Bartletts, Merryfield, Stone House

10 Tips For Spring Gardens From The Peverel Court Care Gardening Team

The spring is upon us and the early bloomers are out in force. In the last couple of weeks you’ve probably seen splashes of yellow in the country verges in the form of daffodils, a true sign that the weather is changing and the temperature is on the up.

We see daffodils as a bit of a sign; when they start to appear we know it’s time to start tending properly to our gardens ready for the summer. All three of our premises have expansive gardens. They take a lot of work, but they’re worth it; our residents derive such pleasure from helping us tend to them, walking around them and sitting in them.

They’re particularly important for residents with dementia. When we designed a new garden for Bartlett’s, we made sure that the transition from inside to outside is seamless and unthreatening, that there are no sudden ends to pathways and that there are lots of sights and smells to keep our dementia residents intrigued and entertained.

As we’re starting our gardening in the coming weeks, we thought this would be a good opportunity to present any keen gardeners reading this article with some of our top tips for a beautiful summer garden.

  • Clear out your borders, hedges and greenhouse ready for your new plants and flowers. There’s nothing like a clean and clear garden to provide you with some inspiration.
  • Look for any hibernating pests who might cause you difficulty later in the year by eating all your plants, such as slugs and snails. Clear out pots full of last year’s compost, as there may be pest hiding in the pot and feasting on old roots.
  • Start planning for years to come by making a compost heap. You can buy a ready-made bin for cheap from a gardening centre, or you can construct one yourself by enclosing an area of your garden. Toss in vegetable waste, woody clippings, grass and paper. When it all breaks down you’ll have some excellent compost to plant future bulbs in.
  • Pick a theme. Contemporary or cottage? Bustling and busy or minimalist and monochrome? Once you have decided how you want your garden to look it will be easier to pick the plants you want.
  • Plant a mixture of early and late bloomers. There are many plants that bloom in the Autumn and thrive in the winter, so you can have a colourful garden through all four seasons if you plan your planting properly.
  • Shine up your paving. You’ll be amazed by the difference clean paving can make. Look for dedicated outdoor cleaning products like Jeyes Fluid.
  • Don’t forget to water! Start with a good long soak once a week, then extend the time period between watering to help your plants become independent. If the weather is hot then make sure you take your hosepipe outside more often.
  • Use plant food. It really does make all the difference, ensuring your plants get all the nutrients and minerals that they need.
  • Don’t forget your hanging baskets and potted plants. Dotting these around your garden can really enhance the overall look and feel of your outside space. If you haven’t got any turf (perhaps you only have a yard) then potted plants and hanging baskets are a great way to brighten up any outdoor areas.
  • Invest in some wildlife attractions. There is nothing nicer than watching the bees buzzing around your beautiful flowers, but there are other great ways to attract nature to your garden. Why not put out a bird table, feeder or bath? To attract hedgehogs, look at hedgehog houses and specialised feed, or attract badgers with unsalted nuts, seeds, fruit and root vegetables. Stay away from bread and milk, as this is very bad for wild animals.

We hope you’ll find our tips useful for your own gardening and, whether you have green fingers or not, we hope you’ll find the time to come and enjoy our gardens with us this summer.

Events

Happy Mother’s Day

This Sunday is a very special occasion in the British calendar. It’s a day on which we celebrate our Mothers and everything they have done for us. Whether they are still with us or not, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to spend time appreciating our Mums. On Sunday afternoon we’ll be making corsages and enjoying delicious teacakes and hot drinks as part of an afternoon tea event.  Relatives will be invited to attend too, of course.

In celebration, we asked some of our relatives to share some of their fondest mummy memories, and we had some fabulous responses.

Tess Tunley and Liz Mason shared this story about their mum, our resident Pam Sinclair.

“Our family lived in Southampton. Whilst we were there, Mum joined the Writers’ Circle. She decided to see whether any of her stories would be suitable for publication. A number were accepted by the BBC. The first time one of her stories was accepted there was great excitement at our house, especially when mum handed us all celebratory Mars Bars. We were lucky in living by the coast and were able to spend time playing in the sea. I recall the time when we had a couple of wooden belly boards we took in turns riding, with varying levels of success!”

Leo Smith wanted to talk about his mother and the memories he had of her.

“Even now after all these years I remember us playing in the snow.”

And Linda Mead wanted to tell us about some of the memories she and her brother Jeff have of their mother, our resident Marjorie Faulkner.

“Each one of us have our own fond memories of events over the years and of the things you have done. Mine are of all our holidays in caravans, chalets or on a boat. All the day trips to London you took me on to see different sights. Our shopping trips were fun, especially trying on all the hats and laughing at ourselves. You never bought yourself anything though and I used to feel guilty that I got new clothes, but you didn’t mind and would still have enjoyed the day. And you always went back with something for dad. There were many times when Jeff and I would mess you about in the kitchen when you were busy trying to put the shopping away, but you never got cross, just laughed along with us. One day you sat in a deck chair and went straight through it holding a drink in your hand. We all laughed so much and you didn’t spill any of it!”

When we asked our relatives to share their memories, many of them wished to express their love for their mums, so we thought we would print a few happy Mother’s Day messages below for you to enjoy.

Linda Mead wanted to tell her mum how proud she is of her.

“It is so difficult to express in words how much you are loved but I hope you already know what you mean to us all. Thank you for giving so much to all of us. You have always put your family before yourself and even now you still try to do that. You are amazing and have shown such strength with everything you have been through, from being a widow for sixteen years to the most recent circumstances and we are all so very proud of you. I am sure there are many mums who will have the following words said about them, but for Jeff and I, you are the best mum in the world and you fill our hearts with love.”

The family of Wenda Hart also wanted to wish their mum a happy day.

“Dearest Mum. We are all thinking of you on this very special day and send you loads of love from us all. Have a lovely and happy Mother’s Day. With love from Judy, Bryan, Mary, Tony and Angie.”

And a relative who calls her mother Moom wanted to send this message.

“Dear Moom. Mig here wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day. Thinking of you and hope you enjoy your tea with your other two daughters. See you soon! Love Mig xx”

Finally, our relative Sarah wanted her mum to know how much she appreciates her.

“Dear Mum. Without you I wouldn’t be here. You looked after me when I was growing up and our family when the boys were small. I never felt more relaxed than when we stayed with you. I miss that. Thank you for everything. Lot’s of love, Sarah. Xx”

From all of us here, we would like to wish Mum’s out there a very happy Mother’s Day. We wouldn’t be who we are without you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice for Choosing Care, Care & Technology, Wellbeing

Cinema Club – How We Are Meeting The Need

When Age UK asked older people with dementia what would improve their quality of life, the answers were relatively surprising.

There were some obvious ones of course, such as a quicker diagnosis and more support, but the emphasis was just as high on providing them with opportunities to take part in activities with the people that that they love. Activities they were always able to participate in easily before.

We know the importance of this at Peverel Court Care. We invest a lot of time and effort into creating activities and events that our residents can enjoy with their families. Our Annual Summer Party is an occasion enjoyed by all, and we regularly take our residents and their families into the local community – sometimes to watch films at the local cinema.

When we decided to expand Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to provide even more opportunity for good times, and we are doing this in a particularly special way. Since our residents enjoy watching films and visiting the cinema so much, we are building a dedicated cinema room on our premises.

Films are a glorious thing. They can be funny, entertaining or nostalgic. They have the capacity to improve the mood of a person – to leave a lasting impression or alter the way someone thinks or feels.

For people with dementia they are even more special. When people have lost some of their short-term memory, it’s important that they have the chance to revisit the old times. Whether that’s through watching films they remember they loved or revisiting eras they recall from when they were younger, we want to be able to offer this to our residents.

Families are welcome too, of course. There aren’t many people who don’t count visiting the cinema or watching movies amongst their hobbies. The local community and family members will be invited to special screenings in our cinema, and our residents will be allowed to choose which films we show. We hope that this will significantly enhance the quality of life those we give care and support to.

Our cinema is set to open in October and we can’t wait. There’ll be a theme to the evening, which we haven’t decided on yet. If you have any ideas, we would love to hear them. You can share them with us by emailing info@bartlettscare.co.uk. We look forward to hearing your suggestions and we’ll definitely consider the best ones!

Advice for Choosing Care

Choosing A Care Home

Choosing a care home can be a difficult task.  Often the family and friends of a person are hurried into looking for alternative residence for their families by some type of emergency. Maybe there was an incident, such as a fall or a similar accident, an illness, or maybe your loved one just very suddenly was no longer able to take care of themselves.

There is often a short amount of time in which to find loved ones suitable homes to live in. In light of this, we’d like to present the following tips to finding high quality care home accommodation in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Do Your Research

Your first port of call will most likely be the internet. Go to Google, or your preferred search engine, and look for care homes in your local area.

Check The Official Reviews

The Care Quality Commission is the social care governing body. They inspect all care homes and rate them from Inadequate right up to Outstanding. Visit their website and type in any of the care homes your are interested in and their ratings will appear. Care homes are rated across five categories; Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-Led.

Check The Unofficial Reviews

There are lots of websites that allow family members and residents to rate the care they have received, so make sure you have a look at what other people are saying – www.carehome.co.uk and www.housingcare.orgare just two of these websites. You can search by location, so type in Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire to find reviews of all of the care homes local to those areas.

Pay A Visit

How many time in your past have you relied on your instinct to make a decision and been proven right. It is incredibly important that you visit a care home you are considering for your loved one. If possible then take your friend or family member with you so that they can get a feel for the place. You’ll all get an instant vibe about the staff and the wellbeing and happiness of the other residents. It will also be a chance for you to check out how clean and tidy the place is and what the atmosphere is like.

Ask Those Who Know Best

Who know care homes best and can give you an unbiased view? People who are already using them, of course! Ask any of your friends and family who are utilising care for their advice. Reputation is common knowledge, so local people will have a great idea of the best places to find high quality care in Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire.

Searching for a care home can often be a difficult time but there are resources out there to help you make the right decision. Following the steps above should make the process easier and decrease the chances of choosing incorrectly, but always bear in mind that you may find your loved one is better suited somewhere else even when you have used all of the methods of selection above. This isn’t something you should worry about. Keep looking and eventually you are certain to find them the perfect place.

 

 

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