Best Care Practices

Personalised, at-home physiotherapy for our residents

Enabling our residents to remain as mobile as possible is a key aim to ensure everyone who lives with us can enjoy maximum quality of life. Read on to learn more about our partnership with The Caring Physio and how this service is benefiting the ladies and gentlemen in our care homes.

 

Supporting our residents to move comfortably and keep as active and fit as possible is a key aim for the care we provide. We know that ageing can bring many challenges with joint, muscle and bone health, and this often leads to reduced mobility, which can be detrimental for both physical and mental health.

With this in mind, we’ve partnered with The Caring Physio so that our residents at Stone House, Bartlett’s and Merryfield can enjoy physiotherapy services in the comfort of their home. This has been a revolutionary offering for our residents that means we don’t need to wait for NHS referrals: the treatment our residents need can begin swiftly and in a relaxed and supportive environment with The Caring Physio visits to us. Our staff and families can be on-hand to provide any additional support and encouragement that our residents may need, and the physios are able to provide in-depth mobility knowledge to support our care teams in their roles. 

 

Why keeping our residents moving is important

When a person can’t move as they’d like to because of arthritis, other painful conditions or recovery from an operation, fall, stroke or other illness we know this can have a huge knock-on effect for their overall health and quality of life.

Physical inactivity has also been highlighted this World Alzheimer’s Month by Alzheimer’s Disease International as a factor in reducing the risk of developing dementia and for ongoing risk reduction for people who are already living with dementia.

We know that keeping our residents moving is beneficial in many other ways too, including for helping to lower blood pressure, improving heart health and boosting immunity, and to support good mental health, especially when exercise is taken outside.

 

The benefits of at-home physiotherapy when you’re living in a care home

We’ve found that providing our residents with regular access to a physiotherapy service that is person-centred and responsive to each person’s needs is playing a huge part in keeping our residents as physically active as possible, as we’ve seen recently with our Stone House Sports Day and Bartlett’s Mini Crazy Golf.

Moreover, for our residents who are living with dementia, having at-home physio means they can be surrounded by their own possessions and have their treatment in a relaxed atmosphere, rather than having to go to an unfamiliar clinic with time-pressured appointments. 

The small team of physios who visit us are able to get to know our residents very well, and for our ladies and gentlemen with dementia they often adopt creative approaches to make the exercises and movements they are recommending as easy to understand and participate in as possible. The physios are also able to assist staff and relatives in understanding how they can support exercise and movement regimes in-between visits.

 

What our residents and families have said about our at-home physio service

Tony said:

“I have been seeing Gemma for the last two weeks and my problem has gone. She has not needed to see me again. She has improved my walking by doing basic walking techniques. Gemma is very easy to get on with and has treated me with dignity and respect.”

 

Audrey (Family member) said:

“My husband suffered a serious stroke in July 2020. He was previously very fit. I was present for a short session given by Ms Barnes during a visit to Merryfield in January 2023, and was immediately struck and most impressed by her completely different approach from that of the community physiotherapists. Determined and dedicated, she never gives up hope and has in-turn given my husband hope. She is always cheerful and her pleasant attitude means my husband looks forward to her visits. My husband is now starting to engage core muscles enabling him to reach forward a little. Most importantly, Gemma has enabled my husband to slightly move his left leg which is an incredible achievement as it is now three years since his stroke. This has had an immense psychological effect on him. I would thoroughly recommend Gemma: her dedicated approach and positive demeanour is second to none.”

 

Esther said: 

“Gemma is now a regular visitor to Merryfield and is a great comfort and help to all. Residents have one-to-one sessions with Gemma and they are helped with their individual needs. She converses well, has a wide knowledge and gives great advice on ‘aches and pains’. She explains specific problems and the best way to deal with them. She has helped me a great deal.”

 

About The Caring Physio

The Caring Physio are a team of physiotherapists – all of whom are members of the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – that specialise in providing person-centred treatment in the comfort of their patient’s own homes. Their physiotherapy is delivered by professionals with outstanding knowledge and experience, and they are able to provide best practice advice for recovery from a multitude of different health conditions and injuries.

Gemma – one of the physios supporting our residents – graduated in 2008 with a first-class honours degree in Physiotherapy. She went on to have a successful career as a Military Physiotherapist before specialising in frailty. Gemma believes – as we do – that no one is too old for rehab, and she enjoys helping people from a variety of different backgrounds to fulfil their potential.

 

 

We caught up with Gemma to ask her some questions about being a physio and what she and her colleagues offer our residents

 

Gemma, you’ve had a really interesting career, including working at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (Headley Court) in the fields of Complex trauma, Amputee rehab and Neurology before specialising in frailty. What do you love most about working with older people?

Gemma: “Yes, I’ve been very lucky in my career so far and have had the chance to work with some incredible people spanning all age groups and backgrounds. I think what I enjoy most about working with older people is what you can learn from them. They have so much lived experience and will inevitably teach me something new every day. This generation in particular have lived through so much change and tend to have a real ‘can do’ attitude, which translates well into the physio sessions. I find myself laughing most days as they often have a very refreshing outlook on things.”

 

Why do you and your colleagues believe that timely access to physiotherapy is so important for people as they age?

Gemma: “We firmly believe that no one is too old for rehab and that prevention is often better than cure. If we can maintain people’s physical fitness, mobility, confidence and balance then this can reduce their falls risk and also improve their overall quality of life. We also believe that age shouldn’t be a predictor of quality of life and that people shouldn’t be ‘given up’ on because they reach a certain age. Sometimes even a small amount of input can have a hugely positive effect.”

 

Many care providers don’t yet offer at-home physiotherapy for their residents. What do you and your colleagues believe are the key benefits of an at-home physiotherapy service for people living in care homes?

Gemma: “Sadly, some people see going into a care home as ‘giving up’. We believe that a good care home environment should encourage people to live their best lives, but often physical barriers can stand in the way of this. Providing an in-house physio service to residents allows us to problem solve in their own environment, meaning we can give advice and make changes in real time. We can also provide physio for residents who are bed bound and may not be able to go out and access ‘traditional’ physiotherapy in clinics or outpatient departments. It may also be that people don’t know what physio can provide, or how much it can help particularly with conditions such a Parkinson’s Disease, stroke & with general frailty. We also provide advice to the care home and family members on equipment that may help residents, and can signpost to other services that may be required for residents who may have ‘slipped through the net’ within a very stretched NHS.”

 

You and your colleagues have made a huge difference to the lives of many of our residents already. Can you tell us some of the successes in treating our residents that you’re particularly proud of?

Gemma: “Within the care homes that we work in, we have seen some brilliant things, including enabling an 89-year-old gentleman to undertake a skydive for charity. He wasn’t able to adopt the correct flight & landing positions, but following an intensive period of physio, he managed it and was able to complete the skydive, raising over £6K for charity and fulfilling a lifelong dream. This was a very proud moment for all of us. (Note: this wasn’t a gentleman in a Peverel Court Care Home). 

We have managed to get a gentleman who had a stroke and was deemed to have ‘no rehab potential’ to actively move his leg, and he is now able to stand using a piece of equipment we have sourced for him. This has had a profoundly positive impact on both him and his family. 

We have also been working with a lady to help her regain full functional use of her hand after it came out of plaster following a break. She didn’t get any physio through the NHS but we have managed to get her using the hand functionally again, which has enabled her to remain more independent with tasks, including being able to feed herself. 

However, it’s not always about the ‘big wins’. Sometimes it’s just as rewarding to see someone’s confidence grow, or to get them walking independently again, or get someone a piece of equipment that enables them to be more independent or engaged. Often it’s all the ‘little wins’ that really add up to give great job satisfaction.”

 

Many thanks to Gemma and her colleagues for the support they are providing to our residents.

 

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, Community, Events

Bartlett’s charity walk for Age UK

On 15th September 2023 at 2pm, Bartletts residents and staff are taking part in a charity walk around the home to help fundraise for Age UK.

Peverel Court Care is proud to sponsor Age UK Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Age UK is a well-known charity dedicated to supporting older adults, promoting well-being and tackling loneliness and isolation. They offer a wide range of services including befriending, social activities and practical assistance, which aligns perfectly with our focus on providing holistic care to our residents.

As you know, our mission extends beyond providing exceptional care services to our residents. We believe in supporting and enriching the lives of those in need around us. This partnership allows us to extend our reach and work together with these organisations, combining our efforts for a greater collective impact.

Please join us in supporting Age UK by sponsoring us on our JustGiving page. Together, we can create a positive impact and bring about meaningful change.

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