Care Management, Wellbeing

The value of time spent outdoors


With summer in full-swing we are enjoying our outside spaces more than ever. Read on to discover the benefits of getting outside for older people, the many ways we enjoy the great outdoors in our care homes, and what our residents, staff and families love the most about getting outside.

The sun is out, the flowers are blooming and at Peverel Court Care Homes we are making the most of our outside spaces. We aim to do this all-year round (wrapping up against the cold when needed), but summer time naturally lends itself to more of our residents wanting to go outside.

Why is getting outside beneficial?

Natural England recommend that we all spend at least two hours a week outside to support our health and wellbeing. For older people, the benefits of getting outside are numerous, including:

  • Fresh air aiding oxygen intake – supporting everything from breathing to energy levels.
  • Natural light helping to regulate sleep patterns.
  • Sunlight providing natural vitamin D to boost immunity.
  • Outdoor activities like gardening helping a person’s appetite (as well as being sociable and fun).

Mental health is known to be particularly well-supported when time is spent in nature, as documented by The Mental Health Foundation’s work. Mind also support these concepts, explaining how time in nature can help everything from stress reduction to self-esteem boosting.

 

 

Getting outdoors at Peverel Court Care Homes

For all of these reasons and more we encourage our residents, staff and families to take advantage of our beautiful outside spaces to enjoy recreation, relaxation, celebrations, socialising and more. In groups we often enjoy getting outside to share meals, sports and simple pleasures like a cup of tea with sunshine and a gentle breeze on our faces. We also organise specific events in our gardens, recently enjoying animal therapy visits and a dog show thanks to our ongoing partnership with Paws PT, crazy golf, a vintage car show, food trucks, summer garden parties and, most recently of all, an outdoors cheese and wine tasting.

Our outside areas lend themselves ideally to one-to-one time too, with open spaces to explore and seating areas to rest. We love seeing our carers or family members walking (or wheeling) and talking with our residents, helping everyone to ‘Be Active’ and ‘Take Notice’ of the world around them, two facets of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. This evidenced-based programme – devised by the New Economics Foundation and consisting of Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give – is about practical actions we can all take to boost our wellbeing. We particularly like the Five Ways to Wellbeing because they are achievable daily for residents and staff alike.

Getting outside doesn’t stop within the boundaries of our care homes either. We actively encourage our residents to go out into their local communities as well as travelling further afield. Two of our most memorable recent trips in our PCC minibuses were to Ascot and Kew Gardens

 

 

What our residents, staff and families like most about spending time outside

Whilst knowing the reasons why getting outside is so beneficial for our bodies and minds is useful, it’s the feedback we get from our residents, staff and families about what they like most about getting outdoors that really makes us smile.

Joyce D said

“It’s lovely to sit outside here (Stone House), and a great place to socialise. I really enjoyed the cheese and wine tasting outside with the other ladies. The gardens are beautiful and we were blessed with lovely weather.”

John F said

“I enjoy my daily walks around the gardens. We are lucky to have so much space and the views of the Chilterns are wonderful. It’s lovely to have the animals so close to us too.”

 

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business. Providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Events

Annual Summer Party at Bartlett’s Residential Home

Bartlett’s Royal Tea Party

Why?

Improving the quality of life for our residents is our core commitment. While moving into our homes is a new chapter for, ensuring that our residents feel like they have a sense of purpose and like they are part of something special is so important. Loneliness and isolation have a profound impact among the elderly, both in terms of their physical health and their mental wellbeing. Having a variety of social support is important in reducing stress and defeating depression and anxiety.

 

Outcome

Despite the heavy rain forecast for Saturday, the Bartlett’s team persevered and organised a fantastic Royal Tea Party in our stunning gardens.

Large gazebos and marquees were assembled by our maintenance staff, while the kitchen staff finished preparing a wonderful array of food, from sandwiches, to canapes, to samosas and quiche!

Guests, including residents’ grandchildren, sung along to the beautiful performance by three violinists, including a mixture of Disney classics! Everyone agreed this entertainment was best suited for the party!

Even with the heavy rain, guests kindly commented on how impressed they were! Noting the effort Bartlett’s staff went to ensure everything ran smoothly.

We finished off the event with something sweet! And what’s better than cream scones, cheesecake, and macarons for our Royal Party theme! It was a memorable experience had by all!

Testimonials from relatives

“Dear Mibell,

What a lovely Tea Party Bartlett’s put on last Saturday – everyone must have worked so hard to ensure it was such a success and that everything ran smoothly.

I was saddened that Father was having a “sleep day” so missed it all.

Thank you so much.

Kindest regards,

Wendy”

 

“Hi Connie,

Could you please pass on our thanks to Kavita and all your team for the Vintage Tea Party on Saturday.

All June’s guests had a wonderful time and were so impressed with everything!

I have held many outdoor charity events and the weather is always such a worry beforehand.

However, this party was so well organised that nothing could spoil the wonderful atmosphere, the musicians and lovely food and drinks on offer.

Very well done

Many thanks

Marion and Steph and friends Xx

 

“Dear Mibell and Kavita,

We would like to say a huge thank you for the superbly organised summer party.  Despite the weather it really was a lovely occasion for family and friends to share with the residents.

Nothing could have been better: the marquee and tables were beautifully decorated, the food was delicious (such a variety of sweet and savoury), the music was superb (just the right selection and volume for the occasion) and all the carers were as kind and caring as ever.  The rain didn’t mar the occasion at all.

We came away with the impression that Bartlett’s is like a large family.  We know that Mum couldn’t be in a better place.

Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved for making it such a memorable day.

Kind regards
Linda and Roger”

Merryfield, Portrait of a Life, Wellbeing

Portrait of Joe’s life

Learning the stories of our resident’s lives and celebrating their achievements is one of the greatest joys in all of our Peverel Court Care homes. Read on to discover more about Joe’s remarkable life.

Discovering our resident’s life stories is one of the most wonderful aspects of supporting them in their latter years. Lives that have been lived to the full, with twists and turns, achievements, joys and sadnesses, weave together to create a tapestry that is unique to each individual. We aim to celebrate this glorious individuality in everyday life in all of our care homes, with the knowledge of the person that we gain from talking to them and their family being absolutely fundamental to us providing truly person and relationship centred care.

 

Residents who’ve lived in different parts of the country and had interesting work experiences teach us a lot about what life used to be like. These are fascinating insights that our younger staff in particular are often captivated by, and Jo’s story is one such example.

 

Joe has lived at Merryfield since February 2022. He was in the Navy during the Second World War, worked at the Morris Motors car factory in Oxford and has been the lead singer in a band. Joe has kindly shared his story with us as follows:

 

 

“I was born in Rossington, Yorkshire on 25th May 1926. Rossington was a mining village near Doncaster.

 

My Mother, Fanny, lived in Yorkshire. My Father Wilfred was a coal miner whose job was known as a ‘Sinker’ because he was the first person to dig the hole in the ground. I was the eldest of three children; my brother Bill and sister Yvonne have sadly died now.

 

I went to Rossington Grammer School, a huge school where the girls and boys were separated. I enjoyed playing cricket and football and learnt to dance. When I was 13 I did junior coal mining, but my father didn’t want me to go into mining full time. I also worked on a farm harvesting. At 14 I was Head Boy and the Second World War had just broken out.

 

I have fond memories of Yorkshire and I like to chat about life there. I remember going to ‘The Pictures’ when a new cinema was built during the war. It was called The Hippodrome and about 5000 people went there a week. I went with my family regularly, there were always cowboy films, Westerns and musicals to watch. I particularly liked the cowboy films. 

 

 

 

I joined the Navy aged 16 as an Apprentice Motor Mechanic. My first ship was a minesweeper ship – it’s still a very dangerous job! I served in the Navy on three different minesweepers. I even went to Singapore, meeting Prince Phillip when he came to inspect my ship. I left the Navy in 1947 having achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. 

I then moved to Oxfordshire so I could get a job at the Morris Motors car factory with my Uncle Pete who lived in Marston, Oxford. When I moved to Marston I fell in love with the neighbour’s daughter, Aileen, and she would later become my wife. We were married in July 1949 and had three sons Peter, Paul and Phillip. Aileen and I always said it was an easy job labelling their school clothes as they were all P.Burton!

 

 

I worked in the car factory in Oxford for 34 years, leaving the job as a Superintendent of The Trim Shop in 1984. I then worked for a kitchen unit manufacturer in Abingdon for 10 years and Thames Valley Saws as a delivery driver. I eventually retired aged 86 having worked for a total of 72 years!

I have a very close relationship with my sons and my grandchildren and they all visit me regularly. I was very close to my wife; I like to talk about her and sometimes I forget that she has died.

I’ve had many hobbies and interests throughout my life including the snooker club, sports, animals and gardening. I’ve always liked cars too. As soon as I was anywhere near a car I knew my bearings and I knew how to make them go! 

Music is my biggest passion though. I was the lead singer in a band called The Wayferers. We met at the Munchery Farm Country Club and formed our band, going on to sing in clubs in and around Oxford.  One of my favourite songs is ‘Only you’ by The Platters

Joe’s wonderful story now continues with the support of our Merryfield colleagues. Joe says of living at Merryfield:


I like joining in with the activities at Merryfield, especially when singers visit, and participating in reading, painting, scrabble, bingo, and watching snooker and films. I like to go out to the pub for lunch and a pint.”

With Joe’s varied career background, we’ve been really keen to gather his thoughts on being in the military, singing in The Wayferers and what his favourite memories of Yorkshire are.

We caught up with Joe to find out more about his life and his thoughts:

 

Joe, what was life like living on a warship?

“Living on a warship was pretty rough! My memories of the Navy are that you cleaned anything that could be scrubbed and you looked shiny! You were always on high alert as you were constantly put on quick short runs of trouble. You never knew when you would get bombed – my area was a hot target for the Germans.”

What are your fondest memories of Doncaster? What was the best thing about growing up, living and working in Doncaster?

“It had a mighty good Air Force, a good town centre, a football pitch, rugby pitch and there was always something going on in the community, whether it was horse racing or special events. I remember when they opened the pictures (cinema) – it was the place to be! Doncaster was just an all-rounder of a town with lots of variety. It was a smashing town for me.”

What did you sing in The Wayferers band? 

“Oh yes the Wayfarers! [laughing]. All the songs we enjoyed singing were either Naval or what was popular at the time. People would stand up and shout song requests at us.”

Joe, having had three children, what would be your advice for parents today?

“Stay true to yourself and your personality. Try to better what your children are learning by sharing your own experiences. And know your place, especially in Yorkshire!” [laughing]

 

A huge thank you to Joe for sharing his story with us.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business. Providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

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