Wellbeing

Group Activities For Elderly People

Group activities are extremely important. There have been many experiments investigating social interaction and they all stress the importance of people being in the presence of others.

Many people worry that moving their loved one into a care home might make that person feel alone, but usually quite the opposite is true. At Peverel Court Care, we go out of our way to make sure that there are many opportunities for our residents to interact with others and form social groups. If you’re looking for ways to bring people together in a group, here are some great ideas for activities suitable for elderly people.

  1. Utilise the skills of your group

Some of our ladies at Peverel Court Care like to knit. We often find they have formed their own knitting groups, sitting together in a corner of our social rooms to partake in their hobby. Find a social activity that several members of your group like to do and encourage them. They may even teach it to people who don’t know how to do it.

  1. Name that song

Music binds us together. Most people love it. Why not bring your group into one space and play ‘Name That Song’? Play the first few notes of a song and see if your residents can guess what it is.

  1. Card making

If there is a special occasion coming up like Christmas or someone’s birthday, why not spend and afternoon making cards? It’s fun and inspires conversation.

  1. Jigsaws

Buy a medium sized jigsaw and spend an afternoon as a group putting it together, or a giant one that remains in your social area over a period of time. Everyone can contribute to building it and, eventually, you can frame it and put it on the wall. You can even buy special puzzles using a photograph of something, like a photograph of your care home, for example.

  1. Trips out

At Peverel Court Care we love to have theatre and cinema nights where possible. We take some of our residents to the local town so that we can all watch a film or show together. They appreciate the change of scenery and the show usually gives everyone something to talk about.

  1. Film nights

Why not let your residents choose a film they want to watch and then put it on in one of your social rooms. Dish out the popcorn and the penny sweets and let the good times roll.

  1. Exercise classes

A number of exercise classes are easy to do. Try something like seated yoga. Exercise is productive and good for mental stimulation. You can hire professionals for a reasonable price to help deliver the sessions.

  1. Meditation

There are hundreds of guided meditation videos on YouTube, and it’s really easy to do. There’s so much emphasis on mindfulness at the moment and it’s important when it comes to relaxation.  Find a quiet corner and allow your residents some designated time to chill out.

  1. Gardening

When the weather is glorious there is no better place to be than in beautiful gardens. Let your residents help you pot plants, make hanging baskets or water flowers if it interests them.

  1. Involve residents with everyday tasks

For some residents it will be really important that they feel as though they still have some control in caring for themselves. They may want to help tidy their own room, or set the table, sort post or fold laundry. Don’t feel guilty about letting residents get involved if they want to.

 

 

Care Home Maintenance

The Magical Maintenance Teams Who Make It Happen

From an outside perspective it can look as though our team consists largely of our frontline care staff. They are the ones who are always around at the forefront of delivering consistently high standards of care.

But behind the scenes it takes a whole host of other individuals to make sure that Peverel Court Care can provide an incredible service to those we take care of.

We are not just talking about our wonderful management team or the chefs who cook in our kitchens, the cleaners who clean our premises and the wizards who tend our gardens; we’re also talking about our amazing maintenance teams. Like every cog in the Peverel Court Care machine, our maintenance crew is responsible for keeping our service running at an exceptional standard, whilst never shifting their focus away from the attention to detail we expect here.

This week we would like to introduce you to one of them.  Antonio Gomes, originally from Barcelos, Portugal, has worked at Peverel Court Care for 21 years. A keen footballer as a child, Antonio joined the youth team of FC Porto when he was 17 but left to complete his national service. We’re proud to have him as our Maintenance Manager in Stone House Nursing Home.

Antonio says, “I very much enjoy the interaction between myself, colleagues and the residents. Each day there are different challenges and jobs required, but I am able to interact with different people each day, and I very much enjoy that part of the role. It gives me great satisfactions to complete a task that helps a resident or relative.”

We often talk about strong team bonds at Peverel Court Care. We really feel as though our staff and residents are one big family. Antonio believes the same. Every year when he visits his family in Portugal he invites other staff members to travel with him.

“The teams have always been very supportive of me. When I first moved to England the management team helped me with accommodation. The owner even flew out to Portugal to attend my daughters christening.”

Antonio says he most often fixes things that are accidentally broken, such as pagers or electric beds.  He stresses that attention to details is extremely important for the safety of the residents we take care of.

“We make sure to follow strict health and safety guidelines. All of the maintenance team recently had a refresher health and safety training tailored specifically to maintenance teams from an external expert. All of the work we do is thoroughly inspected and certified where required. We also make sure to do the relevant safety checks on any external contractors we work with.”

Antonio and his team have to stick to a number of daily duties, whilst also being flexible around maintenance issues that may crop up. When we asked what an average day for him looks like, he said, “The first thing I do each morning is check the maintenance book. This is updated by staff on a daily basis with any urgent works required. Works are completed in priority of safety to residents at all times. When I have completed any urgent works I then continue with the allocated projects from the Directors. Each month we continue to work on larger projects in terms of refurbishment and upgrading areas of the home such as bedrooms and communal bathrooms.”

When we asked him what he would be doing if he wasn’t working for us, Antonio didn’t offer up an alternative career he’s lusting after. Instead he said, “If I wasn’t here then I may be back in Portugal, enjoying the sunshine and a glass of our local port!”

Dignity, Wellbeing

Smiles All Round At Our Oral Health Training Week

We’re always looking to improve the care we offer to our residents. In order to be the best, we know that we must continuously learn. We invest in training and development on a regular basis to ensure that our staff can deliver the best possible care.

Oral health is undoubtedly important. A clean and healthy mouth is a vital part of comfort and overall health, so we’re eager to make sure we are getting this right. We want to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to overall oral health. We are proud to receive the Lifelong Smiles accreditation.

Last week, Merryfield Nursing Care Home participated in the Lifelong Smiles Award 2017, which was commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council. This week of training and support informed our staff how they can improve and maintain the oral health of our residents.

The week included games of bingo in which staff, residents and families were awarded healthy snacks, as well as the opportunity to discuss how we can incorporate snacks that are good for oral health into our menus.   There was also a board game with visual aids, where residents had to guess the amount of sugar in various drink bottles.

We’ll be building on the things that we learnt. Almost all of our staff took part in the training, which means we’re clued up on oral health across all departments within the care home. And, since our residents particularly liked the healthy snacks they received as prizes when we played bingo, we’ll be carrying on making these available whenever they’re feeling a bit peckish and updating individual care plans.

We’re sure our residents and their families will remain partial to the odd piece of chocolate, and we’ll be happy to provide it but we feel that this training had an impact on everyone. In the future, we’re sure everyone will make choices that are beneficial for oral health.

Care & Technology, Future of Care, Personalisation, Wellbeing

Technology Is Changing the World For All People Of All Ages

Quite often people in older generations complain about technology. Largely they are perturbed by the overuse of mobile phones and other communicative technologies. Part of a generation that didn’t have such luxuries, they’re concerned by the idea that people can be contacted at all times of the day and night wherever their location. So it’s ironic that this technology actually makes growing older and living away from your family much easier.

At Peverel Court Care we weave technology into our individual care plans. We’ve written before about how we give some of our residents mobile phones so that they can keep in touch with relatives, whilst for others who need additional support we arrange phone calls at a specific time so that our staff can help them connect to their family.

We’ve also written about our use of Immedicare, a system that gives us access to a digital health hub facility and experienced nurses and clinicians covering a range of specialties.

Today we wanted to tell you more about how we use Skype within our care homes to make communication with family members easier.

We’ve set up a dedicated guest network throughout all of our properties, with fibre WiFi available for all residents and their guests. This is useful for residents whose family live far away, or for those who have family or friends who are not particularly mobile themselves. Often it is most useful for those who have family living in other countries.

One of our residents Peter has one daughter who lives in Australia and another who still lives in the UK. Since we set up Skype for Peter, he speaks to his daughter using the system regularly from the other side of the world. Another of our residents, Joan, talks on Skype to her relatives regularly from Canada and Australia. Another resident speaks to her son who lives in Bournemouth on Skype when he can’t travel to visit her.

We’re always looking for new ways to enhance the technological solutions we offer at Peverel Court Care. Just recently we enquired about a piece of technology called Active Protect, which helps protect the hips of elderly individuals. We discovered this whilst researching the global technology conference CES17, looking for the latest technologies to benefit our residents. Next week we’ll be visiting the Design Museum for the New Old exhibition, which explores how designers can make life easier for the elderly.

It is our main purpose to make the lives of our residents happy, easy and comfortable. Technology is a huge part of achieving that objective. We are constantly researching new technologies. Rest assured, we’ll be at the forefront of any new developments, making sure our residents can utilise them in the best way possible.

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