Care & Technology, Design, Tech

The importance of the digital age and how it helps our residents

Twenty years ago the whole world looked very different than it does today. So did nursing care and the residential care sector. When people chose to go into care in the 90s the technology we view as basic today was extremely expensive and difficult to procure on a mass scale in the way we can in this more modern age.

Our residents are used to using technology to explore what’s happening in the world and to keep in touch with those they love. Before they came to us, many of them regularly used technology like telephones or computers to communicate or entertain themselves.

It’s important to us that we make sure those who live with us still have access to these items, and that they can use them in the way they want to. That’s why our individual care plans include asking our residents which forms of technology they would appreciate having access to. One of the main items of technology our residents insist upon is a telephone.

At Peverel Court Care, we don’t think it’s enough to simply give all of our residents a telephone. Some of them don’t have the strength to use a phone without help. Often they no longer have the capacity because of illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s, or visual or hearing impairments. That’s why we tailor the telephone experience for everyone living in all three of our care homes.

Several of our residents have mobile phones they use to keep in touch with their families. But we don’t just give those we care for a mobile phone and expect them to get on with using it. General usage, maintenance and charging of mobile phones is overseen with the assistance of our dedicated care teams.

Our staff know the capacity of each and every one of our residents. They know if someone we care for understands how to use their phone but struggles to answer it, or if their conditions prevent them from hearing their phones ringing properly. We have a solution for these types of issues. For example, sometimes we ask our family members and friends to call our care home landline in advance of ringing a residents mobile phone so that we can go and help them to answer.

Not everyone likes mobile technology. Four of our residents have chosen to have a landline telephone in their room instead. With the assistance of their families, our care staff have programmed their most regularly used numbers into their speed dial selections, making it as easy as possible for them to contact those they love.

When people come to live at Stone House, Merryfield and Bartlett’s we want them to have all of the same opportunities that they have in their own home, and that includes the opportunity to contact those they love whenever they want to. We do everything within our power to make sure this possible, even funding landlines ourselves. For those we care for we know that nothing is more important than contacting those they care about, and if it’s important to them, it’s important to us.

Safeguarding, Stone House

An inspection report to be proud of

Providing care is serious. Our staff have lives in their hands. Because we’re looking after so many people, and because they are often extremely vulnerable, unable to communicate or raise an alarm, like all registered care and nursing homes, we have to be inspected.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are the regulating body for care homes in England. It’s their job to visit all registered care homes on a regular basis and compile a comprehensive report, then rate this care home out of four over a series of categories. It’s these ratings that people should use when choosing care for themselves or their loved ones. A great rating should mean a thriving home. A bad one can result in your care home closing down.

We’re delighted to announce that a recent inspection at Stone House Nursing Home rated the care service ‘Good’ over every single category.

What’s nice about these reports is that we don’t just get to see our overall rating, but the report the inspector has written about us as well. This gives us an insight into how the inspector felt when they visited us and, we hope, how the friends and relatives of those we care for must feel as well. We were overwhelmed by the positive comments we received across all of the categories, which investigate if the service is safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive.

The inspector spoke to our staff, residents and some friends and family who were visiting that day, and we couldn’t believe the final report. It was brimming with positive feedback from everyone.

Our residents

We were delighted by the comments of the people who live with us. After all, they’re who we are doing this for. Residents told inspectors that there was a large range of food and drink on offer and that they enjoyed our dining room. One is reported to have said, “The tables are always set in this beautiful dining room, I feel I’m eating in a special restaurant.”

They also commented on our activities, saying, “We have plenty to keep us occupied here.”

The inspector noted that we have a range of activities planned including quizzes, singing, word games, exercises and themed events, like our summer garden party and a celebration for the Queen’s birthday. When they visited they noted our staff spending time with our residents, and said they could tell our residents were enjoying this interaction.

We do everything we can to make sure those who live with us are happy and it’s wonderful to hear them tell a third party that they enjoy living with us very much.

Our relatives

When people need care, it’s often their relatives sourcing it for them. We know our families love their relatives fiercely. Concerned for their loved ones, they expect nothing but the best and will make sure they are getting it.

So we were happy to hear such positive feedback in the report from families. One said, “We moved here from another care home and the care here is absolutely fantastic and the team are outstanding.”

Another commented, “I visit most days and have absolutely no concerns about how my family member is cared for, the staff are brilliant, kind and caring.”

Our staff

Our staff received wonderful reviews from the residents, their families and from the inspector. People told the CQC that they are treated with dignity by our care workers and that their privacy is respected. A resident said, “All the staff here are so kind and nothing is too much trouble.”

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff working at Stone House Nursing Home for their incredible teamwork. The excellent results of this report would not be possible without them. We would also like to thank the residents and their families who made such humbling comments. We are immensely proud to be so highly rated and we sincerely enjoyed reading that you like spending time here with us as much as we enjoy having you all around.

Merryfield, Safeguarding

Merryfield House Nursing Home receives excellent review

We’re delighted to announce that Merryfield Nursing Home has received an excellent review of our services after an inspection by Oxfordshire County Council.

The Monitoring Officer, who uses a traffic light system to rate care homes in the area on the quality of the services provided, marked Merryfield House as green, the best possible, across every single one of their monitored categories. These include ‘Safeguarding’, ‘Leadership and Management’ and ‘Health and Safety’.

Though it’s vital that we are performing well under every single category, we were most pleased at the comments we received about the personalisation of our care.

At Peverel Court Care, we recognise that every one of the people we care for is different. Whilst some of them like to be social and join in activities, others do not. Some like to watch TV in communal rooms, others like to read quietly in their bedrooms or watch their television in private. This means that people should not be receiving the exact same care package, because to give the best care we should be tailoring their care to their own personal preferences.

We work hard in all of our care homes to make sure that our staff recognise the importance of personalisation for all of our residents. It’s something that we promote from the induction of new staff, and that everyone must take responsibility for – from frontline care staff up through to management. For example, if someone we care for has a nickname they prefer, we expect everyone who works in our home to address this resident by their chosen name. These little touches mean the world to people. Nobody wants to feel like a number.

We were happy to see that Oxfordshire County Council recognised the work we put into personalisation. They noted our ‘My Story’ documents, which contain detailed information about our residents and their childhood, their social interests and religious beliefs – even their preferred appearance. This information helps us to make sure our residents are living their lives as they would want to if they were in their own homes. Where possible, we accommodate everyone’s wishes. For example, if we know a lady likes having her hair cut in a certain way, but she reaches a point where she can’t communicate this as well because of dementia or Alzheimer’s, we can refer to these notes and make sure the lady is happy.

On the day the Monitoring Officer from Oxfordshire County Council attended Merryfield House, our Activities Coordinator was taking part in a morning activity of reminiscence with some of our residents. This involves selecting props personal to individuals and their past, then discussing these items in a group. This exercise is a great stimulation for our residents, who enjoy telling each other tales from their past as much as they enjoy listening to one another. The Monitoring Officer was moved enough by this activity to mention it in her report.

Operating a safe and comfortable care home takes a lot of work from lots of people. The lives of individuals are in our hands. Allowing officials into our grounds is a scary but exhilarating experience. For us, it’s a chance to show the officials the excellent care that we are providing, as well as the happiness of our residents and our staff.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the management and staff of Merryfield House Nursing Home for their outstanding work.

Bartletts, Merryfield, Stone House

Five of the best things about Peverel Court Care

We know that often people are searching for care in a crisis situation; their loved one has been taken ill and it’s obvious that they can no longer take care of themselves.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the best aspects of Peverel Court Care. We think we’re the next best thing for your relative; a home away from home. We hope you’ll agree with us.

Beautiful surroundings

Merryfield Nursing Care Home is in Oxfordshire and our other two homes, Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Care Home, are both in Buckinghamshire. All three of our residences are set within acres of beautiful land and surrounded by well-tended gardens. That means that incredible outdoor beauty is never far away.

As well as this, our buildings are impressive in themselves. We work incredibly hard to make sure that our care homes are a comfortable, beautiful place to live.

Fully furnished en-suite rooms

All of our bedrooms are fully furnished and come with en-suites. All residents have an electric bed, television and Sky TV, and there’s internet connection throughout all of our care homes for both residents and their visiting family members. There are also iPads and easy Skype access, so that residents can stay in touch with family who live far away.

Where possible, we like to personalise accommodation, so we invite them to bring their own furniture. We’ll then do our best to alter the décor in their room so that it matches their own personal style and taste.

Religious services

We can cater for the religious beliefs of your family member. Once a month a Church Minister travels to Stone House to visit some of our Catholic ladies, but we’ll do our best to make arrangements for your relative no matter what their religion.

Paul D, our local vicar, has said of our services: “I visit Stone House about once a month and take communion to five ladies who live there. I am always impressed with how well cared for they are. Its obvious when you enter the building it is run by caring and devoted staff.”

Skilled and friendly care team

Our staff are skilled, capable and supported, but we don’t only recruit based on the qualifications and experience. For us, it’s just as important that our staff have the right core values. During our recruitment process we get to know our applicants to make sure that providing care and support is something they’re passionate about. It’s the only way to make sure that we’re providing the best care. If your relatives live with us, you can be sure they are being looked after by people who are not only qualified, highly skilled and talented, but also compassionate and genuinely kind hearted.

Personalised care

For our residents, nothing is too much. We provide a range of activities to keep them entertained and offer hairdressing and physiotherapy services. We also provide meals prepared from fresh, local produce, which your family member can choose to eat in their room or in our communal lounge. When you visit you can eat with them, too!

Personalised care packages and services are something we’re incredibly proud of. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your loved one feels happy, comfortable and at home. We can even, on occasion, accommodate pets.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the services we offer or you would like to come in and get to know us a little bit better, please get in touch with us through our contact us page.

Personalisation, Real life

Our residents and the animals they love

We are a nation of pet lovers. Our favourites are undoubtedly the dog and the cat. Many of us choose to share our homes and lives with these incredible creatures, who we often come to think of as part of our own family. They give us hours of joy, affection and love.

When people are considering moving into a care home, one of the most distressing aspects of this life changing decision can be giving up the lovely animals that have become their friends. Even for those who don’t own pets, the prospect of not having access to animals can be upsetting.

At Peverel Court Care, we know that animals can have a massive impact on the mood of an individual. It’s been accepted for a long time that the opportunity to spend time with friends of the furry variety is extremely important to those who love them. To make sure our residents have the chance to enjoy animals, we utilise the services of therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs are trained to offer comfort and support to people. They’re some of the country’s hardest working animals, visiting care homes and hospitals to greet elderly people, disabled children or victims of disaster. Their job is to brighten the lives of those they meet.

In June we were visited by Bertie Bastan, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a lovely temperament. Our residents were overjoyed to spend time with him, and he was friendly, gentle and well behaved.

We loved him so much that we’ve formally invited him to our Summer Drinks Party on Wednesday 13th July at Merryfield House, where we will all be delighted to see him again.

If you have a pet that you just can’t part with, there are occasions when we can accept pets alongside their owner – as long as a series of circumstances are met. You can contact us if you have any questions about this; one of our dedicated staff members would be happy to let you know exactly what would be required.

Moving into a care facility doesn’t have to mean the end of your life with animals. We constantly strive to make sure that the things you loved before are still available to you when you’ve decided it’s time to move on, even if those things have four legs, fur and a tail.

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