Community, Personalisation, Real life, Stone House

Resident Focus: Yvonne Bray

Yvonne Bray - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

Following on from our recent post on the life of Bartlett’s resident Nigel Dyckhoff, we explore the globetrotting life of Stone House resident Yvonne Bray.

 

Yvonne Bray, a resident at Stone House, recently celebrated her 95th birthday. However, as we discover, she had already seen so much of the world by the time she turned 30.

Born on 23rd January 1925 in Westcliff-on-Sea, close to Southend, Essex, Yvonne was an only child. At the age of 3, she moved with her parents to Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), where they would remain for 8 years. Yvonne returned to England to attend boarding school at the age of 8.

 

Yvonne Bray - Child - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

World War II

In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, Yvonne was evacuated to Devon. She was aged just 14 at the time, but worked for the Ministry of Information, before training to become a Voluntary Aid Detachment at Westminster Hospital, providing nursing care for injured military personnel.

In 1940, she travelled to India on a troopship, where she had to combine duties of keeping a lookout for German submarines with training as a shorthand typist. In 1943, to avoid the approaching Japanese army, Yvonne returned to the UK. She spent time as a spotter on London rooftops, providing an early warning of approaching German aircraft, in the midst of barrage balloons and doodle bugs.

In 1944, Yvonne met her future husband while working at the Masonic. One of her patients was Captain John Bray of the Royal Artillery, and they married 6 weeks later at St John’s Church in Surrey. Their wedding took place two weeks before D Day, on 20th May 1944, and Yvonne wore a blue dress, because there were no wedding dresses available.

 

Yvonne Bray - Wedding to Captain John Bray of the Royal Artillery - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

Family life

After the war, John would frequently travel around the world for work. Yvonne would initially stay in England, and then go out to join him a few months later. The couple welcomed their first child in 1947, quickly followed by a second born in 1948. Both were born in Croydon, England.

In April 1949, the family travelled to Uganda by flying boat, where they remained for 5 years, and where Yvonne worked as a shorthand typist. While living in Kampala, Uganda in 1951, Yvonne and John had their youngest child. During that time, Yvonne used to nurse another baby along with her own, due to its own mother not producing enough milk.

In 1954, the family travelled to Hong Kong by boat, and they stayed there for 21 years. In later years, Yvonne ran a women’s hostel as a volunteer; helping women who arrived in Hong Kong from other countries to establish lives there.

Yvonne was a huge fan of Sir Lawrence Olivier and sent him birthday cards each year, which he acknowledged.

 

Yvonne Bray - Nurse - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

Retirement

Yvonne retired to Pulborough, West Sussex in 1975, and came to Stone House Nursing Care Home in September 2019. She has a very cheeky personality and is constantly having a laugh and a joke. She loves to sing and always joins in with our entertainers. She also enjoys going for country drives with her daughter Pauline, and sons Peter and Robert, and adores getting her hair and nails done.

It’s such a pleasure for all of us at Stone House to be able to care for a lady who has brought so much light to so many lives around the world. And at 95, Yvonne is still making us all smile every day.

 

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, 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.

Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, CQC Inspection, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Workforce Intelligence

Examining the social care workforce in England

Examining the social care workforce in England - Peverel Court Care

 

As Skills for Care launch their annual ‘State of the Adult Social Care sector and Workforce’ report, we take a look at some of the key findings and how they impact staff recruitment and retention for care businesses in England.

 

Skills for Care are the Sector Skills Council for Adult Social Care in England. They collect workforce data from thousands of care-providing organisations across the public and independent sectors through their National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC) programme. This data gives us a unique insight into how care businesses are staffed, both regionally and across the country.

Their annual ‘State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce’ report is quite a long read, so we’ve picked out some of the key insights that impact recruitment and retention of staff for care businesses.

 

Turnover of care staff

The turnover rate of staff working in the Adult Social Care sector of 30.8%. This equates to approximately 440,000 leavers in the previous 12 months. It was also shown in the report that Care Workers had the highest turnover rate of direct care-providing roles, at 39.5%; a huge increase of 11.1 percentage points since 2012/13.

Registered Nurses also had a high turnover rate of 34.0%, especially when compared to other regulated professions, such as Social Workers (13.7%) and Occupational Therapists (12.6%).

Around a fifth of Registered Managers left their role in the previous 12 months (22.0%); this was high compared to other managerial roles and equates to around 5,600 leavers in the previous 12 months in total.

 

New starters in care roles

Skills for Care estimates that the rate of new starters in posts over the past 12 months was 39.3%. This equates to around 560,000 workers. Care Workers experienced the highest starter rate, at 48.1%, followed by Registered Nurses at 35.6%.

It should be noted that the starters rate reflects staff that are new to their role. This includes both those who are new to the Adult Social Care sector (34%) and also churn within the sector – which accounts for 66% of the total. This includes those moving between roles or employers; meaning that the sector as a whole has retained the skills and experience of these workers.

However, it also means that a large proportion of employers were going through the recruitment process at any one time, with workers moving between employers with high regularity, and at considerable cost to the sector.

 

Vacancies in the care workforce

There was an estimated increase of 16,500 jobs between 2017 and 2018 in the independent and local authority sectors combined, from a total workforce of 1.36 million to 1.38 million.

Skills for Care estimates that 7.8% of roles in the adult social care sector were vacant at any given time. This represents an average of approximately 122,000 vacancies. The majority, around 77,000, of the vacancies were for Care Worker jobs, with the average vacancy rate for the role 9.0% of the total workforce.

The increase in vacancy rates for direct care-providing roles over recent years could in all probability be linked to the fall in unemployment rates in the UK over that period. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that the unemployment rate was 7.8% in 2012/13, but had fallen to 4.1% by 2018/19. Pay may also be a factor; Retail Assistants earned 13p per hour less than Care Workers in 2012/13, but in 2018/19 earned 10p per hour more on average. This may shift in pay levels may also be contributing to rising vacancy rates within the Adult Social Care sector.

The Registered Nurse vacancy rate was particularly high at 9.9%. This role also had relatively high turnover and starter rates, which is likely a contributory factor to this high vacancy rate. Nurses were added to the UK Shortage Occupation List in 2015 and have remained listed ever since. The Shortage Occupation List is an official list of roles for which the domestic labour market cannot meet the demand to fill vacant posts. Listing is intended to make it easier for employers to recruit migrant workers to fill these vacancies and help reduce skills shortages.

Registered Manager vacancies at 11.4% were double the average of other managerial roles in the sector and equivalent to around 2,900 vacancies at any given point in 2018/19. Skills for Care analysis of Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings data shows that services without a Registered Manager in post at the time of inspection (or in the year leading up to inspection) were less likely to achieve ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ CQC ratings.

The overall vacancy rate has risen by 2.3 percentage points between 2012/13 and 2018/19. This rise in vacancies, in the context of a wider workforce that has grown at a slower rate in recent years, suggests that the sector is struggling to keep up with demand as the Adult Social Care sector continues to grow, coupled with the effects of an ageing population.

 

Social and political influences on the care workforce

At present, Brexit does not appear to be a major contributory factor to the high vacancy rate. The number of people with an EU nationality in the Adult Social Care workforce has continued to rise since the referendum. However, according to Skills for Care, Brexit continues to have the potential to cause future supply issues for the Adult Social Care workforce, depending on the immigration rules applied post-Brexit.

Around 84% of the Adult Social Care workforce in the year 2018/19 were British. Around 8%, or approximately 115,000 workers, were of an EU nationality, and 9%, or about 134,000 workers, were of a non-EU nationality. Therefore, on average, the Adult Social Care sector had a slightly greater reliance on non-EU workers than EU Workers. As a whole, the overall nationality of the Adult Social Care sector was more diverse than the population of England, which is 8% non-British. However, there are regional variations: for example London had the highest proportion of non-British workers, followed by the South East. Care businesses in these regions are, therefore, more sensitive to future changes to immigration policy than those in other parts of the country.

The proportion of Registered Nurses who cited British as their nationality increased from 60% in 2012/13 to 64% in 2018/19. Over the same time period, the proportion of Registered Nurses with an EU nationality has risen from 8% to 18%. Non-EU Registered Nurse numbers have therefore fallen considerably in this time.

Following the Government’s white paper on ‘The UK’s future skills-based immigration system’ in December 2018, the specifics of immigration post-Brexit remain unclear. There could be a significant impact on the supply of workers to the Adult Social Care sector in the future.

 

Preparing the care sector for an ageing population

The ‘Projecting Older People Population Information System’ (POPPI) uses figures taken from Office for National Statistics data to estimate the composition of our future population based on age bands. POPPI shows that the number of people aged 65 and above is projected to increase between 2018 and 2035 from 10.2 million to 14.1 million people in England, an increase of around 38%.

Between 2012 and 2017, the population aged 65 and over increased by 2.1% per year on average. This was faster than the population aged 75 and over, which increased by 1.5% per year on average. However, between 2017 and 2018, the population aged 75 and over grew at a faster rate (2.1%) than the over 65 group (1.5%) for the first time. The population aged 75 and over is projected to increase at a faster rate up to 2025, with the highest growth expected between 2020 and 2025 (an 18.8% increase).

Using models, the number of Adult Social Care jobs in each Local Authority area in England were compared with the corresponding number of people aged 65 and over, or aged 75 and over, in the population there. These two factors were found to be strongly correlated. On average, the more people aged 65 and over, or 75 and over, in an area, the larger the Adult Social Care workforce was found to be. The ‘Aged 65 and over’ model shows that, on average in 2018, for every seven people aged 65 and over in the population, one Adult Social Care job was required. The ‘Aged 75 and over’ model shows that, on average in 2018, for every three people aged 75 and over in the population, one adult social care job was required.

These models were then applied to POPPI estimates of the number of people aged 65 and over, and 75 and over, in 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2035 to create a forecast for the number of Adult Social Care jobs required going forward. The models project that if the Adult Social Care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population, then a 36% increase (580,000 new jobs) will be required by 2035. If the workforce grows proportionally to the number of people aged 75 and over in the population, then a 50% increase (800,000 new jobs) will be required by 2035.

 

Successful recruitment and retention leads to successful care businesses

Skills for Care published research in which employers with a staff turnover rate of less than 10% were asked to consider what they believe contributes to their success, in relation to recruitment and retention. Results included:

      • investing in learning and development (94%)
      • embedding the values of the organisation (92%)
      • celebrating the organisation’s and individual achievements (86%)
      • involving colleagues in decision making (81%)

At Peverel Court Care we have taken a number of measures to aid us with retaining our fantastic staff, including our learning and development programme and the introduction of career pathways for a number of roles. We have also implemented a Recognition and Rewards programme for our team, so we can constantly remind them how valued they are by our management team.

 

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Home Recruitment, Community, Leadership & Management, Real life, Tech, Wellbeing

24/7 GP access for our staff

24/7 online GP service for staff at Peverel Court Care

 

With a recent study revealing that NHS patients are now waiting on average nearly 15 days to see a GP for a routine appointment, we examine how we’re helping our staff with their own health needs.

 

Access to GPs has seldom made more headlines than it has of late. A report published on the Pulse – considered the leading publication for GPs in the UK – highlighted that in a recent survey, over 20% of the 900 GPs who responded said that their patients faced an average wait for a routine appointment of over three weeks. More than one in 20 stated it was more than four weeks.

Another story from Pulse earlier this year focused on the fact GP surgeries across the UK have been shutting their doors in record numbers. In 2018, 138 surgeries closed, compared with just 18 in 2013. Much of this is believed to be the result of underfunding, although leading figures in the sector have complained that GPs are overworked and stressed, leading more to exit the profession or reduce their hours.

More recently, a study by the University of Manchester found that GP partners’ income had decreased by around 10% in real terms over the period from 2008 to 2017.  This has come against the backdrop of GP workloads increasing by around 20% over the same period. Taken together, it is believed that this “may have contributed to current recruitment and retention problems”. 

 

The expert view

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, was quoted as saying: 

Our patients should be able to see a GP when they need to – and the fact that this is becoming increasingly difficult is frustrating for GPs and their teams, just as we know it is for patients. People are waiting too long for routine appointments, and the concern is that non-serious conditions might deteriorate, or patients give up trying to see the GP and we miss signs of serious illness early, when it could be dealt with simply and more cost effectively in primary care.

All of this comes in the wake of the 2015 election pledge by the Government to add an additional 5000 GPs by 2020; a pledge which they are struggling to meet. However, this promise was questioned by many, including Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GPs committee, who said at the time:

Delivering 5,000 extra GPs in five years, when training a GP takes 10 years, was a practical impossibility that was never going to be achieved. It was a pledge that also ignored the fact that one third of GPs are planning to retire by 2020, and the current medical graduates do not want to join an overworked, underfunded service, with more than 400 GP trainee posts left unfilled last year.

 

Our solution to the GP access problem

Given the challenges faced by both the GPs and their patients, it’s hardly surprising that juggling a working day with the sparse availability of appointments has never been more difficult for patients; and in particular those who are shift workers – like many of our staff.

That’s why, at Peverel Court Care we have invested in a service which provides 24/7 online access to a GP for our staff. Whilst we appreciate that for certain conditions, a visit to the local surgery may still be required, we hope that the online service we’ve provided can, for many, give them an alternative to the lengthy NHS waiting times.

We recognise the fantastic work that our team do in providing first rate levels of care for our residents. So we believe that it’s only right and proper to do all we can to help them maintain their own health and wellbeing. Therefore, the introduction of the GP service is just one of many recruitment and retention initiatives we have in store to help our staff realise how valued they are by the Peverel Court Care management team. We hope that these small gestures of our appreciation can help make their work-life balance that little bit easier.

 

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

Community, Real life, Social Care & Society

A summer of fun at Peverel Court Care

September is upon us and, though we weren’t as lucky with the sun as we had hoped we might be, this summer still did not disappoint us.

Our activities coordinators have outdone themselves this year planning entertainment and fun things for our residents to do throughout the summer months.

In this week’s article, as the countdown to winter begins, we thought we’d have a look back over some of the best bits of 2016 so far.

External visitors

Just a few weeks ago we had our summer parties and our gardens were flooded with residents and their families. We also invited Bertie Bastin, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who visits our homes sometimes. But he isn’t the only non-human who comes to visit us.

Earlier in August we were visited by a number of owls, and our residents were told all about these fascinating creatures.

There’s lots of research and evidence promoting the benefits of animals on the mental and physical health of people. We know that animal visitors make many of our residents extremely excitable.

Making things

Lots of our residents love to create things, so many of the activities we organise involve making new things. This summer we made flags to celebrate the Euro 2016 football tournament, flowery cupcakes, chocolate cakes to celebrate World Chocolate Day and medals and a torch to celebrate the Olympics.

We also had a flower arranging class so that our residents could spend an afternoon creating magnificent bouquets.

A summer of awards

During our summer parties, we awarded some of our residents prizes for a variety of talents they possess, including best gardener and best storyteller. Our residents are extremely talented and we know they appreciate being recognised for their accomplishments.

We also entered some of our best poets into a competition run by the National Activity Providers Association, a charity and members association dedicated to increasing the profile of activity in social care. We’re delighted to announce that one of our residents Eileen was awarded an accolade for this poem she wrote about bluebells.

Bluebell you are a beautiful flower
in the spring waiting to adorn the dark woods.
A shaft of sunlight still low in the sky awakens you.
Before long there is a blue carpet,
stretching out as far as the eye can see,
of little delicate bluebells.
Soon the canopy of trees above the blue carpet
darkens the woods even more,
and the leaves of the bluebell shrivel
so that next spring the dark woods will once again
adorned with your blue beauty.

Here’s to the winter

Over the coming months the weather will worsen and our activities will move inside. We’ll continue to think of new and innovative ways for our residents to stay busy and keep them stimulated and entertained.

We’ll enjoy all of the traditions of Christmas and wait for the weather to get better again. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Personalisation, Real life

Our residents and the animals they love

We are a nation of pet lovers. Our favourites are undoubtedly the dog and the cat. Many of us choose to share our homes and lives with these incredible creatures, who we often come to think of as part of our own family. They give us hours of joy, affection and love.

When people are considering moving into a care home, one of the most distressing aspects of this life changing decision can be giving up the lovely animals that have become their friends. Even for those who don’t own pets, the prospect of not having access to animals can be upsetting.

At Peverel Court Care, we know that animals can have a massive impact on the mood of an individual. It’s been accepted for a long time that the opportunity to spend time with friends of the furry variety is extremely important to those who love them. To make sure our residents have the chance to enjoy animals, we utilise the services of therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs are trained to offer comfort and support to people. They’re some of the country’s hardest working animals, visiting care homes and hospitals to greet elderly people, disabled children or victims of disaster. Their job is to brighten the lives of those they meet.

In June we were visited by Bertie Bastan, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a lovely temperament. Our residents were overjoyed to spend time with him, and he was friendly, gentle and well behaved.

We loved him so much that we’ve formally invited him to our Summer Drinks Party on Wednesday 13th July at Merryfield House, where we will all be delighted to see him again.

If you have a pet that you just can’t part with, there are occasions when we can accept pets alongside their owner – as long as a series of circumstances are met. You can contact us if you have any questions about this; one of our dedicated staff members would be happy to let you know exactly what would be required.

Moving into a care facility doesn’t have to mean the end of your life with animals. We constantly strive to make sure that the things you loved before are still available to you when you’ve decided it’s time to move on, even if those things have four legs, fur and a tail.

Real life

Peverel Court Care believes in giving back to the community with @macmillancoffee

woman holding hot cup of coffee, with heart shape

Peverel Court Care believes in giving back to the community. It gives us an opportunity to make a genuine and lasting difference. Whilst we offer exceptional elderly care in our three homes, we also believe the community should benefit as a whole. We feel inspired and happy when we see the direct impact of our efforts.

Bonding over shared passion

Each of our homes participates in the popular @macmillancoffee mornings. It gives Peverel Court Care residents an opportunity to broaden their network and bond with people who share their passion. It lets our residents and staff interact with people from diverse backgrounds so that they can work towards a common goal.

Macmillan Coffee Mornings help raise funds for cancer support. Recently, Bartlett’s Residential Home participated in one of these mornings and raised £120 through the concerted efforts of the residents, community members and staff.

Strengthening the community

A strong community helps enhance the lives of individual community members. That is why Peverel Court Care recently joined forces with Lindengate, a Buckinghamshire-based charity. The charity offers specialised gardening activities to support the recovery of people with mental health needs.

We hope to collaborate with @lindengate in the coming year to improve the quality of life of the people in our local community, thereby helping to make the community stronger, safer and healthier.

Intangible rewards

Giving back helps us understand the needs of the community, and by using local resources, we can meet those needs. It also has mental and physical rewards. It makes our residents and staff happy to do something for others, thereby evoking positive emotions such as joy and optimism. By focusing on others, it eases stress and makes the giving back an enjoyable process.

Peverel Court Care is proud of its ability to give back to the community. By working for and with the community, we know Peverel Court Care is making a difference in the lives of people around us.

©2020 Peverel Court Care
all rights reserved