Community, Events, Outings

Giving our communities a BOOST

 

At the heart of our core values is care for the communities that our care homes are part of. Read on to find out more about our latest initiative to strengthen the ties between Peverel Court Care and Age UK.

 

Being part of a care community is something we are very proud of at Peverel Court Care. We take every opportunity to engage with organisations and individuals in our localities who can enrich the lives of our residents or who can benefit from the many events and activities we arrange. It is the feeling of being part of such a vibrant community that makes living in a Peverel Court Care Home so special.

 

Our partnership with Age UK Buckinghamshire

We partnered with Age UK Buckinghamshire at the beginning of 2023 after Preet Shergill, our Associate Director, met with Mark Russell, CEO of Age UK Buckinghamshire. Recently, Allicia Maclean joined Age UK Buckinghamshire as their Community Engagement Manager and Allicia visited us to tell us about the BOOST programme.

BOOST sits alongside Age UK Buckinghamshire’s Befriending Plus Service and is aimed at older people who are isolated and lonely. It enables individuals who join the programme to develop peer-to-peer friendships with those in similar situations, and access local community groups or activities like those we provide at Peverel Court Care.

 

Sharing the joy of a festive theatre trip

We loved the idea of getting involved with the BOOST programme, and our planned trip to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre to see the 1938 classic, A Christmas Carol, was an ideal way to kick off our involvement in BOOST. 

Four members of our local community who are part of the BOOST programme, alongside Age UK Buckinghamshire volunteer Tricia, joined our residents from Bartlett’s and Stone House for this festive outing.

Tricia said of the Theatre trip:

We took some of our BOOST clients to the Christmas Theatre screening of ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was a real treat and a fantastic opportunity for our clients to meet in a safe and supportive space, reminiscing about Christmases past whilst enjoying the performance. It was great to see our BOOST clients get excited about socialising and it was thoroughly enjoyed by them all. Thank you Peverel Court Care for inviting us.

 Our residents Patrick and Pearl said:

I hadn’t seen that film in a long time, it was great to enjoy it again with friends and mince pies!

 

I enjoy going to the theatre. I like that Christmas film, it was good to watch it again. I ate a lot of chocolate! [laughing] 

 We are planning more participation in the BOOST programme in 2024 which will be a mixture of outings and in-house events at our care homes. Like the theatre trip, all will continue to be funded by Peverel Court Care in addition to our monthly donation to assist with Age UK Buckinghamshire’s community work.

 

Why is community so important to us?

In the past care homes have been viewed as standalone facilities in some communities and there has been little engagement between residents or their care home neighbours. This goes completely against what we believe, which is that the best care homes should be the vibrant heart of our communities. 

We have a huge amount to offer people of all ages within our care communities, all focused around the simple but vital joy of social interaction. Whether it’s Debutots visiting us for some preschool fun, or our sports, arts, music or animal therapy events, all provide the chance to bring the community into our care homes and spark interactions for everyone involved which boost wellbeing and mental health.

Being engaged with and forming mutually beneficial relationships with neighbours and friends within Buckinghamshire is transformative for all who engage in the initiatives we are involved with, which alongside our partnership with Age UK Buckinghamshire includes our sponsorship of a local football team and our partnership with Aylesbury Homeless Action Group.

 

Combatting isolation and loneliness

Being connected to others is something we all need as human beings, and we should never underestimate the damage of feeling cut off from each other. None of us can forget what the isolation of COVID entailed and the negative effects so many people endured as a result, which proves just how vital promoting and supporting social interaction is for us all.

We are all potentially at risk of isolation and loneliness, the effect of which on mortality is comparable to the impact of well-known risk factors such as obesity, and has a similar influence as cigarette smoking (Holt-Lunstad, 2010). Loneliness is also associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke (Valtorta et al, 2016), it increases the risk of high blood pressure (Hawkley et al, 2010), and lonely individuals are also at higher risk of the onset of disability (Lund et al, 2010).

Christmas is often strongly related to people feeling acutely lonely and isolated, especially if they live on their own. Age UK wrote about this in their recent blog, ‘Looking out for loneliness this winter’, and we know through our connections at Age UK Buckinghamshire that they are encouraging anyone in our localities who is feeling lonely to get in touch with them.

We would also signpost any older person who is feeling alone to The Silverline, which is run by Age UK, Independent Age and the useful advice the NHS offer. Know too that if you are near to one of our Peverel Court Care Homes, our door is always open.

 

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, Outings, Wellbeing

Trip to Kew Gardens – Bartlett’s Residential Home

Why?

Here at Peverel Court Care, we regularly arrange exciting trips out for our residents to help improve their social, emotional and physical health. We want our residents to have a sense of freedom and independence, so it is beneficial for them to go on day trips. This gives them the opportunity to meet and interact with new faces. Having the chance to socialise can help to improve social skills and behaviours, and reduce the feelings of loneliness.

Kew Gardens gives you the chance to touch and smell elements in the gardens. Sensory stimulation is the practice of using everyday sounds, foods, objects and other items to awaken the senses and elicit a positive response or feeling. This technique is often used to help seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia because it can help them stay in the moment and interact with their current surroundings. Studies have shown that when done on a regular basis, sensory stimulation can be very helpful in treating memory issues. By offering different ways to communicate and engaging all five senses, seniors can see some improvement in daily functioning and cognitive symptoms.

Having a meaningful life with strong relationships and purposeful activity is a central part of an individual’s identity. As people become more vulnerable and increasingly reliant on others it is vital that meaningful activity is supported in a way that helps them stay well and feel more satisfied with life, taking account of their personality and their history. Such activities are particularly important in a care home setting where residents have moved out of their familiar home environment, and can quickly lose their sense of identity and self-esteem, and become depressed.

Who?

https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens

Our mission at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst is to understand and protect plants and fungi, for the wellbeing of people and the future of all life on earth. Earth is the only planet in the universe, that we know for certain, supports life. Yet that life is in crisis.

The unprecedented rate of degradation means we are living through an age of extinction. We know the next decade is critical to reverse this trend. Our aspiration at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst is to end the extinction crisis and help create a world where nature is protected, valued and managed sustainably.

 

Outcome

After a long drive into London, our residents and staff started a busy day with a well-deserved lunch at the family kitchen, all talking about the wonderful botanical gardens they were going to see. The most popular being the Temperate House, a glittering cathedral, home to 1,500 of plants from across the world. Learning about the plants was a brilliant exercise for the mind, especially for Rosemarie, who is very fond of nature and the outdoors.

We were lucky enough to enjoy the start of the summer sunshine and enjoy all that Kew Gardens had to offer. With the beautiful array of flowers and trees, the buzzing of the bees and the colours of the butterflies, it was a perfect place to enjoy together.

“It was a wonderful day!” Beryl said, as she continued to tell Bartlett’s staff about the trip the next morning! Her positive response has helped encourage other residents, who are often cautious to attend outings, to join us on the next one.

Providing activities to evoke memories and reflection helps to give residents a feeling of security and comfort but Bartlett’s is also keen to create new memories and opportunities for residents, enabling them to live stimulating and fulfilling lives. While moving into our homes is a new chapter for them, ensuring that our residents feel like they have a sense of purpose and like they are part of something special is so important. It was a memorable experience had by all!

 

Testimonials

Resident – Beryl S:

What did you think of the experience? – “I really enjoyed the day, beautiful trees with plenty of flowers, and the Temperate House was very nice indeed!”

Would you like to experience it again? – “I would be more than happy to go again, especially if we are blessed with such good weather!”

Resident – Rosemarie T:

What did you think of the experience? “I found it very enjoyable, it was a wonderful day!”

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes I would, there was a lot to see in one day.”

Community, Events, Outings, Stone House

The benefits of Outings in Care Homes

Waddesdon Manor – Stone House Nursing Home, January 2023

Who?

Waddesdon Manor was built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild between 1874 and 1885 to display his collection of arts and to entertain the fashionable world. Opened to the public in 1959, Waddesdon Manor is managed by the Rothschild Foundation, a family charitable trust, on behalf of the National Trust, who took over ownership in 1957. It’s home to the Rothschild Collections of painting, sculpture and decorate arts.

Visit Waddesdon Manor’s website here

Why?

An important initiative for each of our homes, who offer a range of professional residential care services, including nursing, dementia and respite care, is to establish and build relationships with local communities, groups and even animals in order to provide a varied programme of activities and experiences for our residents, helping to maintain a stimulated and engaging living environment.

As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive effect regular outings can have for those living in a care setting. This gives residents the opportunity to meet and interact with new faces. Having the chance to socialise can help to improve social skills and behaviours and reduce the feeling of loneliness. Social interactions can also improve memory recall and cognitive abilities.

Outcome

The morning of the trip, both Olive and Marion were excited for their outing to Waddesdon Manor. They both had not been for a long time, 1995 being the last time Olive went during a visit from the Queen! She explained how the Queen was just feet away from her and Ann, her daughter. She took her camera as she wanted to get photos!

Being subjected to new or familiar sights, sounds and experiences is important for everyone, but especially for those living in a care home. This encourages the residents to talk about their memories and can prove to be a powerful stimulant, providing a much-needed change of scene along with a breath of fresh air.

Both Marion and Olive chatted about their surroundings, in awe of the size and details of the manor, and their delight in seeing the new daffodils and snowbells bloom! It was a peaceful day, and we were on site to experience the winter lights show around dusk, being lucky enough to end the day with a beautiful sunset which everyone enjoyed!

Testimonials

Resident – Olive: 

What did you think of the experience? – “It was wonderful thank you, I had a lovely day. The last time I visited Waddesdon Manor was 1995 when the Queen visited! She was stood just a few feet away from us. I took my daughter, Ann, along with me.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes definitely, it was a beautiful day, I have fond memories there and it was nice to see the lights!”

Olive’s daughter – Anne: “It was lovely to join mum on this trip, we both had a great day. The lights were wonderful and we enjoyed reminiscing our trip many years ago now!”

Resident – Marion:

What did you think of the experience? “I had a lovely day thank you. It was nice to go with Olive, we actually used to live down the road from each other in Thame!” [laughing]

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would, it was beautiful to see. Even though it was cold!” [laughing]

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