Bartletts, Events, Food & Drink, Wellbeing

Enjoying Cheese and Wine Tasting

 

We love sensory experiences for our residents and we’ve taken this to a new level thanks to our partnership with wine professional Kelly Sullivan. Read on to find out more about our inaugural event with Kelly where some of our residents living with dementia enjoyed delicious wines and cheeses from around the world.

 

A few weeks ago our residents at Bartlett’s participated in our first Cheese and Wine Tasting event as part of our new partnership with wine professional Kelly Sullivan.

We’ve partnered with Kelly to build on the work we do around promoting sensory stimulation across Peverel Court Care Homes. We aim to provide sensory stimulation regularly and in a variety of ways, including using everyday sounds, foods, objects and other items to awaken the senses and elicit a positive response or feeling. This contributes to improved quality of life, one of our core commitments to everyone who lives with us.

 

Sensory support for our residents living with dementia

Sensory support is especially beneficial for people who are living with dementia because it can help the person to live in the moment and interact with their current surroundings. Studies have shown that when done on a regular basis, sensory stimulation can be helpful in supporting memory loss. It can also improve daily functioning and other cognitive symptoms when all five senses are engaged and different ways to communicate can be explored.

 

 

Our first Cheese and Wine Tasting

Some of our lovely residents at Bartlett’s – Denis, Paul, Rosemary, John, Barbara, June and Doug – joined Kelly in the upstairs lounge where Kelly provided all of the cheeses and wines to try, sharing insights and knowledge of where they were sourced from as part of an eclectic round-the-world sensory experience. 

John chose to sit close to the window, overlooking views of the Chilterns, as he drank the wine and ate the cheeses independently, while Denis was pleased to learn about the various wines and the different countries they originated from, asking Kelly if she had visited any vineyards in New Zealand before. 

Paul reminisced while drinking wine with his friends. He was very engaged in the activity, keen to share his own knowledge and learn more from Kelly by asking various questions regarding locations and temperatures. Paul told us he enjoys wine and would like to do this activity again.

 

 

Why we will be doing more events with Kelly

We found that all of our ladies and gentlemen who shared the Cheese and Wine event with Kelly were very happy and keen to participate. This was a fabulous experience because our residents could be independent in a relaxed, adult-focused activity that some had enjoyed in their earlier life, exercise choice about what they wanted to taste, and experience both sensory enjoyment and supportive conversation.

Paul said: 

“I have visited many vineyards with friends, so it was nice to share stories with Kelly. It was a lovely experience – we all had a good time and the wines were very nice.” 

John said: 

“It was very nice to sit around with everyone enjoying fine wines – I really enjoyed myself. They went down very easily!” [laughing]

 

About Kelly

Kelly is a trained wine professional who has worked as a wine writer for various leading publications including Good Housekeeping, Decanter and Stylist. Kelly’s years of experience and deep passion for wine helped her to guide our residents through the tasting experience, supporting everyone to appreciate the intricate flavours and stories behind each bottle.

 

 

We caught up with Kelly to ask her some questions about her passion for wine and her work:

 

Kelly, what ignited your passion for wine and led you to becoming a wine professional?

Kelly: “Everyone has that one great bottle of wine that piques their interest and sparks a passion for wine. I was working in publishing at the time and doing weekly blind tastings for a magazine. I decided to take my professional wine exams to sharpen my knowledge and as a result it led me down a path of sharing my passion with other wine lovers and making wine more accessible for everyone.”

 

How did you choose the wines to share at our wine event?

Kelly: “To kickstart our series of wine tastings, I went with a ‘classic styles’ theme. This way we know there are styles in there that everyone will like or at the very least will have tried as it opens up conversation and makes it less daunting.

My selection of wines was based on reliable and popular producers, so I could guarantee quality. I chose approachable wines I felt the residents would enjoy.”

 

How did you choose the cheeses to pair with the wines? 

Kelly: “I chose the cheese based on what would best complement the wines and enhance their flavours. I wanted to find as many local, British cheeses as I could and to share the stories behind them.”

 

What are the benefits for people living in care homes from having Cheese and Wine Tasting events?

Kelly: “Cheese and wine tastings are a great thing to do in groups. It brings people together, opens discussions and gets you thinking, especially when you’re trying to pinpoint different tasting notes.”

 

What do you like most about engaging with our residents during these events?

Kelly: “The residents always have great stories to share about wines they have tried and the styles they love. It’s really interesting hearing their life stories and getting to know them better.”

 

What advice would you give care homes who want to engage their residents in sensory experiences like Cheese and Wine Tasting?

Kelly: “I would really encourage it. It’s a nice thing to do with an afternoon and it really engages the senses. I would advise care homes to make it accessible to residents by ensuring residents have the best set up and help they need.”

 

Many thanks to Kelly for a really positive experience for our residents at Bartlett’s. We look forward to hosting more Cheese and Wine Tasting events with Kelly soon.

 

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.

Care Management, Wellbeing

The value of time spent outdoors


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

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

Why is getting outside beneficial?

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

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

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

 

 

Getting outdoors at Peverel Court Care Homes

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Joyce D said

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

John F said

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

 

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Merryfield, Portrait of a Life, Wellbeing

Portrait of Joe’s life

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

Joe, what was life like living on a warship?

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

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

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

What did you sing in The Wayferers band? 

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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.”

Bartletts, Events, Food & Drink, Wellbeing

Holy Cow Tea Tasting – Bartlett’s & Stone House

Why?

Improving the quality of life for our residents is our core commitment. As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive effect sense and sensory activities can have on those living with dementia. That is why we welcomed a visit from Holy Cow Tea Tasting to Bartlett’s Residential Home.

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.

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations, such as Holy Cow, helps to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of those living with dementia. New experiences have well-documented benefits to older people mentally, emotionally and physically, by improving emotional, social and cognitive abilities.

 

 

Who?

Visit Holy Cow’s Website

Poonam Gupta –

“It was a pleasure and an honour to talk about the wonderful beverage made by infusing the dried processed leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant with hot water known to all as TEA. I really enjoyed offering tastings of some of my loose-leaf teas and blends with the residents at Stone House and Bartletts Residential home. 

To see the residents take part and invoke their sense of smell, touch, taste while they shared their thoughts, preferences, feelings of the various teas.  Some also shared memories of how they enjoyed the beverage during their lifetime as everyone has a story to tell on how they enjoy this particular beverage.

There was discussion about how many residents actually enjoyed tea that had been brewed properly in a teapot.  We touched on tea history making reference to the Cutty Sark. Did you know this ship carried almost 10 million lbs of tea between 1870 and 1877. 

Thank you once again for inviting me. I really enjoyed my visit and all the staff were so warm and supportive to the residents, like a family. It reminded me of the following quote:”

If you are cold, tea will warm you. 

If you are too heated, it will cool you 

If you are depressed it will cheer you

If you are excited, it will calm you 

– William Ewart Gladstone, British 19th century Prime Minister

 

 

Outcome

Poonam’s tea tasting session was well received by all. It was a new experience for everyone and residents enjoyed smelling, tasting and touching the teas, which induced memories of where they liked to enjoy their teas with friends, families and on holidays. Many residents asked questions about where the teas came from, how they were made and the flavours they could taste.

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 from Bartlett’s residents

Resident – June M :

What did you think of the experience? – “I thought it was interesting, and nice to do something different. I learned a lot from the session.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Probably if she provided different teas to try!” [laughing]

Resident – Janet F:

What did you think of the experience? “It was nice to try the teas. There were plenty I hadn’t tried before!”

Would you like to experience it again? “I would like to experience it again, but with coffee!” [laughing]

Resident – John F :

What did you think of the experience? “It was good fun, I liked many of the teas that were on offer.”

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes I would, it was nice to be upstairs in the lounge too.”

Testimonials from Stone House residents

Resident – Joyce D:

What did you think of the experience? – “I thought it was fantastic! I was impressed by the flower tea, it was beautiful.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, I really enjoyed it. She said she had various other teas I would be interested in trying and would like them with cream cake!” [laughing]

Resident – Olive N:

What did you think of the experience? “It was a nice afternoon, I enjoyed trying the teas.”

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would. It was interesting and nice to do something different.”

Resident – Heather L :

What did you think of the experience? “I thought it was great, I really liked learning the history of the teas!”

Would you like to experience it again? “I enjoyed it thank you, I wasn’t fond of all the teas, but she said there were others we could try in another session!”

Bartletts, Community, Intergenerational, Wellbeing

A visit from Green Ridge Academy pupils to Bartlett’s

Why?

Benefits of Intergenerational Activities

As care specialists, improving the quality of life for our residents is our core commitment. Activity helps to sustain both physical and mental health. Intergenerational activities have been proven to energise older adults and give a sense of purpose, especially when they’re sharing their experience and skills. Shared activities across generations can also reduce a sense of isolation for older adults and potentially relieve or lessen depression. We know that loneliness and depression are a big concern for today’s residents. By providing a way for residents to interact with younger generations, they afford the opportunity to build lasting relationships. Intergenerational activities can also help different age groups relate and value one another – reducing ageism, breaking down stereotypes and increasing empathy.

 

Who?

Mr. Aaron Wanford – Head Teacher
Green Ridge Primary Academy

At Green Ridge we aim to provide an exciting, broad and engaging curriculum, which encourages our children to become confident and resilient life-long learners. We want our children not just to achieve, but to exceed expectations and attain the very best results they can, academically, creatively and personally. We offer a safe, nurturing and creative learning environment, which enables us to ensure our children are supported, challenged, inspired and motivated through a breadth of learning experiences and opportunities. We aim to develop trusting, strong and sustaining partnerships with families and the wider local community.

Green Ridge Academy Website

 

Outcome

Residents at Bartlett’s Residential Home, welcome pupils from Green Ridge Primary Academy as part of our programme to build intergenerational relationships.

Our residents are delighted to be visited by some of the pupils, and we have seen the engagement between our residents and the students growing each month. This is something we are really passionate about at Peverel Court, and we will continue to partner with local organisations in order to benefit our residents.

After the students sang a selection of songs from Bob Marley to their school hymns, they had an opportunity to have a juice and chat with the residents. Everyone had a lovely time, with residents clapping and cheering “bravo, bravo” as the students finished singing. Everyone was asking when they would be visiting again!

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.

 

Testimonials

Resident – Georgina R:

What did you think of the experience? – “They were so good! I was cheering and clapping bravo! I was very impressed!” [laughing]

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes I would, it is lovely to see them.”

Resident – Janet F:

What did you think of the experience? – “They were a joy to watch! It was lovely for them to visit regularly, I really enjoyed it, bless them!”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, definitely. They were very sweet, their singing was very good!”

Resident – Beryl C:

What did you think of the experience? – “They were lovely, I enjoyed meeting them today!”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, I would, their singing was lovely, I even joined in on some of the songs!” [laughing]

 

 

 

Care Management, Wellbeing, Workforce Development

A family feel to our staff social gatherings

How our staff bonding and sharing events are contributing to creating a transparent and open working culture at Peverel Court Care.

For us, being employed at a Peverel Court care home is about more than just coming into work. How our staff feel about themselves and their job is key to the care they will provide to our residents. We are a family-run business, and our staff and residents are very much an extension of our family. We care about everyone who lives and works with us, and aim to have a supportive and open culture within all of our care homes.

Two of our recent initiatives to support our cultural mission have been ‘Bring your own cuisine to work’ days at Stone House, which are planned to be monthly and began in January, and a Bartlett’s team dinner at Pendley Manor.

‘Bring your own cuisine to work’ days at Stone House

We are extremely proud of our diverse teams. We have employees from across the world within our Peverel family and celebrate the multicultural feel this gives our care homes. The ‘Bring your own cuisine to work’ team bonding activities have really brought this to life and have been a sensory sensation. As Hope, Registered Manager at Stone House, said: “This is a lovely idea to bring and share together, to do more as a team – the ‘One Team’ ethos.”

So far these social events have enabled us to travel the culinary globe and experience Pakistani kebabs with ‘ever so hot’ chutney, chicken roasted in a special (secret!) Zimbabwean sauce, Indian potato and lentil curry, Iranian kebabs, Filipino chicken coconut curry and Portuguese custard tarts, which tasted as delicious as this picture suggests.

Del, who brought in the Indian potato and lentil curry, Iranian kebabs and a Filipino chicken coconut curry, was similarly enthusiastic: “What a brilliant idea to bring us together as a team.”

 

De Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts).

Bartlett’s team dinner at Pendley Manor.

The dinner for Bartlett’s staff, which took place in the elegant surroundings of local stately home Pendley Manor and was attended by 28 staff, was also warmly received. Connie said: “It was nice to spend time with our team outside of a working environment,” while Sally commented: “It was a perfect opportunity for the staff to get together and let their hair down! The food was delicious, the company was wonderful, and it was a night to remember for us all.” The three course meal was followed by dancing, which all the staff enjoyed. Maria summed up the experience perfectly: “It was such an amazing night! It was nice to see everyone really dressed up and the DJ was great!.”

 

The Bartlett’s team enjoying their night out together.

Staff at the heart of Peverel Court Care

Key to the success of our work events is staff participation, which has been really positive so far. We hope this will only grow as we plan more fun group activities for our teams both within our homes and in the wider community. To sum up in the words of Tally, who works at Stone House: “It’s been wonderful to try everybody’s food from around the world. I really enjoyed it as there are some amazing cooks. Most importantly, it’s brought us together too.”

We will continue to listen to our staff teams through our Focus Group meetings as we look for more social event ideas. This is part of our wider aim to communicate effectively, openly and transparently with our staff teams to enable all of our staff to feel involved in the day-to-day running of our care homes. We want our staff to feel secure in their jobs, have a good level of knowledge and understanding about what is happening around them, and when change occurs, why it’s happening and how they can be part of it.

 

Ines shared De Nata with us.

The benefits of working for Peverel Court Care

Our company teambuilding initiatives are just one aspect of our commitment to invest in the personal and professional development of our staff. This is at the heart of working for Peverel Court Care, and is in addition to our comprehensive employee benefits package that includes:

  • Excellent remuneration
  • 24/7 access to an online GP
  • Access to hundreds of discounts through an employee app
  • Access to qualified therapists through an Employee Assistance Programme
  • Monthly on-site massage
  • Free online workout and wellness classes
  • Complimentary lunches, fresh fruit and snacks
  • Company sponsorship for professional and academic qualifications
  • Rewards and recognition schemes

To learn more about what it is like to work for Peverel Court Care and our current job opportunities, visit our Work with Us page.

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Bartletts, Events, Wellbeing

Mortimer Alpacas – Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

The benefits of Animal Therapy in Care Homes

Why?

Improving the quality of life for our residents is our core commitment. As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive effect animal therapy can have on those living with dementia. That’s why we welcomed a visit from Mortimer Alpacas to Bartlett’s Residential Home. 

When visiting our homes, animals help improve the lives of our residents, including those living with dementia, by bettering motor skills, making them feel happier and lifted, encouraging interaction and also triggering reminiscing conversations. Animals can help break the barrier of isolation too often experienced by people with dementia symptoms. Not only do the animals themselves provide the solace and delight of companionship, engaging with pets is the perfect ice-breaker, leading to enhanced social interactions with people. 

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations, such as Mortimer Alpacas, helps to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of those living with dementia. Interaction with animals has well-documented benefits to older people mentally, emotionally and physically, by improving emotional, social and cognitive abilities. 

Who?

https://mortimer-alpacas.co.uk/ 

A family run business in the beautiful village of Mortimer, Berkshire. It has always been a dream of ours to run an alpaca business and we are fortunate enough to now make it a reality. 

We currently have 10 adorable young boys – George, Zippy, Bungle, Cappuccino, Rupert, Finley, Henry, Hugo, Pip and Truffle. All 10 have totally different personalities and each bring something unique to the experience. 

We have spent time with our alpacas to ensure that they have the right temperament for socialising with humans. Alpacas by nature, although curious, are very shy and not naturally forthcoming. Ours however, we have trained to come for hand feeding and enjoy time together around our guests! 

Outcome

Residents at Bartlett’s received a surprise visit from two friendly alpacas! They were met with gasps and laughter when they took a guided tour around the home. The alpacas were led into the lounge, where they were lavished with affection by residents. It was wonderful to see the look on everyone’s face when they arrived. Most residents needed little encouragement to engage and ask questions during this visit. The alpacas, Finley and Hugo, are comfortable in the lift, so residents on different floors didn’t miss out on their visit. 

Meeting the alpacas was a new experience for all of the residents and, for some, brought back memories of their own pets. 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 – Janet:

What did you think of the experience? – “I couldn’t believe it when I saw them, they were so funny, they really made me laugh!”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, absolutely, it was nice to have them at the home!” [laughing]

Resident – Rosemarie:

What did you think of the experience? “They were truly amazing, I love animals. I used to have a lot of pets!” 

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would, their fur was so soft! They were very sweet”

Resident – Jill:

What did you think of the experience? “It was interesting, such a lovely surprise! [laughing] they were very soft and calm” 

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, it was good, it’s lovely when the animals visit.”

Bartletts, Community, Stone House, Wellbeing

Pawside Puppy Visit – Bartlett’s and Stone House

The benefits of Animal Therapy in Care Homes

Why?

As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive effect animal therapy can have on those living with dementia. That’s why we welcomed a visit from Pawside Yoga to Stone House Nursing Home.

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations, such as Pawside Yoga, helps to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of those living with dementia. Interaction with animals has well-documented benefits to older people mentally, emotionally and physically, by improving emotional, social and cognitive abilities.

When visiting our homes, animals help improve the lives of our residents, including those living with dementia, by bettering motor skills, making them feel happier and lifted, encouraging interaction and also triggering reminiscing conversations.

Who?

https://pawsideyoga.co.uk/

Our Mission – Pawside Yoga

We are a friendly + welcoming group who are passionate about sparking inner peace, conversation & connection through the ancient art of yoga to create a health and fitness class whilst adding our special element combining adorable puppies with creating the most blissful experience you’ve ever been to. We are committed to creating safe spaces that are inclusive & respectful of a diverse community.

Our Values – Pawside Yoga

  • LOVE is our underlying frequency. We have a genuine love for our yogis & we are passionate about uniting humanity through our classes.
  • COMMUNITY Our people (team and students) are at the core of what we do, we strive to learn new perspectives by listening to, learning from & educating our community.
  • LEARNING We use physical practice to spark conversation, curiosity & connection to the body, mind & soul. We aim to cultivate a sacred space for diverse bodies through intentional movement & mindfulness.
  • THE INDIVIDUAL JOURNEY We aim to give you space to explore through the various aspects of yoga & then journey back with a newfound sense of self-connection & appreciation for yourself & others as well as being given the added element of the best cuddles ever with our gorgeous fur babies.
    Outcome

Feedback from residents and carers about Pawside’s visit was overwhelmingly positive, with most residents asking to hold and fuss the puppies. Their eyes lit up and smiles beamed as they saw staff enter the lounge and bedrooms with the litter. Most residents needed little encouragement to engage and ask questions during this visit. They were welcome to cuddle as many puppies as they could, with owner Shani on hand to answer any queries they had. Common questions included how old they were, how many were in the litter, how many boys/girls there were. This provided a heart-warming experience for the residents, with many reminiscing family pets, recalling their names and how long they owned them. This was a happy and expressive session that set an example for future per therapy activities at Stone House.

Testimonials from Bartlett’s

Resident – Denis J:

What did you think of the experience? – “It was great, I got to hold three puppies at once! They were so cute and soft.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, definitely, I like the animals visiting me in my room!” [laughing]

Resident – Laurie K:

What did you think of the experience? “I loved it, it made my day! The puppies were so small and cute” [laughing]

Would you like to experience it again? “Oh yes, they are welcome any time!”

Resident – Elaine A:

What did you think of the experience? “It was a nice afternoon, they were so lovely and well behaved, they fell asleep in my arms!” 

Would you like to experience it again? “Of course, it was a lovely surprise! I’d like to see them again.”

 

Testimonials from Stone House

Resident – Eunice:

What did you think of the experience? – “They were lovely and ever so cute, I really loved holding them.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, definitely, I didn’t want to give them back!” [laughing]

Resident – Sheila:

What did you think of the experience? “I loved it, I wanted to keep one!” [laughing]

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes definitely, they were so cute!”

Resident – Heather L:

What did you think of the experience? “It was lovely, I really enjoyed seeing them, my daughter just got a puppy!” 

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, of course, I really like dogs. I’ve always owned them.”

Stone House, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

The benefits of Flower Arranging in Care Homes

Stone House Nursing Home – January 2023

Who?

Bishopstone Blooms – formally Hearts and Flowers Interiors. Established in the beautiful village of Bishopstone, Deborah and her team have over 29 years of floristry and horticulture experience. (locally community business – care for our community)

www.hearts-interiors.co.uk

Why?

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations, such as Bishopstone Blooms, helps to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of those living with dementia. Activities such as flower arranging engages the senses, provides cognitive and sensory simulation, improves motor skills, and instils a sense of independence and accomplishment. It is an excellent way to preserve quality of life for a population that may struggle with finding such.

When visiting our homes, Bishopstone Blooms help improve the lives of our residents, including those living with dementia, by bettering motor skills, making them feel happier and lifted, encouraging interaction and also triggering reminiscing conversations.

Outcome

Using a variety of beautiful flowers, residents enjoyed a sunny afternoon creating their own personalised flower displays in the home’s conservatory.

Getting creative with their flowers and foliage, the residents created a number of striking displays, whilst listening to music and chatting with one another over tea and biscuits.

Research has proven that there are many benefits of flower arranging for older people. As well as enabling residents to be creative and use their imagination, it also encourages use of fingers and hands and is a great stress reliever, promoting a calm atmosphere.

Our flower arranging activities provide the perfect opportunity for some of our residents to create floral displays around the home.

Testimonials

Resident – Sheila:
What did you think of the experience? “I enjoyed it, I have put the flowers with the ones my family gave me! I have a lot of them now!” [laughing] Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, thank you, I enjoy flower arranging!”

Resident – Stuart:
What did you think of the experience? “It was good thank you, I just watched, but the nice lady made flowers I could give to my wife when she visits!”
Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would, it was nice!”

Resident – Valerie:
What did you think of the experience? “I like flowers, so it was fun to do!”
Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, thank you, I enjoyed it! I got help doing it as well.”

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