Bartletts, Community, Personalisation, Real life

Resident Focus: Nigel Dyckhoff

Nigel Dyckhoff - Peverel Court Care Bartlett’s Residential Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire


In the first instalment of our new series exploring the amazing lives of some of our residents, we learn more about Nigel Dyckhoff; one of our Bartlett’s residents, a railway-enthusiast and retired business leader.


Nigel Dyckhoff is one of our residents at Peverel Court Care’s Bartlett’s Residential Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. However, just a few years ago, Nigel was a major player in the headhunting business. As a Partner at Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading global executive search and leadership consulting firms, Nigel was often asked to contribute his wisdom to publications such as Management Today, which described him as the man “who devised many of the remuneration schemes” for top earning Fund Managers and Executives at some of the World’s leading corporations.

Nigel also contributed his wealth of experience to Stephanie Jones’ 1989 book “The Headhunting Business”. He is named by the author as one of a “series of very impressive, charming, suave, witty, energetic, egotistical and even outrageous characters I met in the course of writing this book”.

With that expertise and insight, Nigel was, until fairly recently, also the Owner and Principal of the Remuneration Group, which brings together the Personnel Directors of around 30 of the UK’s Top 100 Companies. The aim of the group is to provide a forum for them to discuss and exchange information on the pay and packages of their senior staff.


Personal life

Born in 1935 in Manchester and raised in the city along with his sister and two brothers, Nigel earned a degree from the University of St Andrews. From there, he became a management trainee in the steel industry. Nigel then was part of the team which built and commissioned what was at that time the largest cardboard factory in Europe. He also went on to run a group of companies managing the investments in Farms and Forests on behalf of major institutional investors.

However, there’s a lot more to Nigel than just his many accomplishments in the business world. Nigel and his wife Elizabeth had three sons; Andrew, Martin and Luke.


Railways – a lifelong passion

Aside from family and work, Nigel’s biggest passion has always been the railway; and it is the source of his favoured hobbies. He has published several railway history books and photographic books on trains, and been a railway modeller. He has built outdoor layouts in EM gauge, O gauge and garden gauge, along with indoor layouts in OO gauge and N gauge.

In his later years, Nigel spent his time on the garden gauge layout he created at his home on the Isle of Luing in Scotland, where he lived independently until August last year. His layout with radio controlled live steam engines was considered to be a free local tourist attraction, as it could be admired by visitors over the wall from the road on the shoreline.

On Luing, Nigel was also on the committee that supervised the building of a new community centre.

For the Peverel Court Care team, it’s an honour for us to spend time with, and look after, a man who has seen, done and contributed so much during his life.


Cheshire Lines Commitee - Nigel Dyckhoff - Railway History Author - Peverel Court Care


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 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, Best Care Practices, Business, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Wellbeing

Developing our new company values

Developing our new company values at Peverel Court Care


Constructing an idealised set of values for your business and its staff to uphold is one thing; but successfully embedding that in the DNA of the organisation is another entirely.

In a 2007 Bain & Company survey, global business leaders confirmed their belief that organisational culture was as important as corporate strategy in realising business success.

Organisational culture is the business equivalent of the personality of an individual. It can have a strong impact on the behaviour of its employees by facilitating a collective commitment to what the company stands for.

By establishing a singular organisational identity a business can help employees in understanding their own role and surroundings. It can also help communicate expectations regarding how their conduct affects the wider perception of the company they work for.

One of the key components of company culture are its values, which we believe to be the set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that help a group of people function together as a team and work towards a common goal. Company values fall into two categories: espoused values, such as those communicated by management, and enacted values, i.e. those actually displayed by employees. Therefore, to successfully embed new values into a company, the values displayed by staff need to be brought in line with those publicised by the business.


Creating new company values

At Peverel Court Care, we not only appreciate the hard work and dedication of our staff in delivering first class care provision to residents at our elderly care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire; we also respect their loyalty and commitment to our business. Therefore, rather than seek to impose values on them, we consulted with our passionate team to find out how they wanted our business to be viewed by others.

To achieve this, we invited our staff to complete a core values survey. They were provided the opportunity to rank a shortlist of suggested core values in the order which they each felt was the closest match to the company they wanted us to be. In addition, we also offered an open question for our staff to detail what they feel should be the most important core values at Peverel Court Care.

The resulting values are different to those of many other organisations, because they carry real weight. The entire company have been involved in their creation, and they have been discussed and agreed by everyone across the business. This means they have total buy-in from all of the team. Going forward, they will be used in everything we do; including recruitment, onboarding, induction training and appraisals.

Our recognition programme will also be used to congratulate and reward our staff when they are recognised by residents, their families, or peers for outstanding work that align with these values.


Our Chosen Values

  • Resident Focus – Commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
  • Passion – Care about our work and taking pride in what we do. Committed in heart and mind.
  • Integrity – We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions. Behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are.
  • Service Quality – We provide an unsurpassed service that delivers exceptional care to our residents and their families.
  • Care For Our Communities – We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each home is a direct reflection of a community’s people and culture.


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 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, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, Dementia, Landscaping and Dementia, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

Spring has sprung

Enjoying the gardens during spring 2019 at Peverel Court Care


The arrival of spring and the benefits to our residents


With the recent spell of lovely warm weather, our residents have been taking the opportunity to get outside and explore the newly landscaped gardens of our homes.

At Peverel Court Care, we understand that creating and delivering individual care plans and maintaining a focus on resident well-being is a key part of the service we deliver, and providing time outdoors forms an intrinsic part of that.

Therefore, with the arrival of spring, it has been the perfect time for our residents to get outside to enjoy the warmth of the spring sunshine, to take in the fresh air, and to explore the new sights and smells of the plants and flowers in our idyllic grounds.

Even for those residents who aren’t so keen to get outside exploring, the natural light that pours into the rooms on our new wing provides them with similar benefits.


Benefits to resident health


But there’s more to getting our residents to spend time outdoors than meets the eye. In fact, there have been numerous rigorous scientific studies conducted, which have all concluded that there are a multitude of benefits for elderly care home residents when they get to enjoy time in an outdoor space.

Spending time out in the grounds allows them to get exercise in the fresh air. And particularly for elderly residents, research has shown that those who enjoyed as little as 10 or 15 minutes of activity a day, saw a significant improvement in their health. Furthermore, walking outdoors has been shown to reduce levels of stress, and to increase sociability, communication and self esteem, while there is also evidence that it can help to reduce cognitive decline.

Exposure to both daylight and sunlight while outdoors is also important; as sunlight provides us with Vitamin D, which is essential for building strong bones and muscle, while sunlight helps with regulating our body clock. So our residents don’t need to get too adventurous; even just having a cup of tea and a natter out in the garden has added benefits.


Enjoying spring flowers in the gardens at Peverel Court Care


Peverel Court Care – our idyllic settings


Part of what makes the experience of living at one of Peverel Court Care’s three care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire so special for our residents is the unique setting and location of each home. A perfect example is that of Bartlett’s, our Residential Care Home, which is set in over 18 acres of private tranquil parkland with exceptional views of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As our homes are all set within such charming grounds, and because spending time outdoors offers such proven benefits to our residents, it’s not surprising that the arrival of spring this year has once again been greeted with smiles by our residents.


Taking a walk outdoors to enjoy spring sunshine at Peverel Court Care

Bartletts, Business, Care Awards, Care Management, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House

Top care home award

PCC Top 20 care home group award winners 2019 Bartletts


PCC wins Group Awards for fourth consecutive year

Peverel Court Care are delighted to announce that we have been named as recipients of the ‘Top 20 Recommended Care Home Group’ Award for 2019, the fourth consecutive year we have received the award.

The awards, presented by sector-leading review website, aim to highlight the most recommended Care Home Groups in the UK, and are based on over 120,000 reviews from care home residents, as well as their friends and family.

Some of the glowing reviews we’ve received on the website this year from residents and their families include:

From the moment I arrived with my mother, the quality of the care was evident. I knew from that moment on my sister and I had chosen a truly wonderful place for our mother. The staff are extremely passionate about their care for patients. I’m just so glad we chose Stone House.

Richard W (Son of Resident)

Merryfield is a lovely home. The management are genuinely kind and have all worked as carers themselves in the past so they know exactly what quality care looks like. I cannot recommend Merryfield highly enough.

Francesca B (Friend of Resident)

As soon as I contacted Bartletts the staff made me feel that my mother was going to receive the care I wanted her to have. She was given a great welcome. The staff are very kind and when problems arose they were sorted out straight away. Bartletts is now Mum’s home, where we are very welcome to visit as if it were her own home.

Eileen B (Daughter of Resident)


Preet Shergill, Associate Director of Peverel Court Care, dedicated the award to everyone who helps us to deliver outstanding levels of care to our residents, saying:

“Well done to all of the Peverel Court Care team for your outstanding work in 2018. The exceptional levels of care provided were captured in numerous excellent reviews from those who matter most; residents and their relatives. Those excellent reviews have been recognised with this award. Well done to an outstanding team on winning this award for four consecutive years!”

PCC Top 20 care home group award winners 2019 Stone House

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. We are a long-standing family business, providing 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, Property Development, Wellbeing

We’re Proud to Present Our Brand New Hambledon Wing

On 6th October this year, we are proud to be opening our new Hambledon Wing. This brand new area of Bartlett’s Residential Care Home is the result of years of planning and hard work.

The Hambledon Wing will make room for twelve new residents in our newly designed suites and although we can’t wait to provide high-quality care to even more people, the new area is about much more than that. Research by Age UK has revealed that those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia ranked being provided with opportunities to take part in ordinary, everyday activities almost as highly as they did receiving a quicker diagnosis and getting the right support. That’s why we altered our original plans, which had room for fourteen new residents, and changed the use of the space we would have used for those additional suites into recreational areas.

The Hambledon Wing boasts a cinema room, library, private dining facility, assisted bathing facility and reception room.

It will also lead into a brand new dementia-friendly garden which has been specifically designed with continuous paths to ensure residents always return to their starting point.With a transition from inside to outside that’s easy on the eye, our residents suffering from dementia can easily access and enjoy it without cause for concern.

The new garden isn’t the only element of the new wing that took meticulous thought and planning. We wanted to make sure that our new wing improved the lives of everyone we give care and support to. Our cinema room was decided upon because research shows that movies significantly improve quality of life for older people, especially those with dementia, and our library was decided upon because research has indicated that libraries in a care home contribute to improved mood and memory. (Can we provide some links, reference to the research about movies and books)

The new Hambledon Wing is our next step towards the highest quality care possible. We know it will have a hugely positive impact on the quality of life of our residents. We look forward to our new residents moving in and to the many happy memories that will be created.


I Hope I Will Now Have Time To Draw

Peverel Court Care Introduce Our Resident Artist Kenneth Down

On arrival at Peverel Court Care, each one of our residents is asked a series of questions about their preferences and personality so that we can make their lives enjoyable and comfortable. It’s one of the most important parts of our work.

But once we spend more time with those who need our care and support, we learn so many other amazing things about them.

In the coming months we would like to introduce you to some of our residents. We’re beginning this week by telling you about the life of Kenneth Down, who lives at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home with his wife Lilian.

Kenneth is known to be a keen artist. He loves to draw. Though he has had some career success involving creativity when he worked in advertising and publishing, his first job was helping a milkman push the cart. His last job was as a civil servant before he retired in 1993. He says if he could have his time again he would put more emphasis on drawing, something he hopes to have more time to do now that he lives with us here.

When we asked him about his retirement he had these wise words to share:

“I have been retired for 20 years and it’s much the same as the other 43 years. Don’t believe a word!”

We can only guess that Kenneth is referring to how busy he has been both in employment and since he left work since he says repeatedly that he hopes he will now have time for drawing and social activities, though besides drawing he isn’t sure what he would like to do for entertainment. His likes include astronomy, Egyptology, athletics and some sciences.

Kenneth and Lilian have been married for 63 years and recently received a card from the Queen. On the day he married Lilian, Kenneth says he had “£6 in the world”. Together they had fourteen different homes throughout their married life, as well as a son – who is 56 and a doctor.

“He has been a wonderful son, especially lately. Our son never gives us any reason for regret and we love him and his wife and children.”

During the war Kenneth was living in Newquay, so he said there was no real hardship for him other than rationing, which they “got used to” but he did see a bombing.

“I saw a slick of bombs fall from a German plane over Newquay. They dropped in a field next to where my girlfriend lived. Their windows blew in.”

In 1948 when he was a signalman on a warship in the Mediterranean, Kenneth interrupted two NATO exercises. He was punished for falling into a harbour at Piraeus in Greece, where he struggled with the weeds at the bottom, and a trip in the back of a lorry near the Alps almost lead to death when they ran into a soldier and heard the safety catch on his gun removed. Kenneth has lived a busy life, punctuated with drama.

“I was the only boy to have the cane at my grammar school, for walking past my girlfriend’s school! That was in nineteen forty something when we were all in our early teens.”

For 34 years Kenneth and Lilian never had a holiday. Now, after a period of illness, they’re looking forward to relaxing here at Peverel Court Care.

“A real treat is what I am experiencing where I live now. I hope I will now have time to draw.”

Bartletts, Events

Happy Father’s Day

On Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. Although here in the UK the day does not have a long tradition compared to Mother’s Day, entering popular culture in the early 1940’s, at Peverel Court Care we are very much looking forward to celebrating the day.

Honouring fathers for all they give to their families. It is an ideal opportunity to spend some time appreciating Dads.

On Sunday relatives are invited to visit Bartlett’s, Stone House and Merryfield, to spend some quality time over tea and cakes.

It’s lovely to reflect on fond memories. We spoke to some of our residents about the stories they have of their fathers. There are some heart-warming, interesting and funny stories.

Celebration at home – Eric Wing

“At around six years old, and after an eventful day culminating in a Guy Fawkes Night celebration at home, I was given a lit sparkler by my Mother. For some inexplicable reason and with youthful exuberance running high, I thought it would be fun to surprise my Dad with it, applied to a very sensitive part of his anatomy. I had not reckoned on the fact it would burn through several layers of clothing and further inflict painful burns to his bottom! The consequential pursuit around the house as he tried to catch me was only halted by my Mother’s power of persuasion that the combined events of a special day and Guy Fawkes Night had tipped my excitement over the edge, and that I should be let off any retribution that he had in mind. Unbelievably, he agreed and retired from the chase nursing a very sore rear end. Sorry Dad! With all our Love & Best Wishes on Father’s Day, as ever. From your sons Stuart & Geoff and families”

Surveying, vegetables and the western front…a story about Peter Smith

“My Father was easy going good Lord yes.  He had a brother Uncle Harry.  My Father was a Quantity Surveyor which is why I became one.  I called him Dad.  He had a large garden where he grew vegetables.  My parents had a nice and happy marriage.  Father went to see his brother (Uncle Harry) who was a Console General in Algiers.  Father took Mum and me to visit him.  I remember staying at a house with a girl and her family who came from Algiers, I can’t remember her name.  Dad volunteered in the First World War and was posted in the Royal Field Artillery in France on the Western Front, he fired guns and survived.  He returned back here and met Mum and then had me”.

A shining light that shows you the way – Lesley Fisher by Sarah Nevard & Amy Nevard…

“Lesley’s husband was called Frank.  Sarah & Amy spoke with Lesley (Mum & Nan) about Frank and Sarah’s childhood memories.  They reminisced about Moat Park in Dover, Bank Holiday Monday Picnics, playing ball games and playing with a frisbee , learning to ride bikes with Shaun where Lesley (Mum & Nan) was always ready and waiting with the savlon and plasters.  Sarah says of her Dad “miss you Dad always in my thoughts and prayers”.  Sarah shared a verse that is written on a frame that she gave him and now has in her home: A Father is a shining light that shows you the way”.

Kindness matters – Dorothy Watson

“My Dad was a kind man, it means a lot being kind doesn’t it?”  He worked in an office.  He was a good Dad, a patient man.  He loved me and my sister, his family was his hobby.  We went to the seaside once we got a car, Wales also.  He wasn’t supposed to because of his heart, but he drank a lot of coffee.

Ida smiled throughout this chat about her Dad  – Ida Downs

“He loved his children so much he was lovely.  He used to go out a lot for a drink to the pub and spent a lot of money.  Mum didn’t tell him off not really because he was very nice.  He liked to be in a job.  He had clothes in his drawers and used to wear them.  He liked a drink outside of the house in the garden.  He had black hair and made you laugh.  He used to do all sorts and used to drink, he was a happy drunk.  I loved him.  He did the garden, he grew flowers and vegetables and I helped him I enjoyed eating his home-grown food.  Mum loved him and I loved him”.

Back for the Religious Holidays – Emanuel (Manny) Gerrard

“My Father was clever, he used to sell things for a Scottish company – sheepskin, goat skin and anything that had fleece on one side and leather on the other, kilts also, not in this country, in The Union.  I had a younger sister.  My Father was always travelling but always came back for the Religious Holidays.  I went to Synagogue with him and celebrated the Passover at home and the whole family gathered.  My Father was injured in a car accident between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the car rolled.  A few locals found him, called for help and they took my Father to hospital.  He broke his hip basin which had to be joined by wire, he had scars on his tummy but he carried on the best he could.  My Father spoke four languages, Hebrew, French, German and English.  Prayer books were originally written in Hebrew which was translated to English.  On Sabbath you cannot make fire or use lights, my neighbour came to remove the fridge light bulb.  In the Jewish community a ball of string was wrapped around in a circle, anything within the circle of the string was fine.  Hebrew people worship one God and there were slaves in Egypt, Pharaoh who let the Jewish people go, they went through the desert to reach River Jordan, the book is written by a famous Roman Historian”.

Blackrock Sands – Jeannie Kilpatrick

“We had fun when we went to Blackrock Sands in Wales, went to live there for a year whilst Dad was helping to build the Power Station, it was great fun.  I remember pinching Dad’s best roses for throwing at the Sunday Parade”.

Good advice – Kathleen Blanning

“Our Dad was a very good and honest man.  He never put anyone on a pedestal because he would say you’ll fall off.  Mum and Dad didn’t believe in vaccinations, my brother and me did not have them. My brother thought he was a good man also.  He was a hardworking man he couldn’t stand a lot of heavy clothes like me.  He would roll up his sleeves.  When he delivered to customers for his brother, he wore a kaki smock.  He was very protective of us.  He hated people who were dishonest, good advice of a common sense man.  His brother had a greengrocer shop in the village and my Dad had some customers in the villages who relied and trusted him before the war to deliver.  Dad was too young for World War I too old for World War II he didn’t get to fight in any war.  His brother lost his eyes in the war.  When Dad wasn’t well I would chop wood for the fire.  Dad’s Mother nursed him back to health and they had a nice unity”.

He was very handsome – Bridget Taylor

“I was born in India and had two sisters, Pam the youngest was born in England and Margaret in India.  My Father died when I was 9 years old.  “Mum married again when I was 14”.  The cook was mincing the meat and I watched him, he kept putting his finger in I was 3 or 4.  Father shouted your finger and rushed me to the sick bay, I can remember it well my Father was very good.  Mother told me off because I shouldn’t have been there.  He was in the Army a Mechanical Engineer he died in Britain.  He was in the Army in Hong Kong.  He was very handsome”.

Do you remember him in his uniform?  “yes.  We lived together, I was the eldest sister with two others.  I was walloped on the bottom for opening a parcel between 3 and 4 and my Father said you won’t do that again!” (Bridget really giggled when she told me this and her voice became louder from a whisper).  “Before he went into hospital with TB he was removed from the Army he died.  I didn’t go to the funeral but I saw Mum crying.  The Army gave us the option of staying in England or returning to India, she chose to return to India as we had lots of family there”.

How did you get back to India?  “We returned by ship, it took 6 weeks.  Mother met Ronald Beckett soon after we got to India, he was a kind man and we called him Dad.  In 1947 the family returned to England because we were thrown out of India when I was 15 years old”.

Bridget pointed to some photo albums in her room and showed me pictures of her and her family in India, they were fascinating!

The Golden Arrow and a pair of tickets – Eric Wing

Much of Dad’s childhood was spent watching his father drive the “Golden Arrow” steam train out of Victoria station on the way to Dover.  Our first family home, in 1956, was a flat on the top floor of Highlands Court, Gipsy Hill.  There Dad took great delight in standing on the balcony and showing us the trail of white steam billowing along the horizon from the engine pulling the “Golden Arrow” – still being driven by his father – again en route to Dover.  We could even hear the distant sound of the whistle as the train entered a tunnel and disappeared from sight.  Dad memorised the timetable, so we wouldn’t miss it!

Forty years later I took Dad (then aged 74) up to Victoria station to watch the departure of a specially chartered running of the “Golden Arrow”, once again on its famous route to Dover.  But this time, just before the train pulled out, I gave Dad a pair of tickets, and we climbed aboard.  That return journey – and all it meant to Dad – was one of the most memorable days of his (and my) life.


A Huge Happy 102nd Birthday To Keith And Mary

In recent weeks we have had the great honour of planning two very special occasions on behalf of two of our residents.

Keith Barnes and Mary Isherwood are both celebrating their 102nd birthdays.

Your birthday is the only day of the year on which you are given the right to celebrate yourself, your life and your achievements. Birthdays are incredibly important to us here at Peverel Court Care. We enjoy making a big fuss of anyone who is celebrating their special day.

We are especially glad to be celebrating such monumental birthdays with two of our most active residents

Keith moved to Bartlett’s in July 2016 from his home in Bournemouth so that he could be closer to his family, who live in the local area. Mary moved here in October last year. She’s always lived locally, but was looking for that extra bit of help. Both Keith and Mary enjoy getting involved in any activities available through our Bartlett’s activity teams, so we know that Keith appreciated the birthday party we threw for him last week, and that Mary will very much enjoy the one we have planned for her next month.

The families of both residents will be invited to attend their parties and as we always do, we’ll be asking our residents what they want to eat for their evening meal on their birthday. They can have anything they want. Through the years we’ve had some interesting requests but most people ask for old home cooked favourites specially prepared by our chefs, or for a takeaway.

We’d like to thank our activities coordinators for their dedication to our residents and their birthdays, and our staff for making these special days so memorable for our residents.

And to Mary and Keith we would like to wish you both a very happy birthday from everyone at Peverel Court Care.





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.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Care Home Recruitment, Personalisation, Property Development

Our Vision For Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

In previous articles, we’ve talked about innovation and vision when it comes to Peverel Court Care. We believe that we are at the forefront of providing high quality care and we want it to stay that way. This means we must have a pioneering and evolving vision; one that changes based on sector research and adapting best practice.

In this article, we’d like to share with you our vision for Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, as shared by Director of Peverel Court Care Anil Dhanani.

Recruiting Staff That Drive Change

We make it our duty to recruit the highest quality care staff; those with experience and genuine passion. Once we recruit them, we then work on retaining them. We do this by providing them a happy working environment, one in which they can grow, learn and make a real impact. We’re proud to say that we are surrounded by staff who constantly want to see Bartlett’s be the best we can be. They’re forever coming up with ideas to better the service we offer. Our vision for Bartlett’s involves keeping and recruiting more of these incredible staff members.

Seeking Out The Best Care Practices

Over the last twenty years care practices have changed. They will change again in the next twenty. This means we need to make sure that we’re informed and learned in the most productive care practices. Very soon our Directors will be flying to Holland to look at some brilliant new facilities and practices currently being employed elsewhere in Europe. We always want to make sure we are at the forefront of excellent care.

Anil said, “Good care practice is not and never should be seen with a static mindset. We continually understand more as a society about how, for example, dementia manifests itself and how best to improve someone’s quality of life. You can be sure Bartlett’s will be at the forefront employing techniques and practices that might best do just this. This could be introducing virtual dementia suits to allow staff to get first hand insight and experience of how dementia might manifest itself physically, improving staff empathy and understanding, or analysing the changing tastes of generations as time passes. I can, for example, tell you that there has been a marked difference in menu requests and the tastes of the wartime generation and the now post war generation. There are indeed an almost infinite number of ways to improve someone’s wellbeing, from nutritional considerations through to tailored social interaction. When you consider the differing characters and needs of each individual and how the ageing demographic is changing, the possibilities of how to improve their wellbeing is in some ways endless.”

We Listen To Our Residents

Our monthly residents survey allows us to find out directly from our residents what they would like to see us do more, or indeed less. They’re extremely insightful and effective. At the start of every year we’ll use all the information we’ve garnered internally and externally to decide on the big changes we want to make. This means, to a degree, that the vision of Bartlett’s is largely down to how our residents feel, which is exactly how it should be.

Anil said, “There might be changes to facilities, hospitality and training and we have a team to ensure it gets implemented. However, having said that, not a day goes by where we aren’t thinking of or implementing ways to better ourselves and the lives of our residents.”

Expanding In All The Right Ways

We’re expanding Bartlett’s this year. We’ll be accepting twelve new residents into newly designed suites, so that we can give great care to even more people. We’re expanding in other ways too, originally we had planned to build another two bedrooms but we changed these plans in order to give our residents more communal space. This year they’ll be given a cinema room, library, private dining facility, assisted bathing facility and reception room to enjoy, as well as fully landscaped gardens.

Personalised Service

Our vision for Bartlett’s doesn’t extend much further when it comes to accepting more residents. We don’t plan on growing much more. In order to retain a personalised service, one in which our residents and staff all know one another well and our residence feels like a home, we don’t think we can add many more rooms. We would much rather work on providing a perfect service to fewer people than struggle to provide a mediocre one to a bigger group.

Anil said, “Personalised service is what we pride ourselves on. The term ‘Personalised’ is certainly used quite a bit, but I think it would be disingenuous of anyone to say they could really offer that in a Home with 50+ residents. That familiarity and firsthand knowledge of your client, which is essential, just isn’t there in such places.”

Care That Works For Everyone

Anil said, “If I had to explain Bartlett’s to someone in thirty seconds, I would tell them that their loved one will be very safe and incredibly well looked after, by a team of some of the most conscientious, caring, well trained and capable people you will find. I’d say our families have peace of mind and our residents have the best chance to rediscover their verve and sense of purpose, fulfillment and comfort, in surroundings that are beautiful both inside and out.”

Everything that we do is around our vision of providing the best care to our residents, so that they feel happy and secure and their families feel content in the knowledge that those they love are being well looked after. As long as we keep this at the centre of our vision, we’re confident that we’ll continue to offer some of the best care in the UK.

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