, the care home celebrated its 11th birthday with the residents, team members and relatives that occupy the home. This was a very special day as their celebrations fell on Remembrance Day, giving people the opportunity to remember their past and lost loved ones whilst celebrating their later years at Glennfield Care Home. Some of the residents are veterans from the war, making this an emotional day for all. Proudly wearing their poppies, everyone at Glennfield respected the two-minute silence before reading out some traditional Remembrance Day poems.

Glennfield’s birthday was celebrated in the afternoon with entertainer, Toby G, who came in to sing familiar songs and get the residents on their feet. The kitchen team prepared a varied spread of food for people to enjoy which included homemade sausage rolls, vol-au-vents and a Birthday Cake of course. The buffet went down very well and the kitchen team had many compliments about their food.

To mark the importance of the day, the Mayor of Wisbech, Michael Hill came to talk to the residents and find out more about life at Glennfield. They all had a great time chatting, eating and enjoying the live musical performance, whilst learning about the important work that Glennfield does for the residents and local communities


15 Nov 19

Mark returns to Ashlyn Care Home for a sing-along session with residents

Mark is one of the entertainers that regularly visit the residents at Ashlyn Care Home to perform some songs from the past. Mark plays a range of different music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and more, covering a variety of the resident’s favourite genres.

The people at Ashlyn were excited for Mark’s return this week and gathered in the lounge to await his arrival. After a quick chat with the residents, Mark got straight into the music and started by their favourite songs to add familiarity and get everyone feeling energised.

The residents enjoy Mark’s performances as not only is he a talented singer, but also engages with them and encourages reminiscence through his music. Some of the residents recall memories of concerts they have been to or family occasions from the past, making this beneficial for people living with dementia too.

It’s never long before the people at Ashlyn are singing, tapping and dancing along with Mark. He always encourages interaction and regularly passes the microphone to residents for a quick solo performance. During this week’s show, Mark took time to serenade some people individually which they thoroughly enjoyed and said it made them feel special.

It’s great seeing the music have such a positive impact on the residents at Ashlyn and everyone thoroughly enjoyed Mark’s performance.

We look forward to seeing you again for another rockin’ performance with the residents.

15 Nov 19

Excelcare provides sponsorship support to bereavement charity, Living On

Here at Excelcare, we support local charities and foundations that help the communities around them. One charity that has made a real difference to young people particularly is bereavement service provider, Living On.

Living On bereavement services is a charity that provides grief support to young people who have lost close family members. They run group sessions with people who are grieving, to create links between others who have lost family members, share advice and build support networks with people who have experienced loss.

The charity has already supported over 150+ bereaved families and young people since 2016, helping them to reach their full potential as they transition into becoming resilient adults. Operating in the postcodes of BR5 and BR6, they cover Downe, Orpington and the surrounding areas

To recognise and support the important work of this charity, Exclecare has sponsored the drinks reception at their sold-out Christmas fundraising event on 22nd November. The sponsorship has provided funds to support their work and make the opening reception possible.

This annual event helps to raise vital funds that allows the charity to continue the important work they do. A raffle will also be hosted on the night and profits from the ticket sales will go to the charity.

Guests on the night include families and individuals who have received help from the charity and male vocalist group, “3’s company” will be there to perform and keep everyone entertained.

We’re proud to support the incredible work that Living On does and we hope the event is a huge success.

For more information about the services that Living On provide, visit: www.livingon.org.uk.

15 Nov 19

Anca’s Story; A career with Excelcare

Anca is the Home Manager at Brook House Care Home in Cambridge who recently celebrated her 7 year work anniversary with Excelcare.  During this time, she has achieved great success and worked her magic and Excelcare homes across the Essex and Cambridge regions.

To highlight her achievements, we asked her a few questions about her journey with Excelcare.

Click here to read her story.

14 Nov 19

Doreen lends a helping hand at Goldenley Care Home

Doreen is a resident at Goldeneley Care Home who likes to be independent. She regularly takes part in activities and this week, offered a helping hand to the team members.

Residents are always encouraged to keep-up their independence, whether that’s by washing up their own plate or wiping down surfaces in their room, it’s beneficial for their physical health, mental health and increases their sense of fulfilment.

After serving breakfast this week, Doreen joined team members in the kitchenette and offered to help with the washing up. Without hesitation, she got on with the job and before long the sink had been cleared. Not only did she support with the dishes, but also wiped down the surfaces and jokingly said to team members, “that’s how you do it girls.”

They all had a laugh and thanked Doreen for helping out and making the kitchen so tidy.

Doreen said she enjoys this little job and knowing she can help those who help her on a daily basis keeps her feeling fulfilled. It also allows for some one-on-one time with the team members so they can catch-up and spend time appreciating each other’s company.

Thanks for your help Doreen, it’s appreciated by everyone at Goldenley Care Home.

14 Nov 19

Aliwal Manor residents enjoy dementia-friendly screening of Grease

Isabella, Maria, Freda, Barbara, Jean and team members from Aliwal Manor Care Home, were very excited when they woke up last Thursday morning for their trip to Peterborough Key Theatre to watch a special screening of Grease.

Film is always an immersive experience, which leaves a profound and lasting impact on the residents each time they visit. It can promote activity, cognitive stimulation, reminiscence and is associated with relaxation, engagement and above all, enjoyment.

The screening was hosted especially for people living with dementia and complex needs, meaning talking, singing along and interacting with the film is encouraged.

Everyone was in high spirits as they left Aliwal Manor, with residents joking, “are we there yet?” during the journey. It was only a short trip, but people made the most of it by singing their favourite Christmas songs along the way.

Grease was a very popular film in the 70s and 80s when it first released, so residents are familiar with the songs and scenes in the film. This is a great way of encouraging reminiscence too, as it brings back memories from previous trips to see the film with friends and family, allowing them to relive precious moments from their past.

Throughout the film, residents enjoyed singing and moving their arms along to the music. It was a great experience seeing everyone engaged with the film and smiling throughout, whilst enjoying the drinks, popcorn and chocolate available.

On their way back to Aliwal Manor, there was a buzzing atmosphere as everyone was talking about the film and sharing the memories it brought back. The conversation continued into tea time as residents told their friends about the exciting day they had.

14 Nov 19

Excelcare prepares for International Stop Pressure Ulcer Day

International Stop Pressure Ulcer Day takes place on the 21st November each year and aims to promote ways in which pressure ulcers can be avoided.

Pressure ulcers are sores that form on the skin as a result of prolonged pressure on the body. Anyone can get them, but people who spend long periods of time sitting down or those with limited mobility make up the majority of people affected. They cause red marks on the skin which can become itchy, inflamed or open, so creating awareness of how to avoid them is particularly important.

With many less-mobile residents in care homes across the group, Excelcare has rolled out a regional training scheme on the day, to re-educate and remind team members the importance of managing existing pressure ulcers and the ways in which they can be avoided.

Milton Keys, Cambridge, London and Essex regions will run two training sessions on International Stop Pressure Ulcer Day, giving more staff the opportunity to attend and get updated on the latest techniques and training modules to prevent pressure ulcers from occurring.

Not only will team members be shown what they can do individually, but will also be supported in cascading the training to new members of staff and those who couldn’t attend on the day, ensuring everyone is kept up to date.

After the training has been completed, team members from Learning and Development will revisit each home to get their feedback on ways in which the training has helped and answer any questions that have arisen in the meantime.

This a hugely important topic and one that needs to recognised and understood more widely. This training will help to do that and improve the quality of life for residents across the group.

13 Nov 19

Ashlyn residents honour Remembrance Day with poppy making activities

Last weekend at Ashlyn Care Home in Essex, residents spent time taking part in poppy-themed arts and craft activities in recognition of Remembrance Day.

This is an important and historic day for the residents, with many living, serving or being evacuated during the war. By hosting craft activities, it allows residents to engage with the day in multiple ways.

To encourage reminiscence, the team set up a ‘Memory Tree’ activity, in which residents wrote the people they were remembering and any important memories from the time. This spurred lots of conversation and as the group wrote down their messages, they shared wartime stories with their friends and the team members.

One resident who told a particularly interesting story was Carol. At the age of 98, she has certainly seen a lot throughout her lifetime and felt comfortable to share a story about the blitz.

“I went through the Blitz. I was at Liverpool Street Station on the worse day which was the 29th December 1940. I couldn’t get in the shelter because it was full up and was told they couldn’t take any more people, so we had to stand up against the wall and watch what was going on. It was terrible, everything was alight and Firemen were everywhere. Sadly a lot of them were killed.”

Carol spoke of the event so clearly and even recalled small details from the day. The whole group were fascinated by her story but were sad that she had to see and experience what she did on that terrible day.

Carol then recalled another memory from when she was working at a factory.

“Once, I remember going out for my lunch break and seeing a fight between German & English fighter Jets. And then, in the factory where I worked, men dropped down through the glass roof and into the factory, causing glass to pour down. The lady next to me was kicked in her back and her neck for no reason, but luckily I came away without even a scratch.”

Carol’s stories certainly engaged the group and it was great seeing people connect over similar experiences during the war.

Another activity from the weekend included singing war-time songs with Olivia, an entertainer who frequently hosts sessions at the care home

It was a lovely atmosphere at Ashlyn over the weekend, remembering those who served and reminiscing with stories from the war. The residents also made their own poppies which they wore with pride and the memory tree is on display for all to read.

13 Nov 19

Queens Oak residents experience digital therapy with Dancing Mind

Residents at Queens Oak Care Home got a taste of the future this week when Dancing Mind came to host a digital therapy session at the care home.

Dancing Mind’s mission is to bring affordable and effective therapy sessions to the elderly. They note the demand for healthcare professionals is on the rise as society is ageing and one-to-one therapy can often be expensive and take up lots of resource. Through the introduction of digital therapy formats, Dancing Mind are able to tackle the issue head-on.

Dancing Mind use a mixed reality software paired with a virtual reality headset and movement controls, so residents are able to engage with what they are seeing through the headset. This helps residents to feel as if they have been transported to a different environment without leaving the comfort of their own space.

Queens Oak residents gathered in the lounge, excited about this new experience. They were each given a turn wearing the headset and were instantly blown away by how realistic everything looked. Team members from Dancing Mind took some time to teach residents how to use and control the headset before letting them experiment with the different programmes.

They all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and some residents didn’t want to take it off! Using modern technology to engage people in therapy was exciting and certainly increased participation.

This method is particularly effective for those who live with dementia or have previous stroke history, as it encourages light movement and case studies show that people who have previously struggled with mobility after a stroke, have been able to make small gestures when using this technology.

This is a huge step for the care industry and we’re proud that the residents at Queen’s Oak were able to experience this modern and more engaging form of therapy.