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.

Falls, Tech

Spotlight on Falls – The voices of lived experience

 

Falls are one of the most feared health emergencies for older people and their families. In our three-part series, we are shining a spotlight on falls, the changes we aspire to make and the impact these will have in reducing falls. We continue this series by hearing from our residents, relatives and staff about their personal and professional experiences of falls.

We know that falls are something our residents and their families dread – and with good reason – as we looked at in our first blog in this series that detailed the impact and implications when a person has a fall.

It’s very important to us, as we explore the latest technology around falls detection and prevention, that we understand first-hand about our residents’ and relatives’ experiences of falls and how they feel about the technological solutions we are considering.

 

What our residents and relatives say about their experiences of falls

Don lives with us at Bartlett’s and told us:

I was a runner, I enjoyed running. I’ve always been willing to test myself, going a little further is always important for me, pushing boundaries, and that’s still there in walking.

My balance over the last year has been deteriorating. I started off by denying I needed a walking stick, then realised it was probably advisable to carry one. So, I carry a stick and try not to use it. I go out for a walk and carry it. I start with leaning on the stick, realise my balance is ok, then I pick the stick up and walk with it.

I have some consciousness of my vulnerability to falls. The most alarming is falling backwards. That doesn’t happen often… It’s when I get tired that my vulnerability to falls is raised. Yesterday I wanted to sit down on the edge of the bed and I missed it. I didn’t hurt myself; I fell on my backside, picked myself up and carried on. But it was a warning to be careful.

Andrea told us about her experiences of caring for her dad before he moved to Bartlett’s:

Dad had multiple falls, both in the house and out of the house, and I had no idea how to deal with that other than call 999. 

Dad calls falls ‘a slow sit down to the floor’. He doesn’t call them falls at all. He gets so tired that he can’t support his weight any more and falls. I don’t think he trips. One time on the drive at his house he fell and crawled on his hands and knees to his car to pull himself up.

I couldn’t be there 24/7 for him, and I would rely on him to either call me to tell me he’s fallen or dad’s pendant alarm company to ring me. But that’s obviously after the event, it’s not helping to prevent the fall.

Heather lives with us at Stone House and told us:

I don’t think of falling, I continue with life, then the beastly falls happen. Recently, I went across the room to take my phone off charge, I didn’t rush, I went quite slowly, but on the way I fell, got my foot trapped and I couldn’t get up. Two nurses who happened to be next door came and got me standing.

I’m not expecting to fall, but unfortunately I do. I lose my balance. I don’t think of it until I go down bang, which is pretty stupid. (Laughs)

Lynn’s mum lives with us at Bartlett’s and told us:

Mum has been getting increasingly unstable and we’ve had two reports now of mum being found on the floor. She’s been fine, but there hasn’t been anybody to witness that (the falls). I don’t think she remembers it, so she can’t report it herself.

Mum used to be somebody who played tennis and badminton and did keep-fit and dog walked two or three times a day. To see her with this frailty and worry about the thought of her lying or sitting on the floor… I feel for her vulnerability and her safety.

Following her mum’s falls, Lynn told us:

Mum’s gait has changed. She definitely needs an arm to lean on, and has a general sense of imbalance and isn’t confident on her feet anymore.

 

What our staff say about how falls impact our residents

Connie is an Administrator at Bartlett’s and told us:

People don’t deliberately fall. You don’t necessarily have that reaction time to think ‘I’ll grab something’. I’ve been on reception, heard a commotion and later found out that it was someone who had a fall in the corridor. It’s quite hard knowing that’s what I heard and later discovering they had an injury, that’s quite tough. Then seeing the knock in their confidence in the coming days. It’s not nice to experience.

Naturally I think some of the residents who are less mobile are more cautious when they are walking. One resident who recently had a fall and was found on the floor, in the coming days she was a lot more hesitant and wary with her steps. Whether she remembered the fall, and on some level emotionally she did, you see that within her. She was almost looking for extra support from staff and had that uncertainty about what to do next.

 

Falls in a person’s own home

As part of our work into falls detection and prevention, we are looking at many different environments – not just those within our Peverel Court Care homes – to understand the challenges for all older people who are vulnerable to falls.

Ruth supports her mum who lives in her own home. Ruth’s mum has had a series of falls, and Ruth recounted her feelings about her mum’s first fall to us:

I was pretty shocked, there was a lot of blood. The hearth was marble, so mum had fallen down on something very hard….. the unsteadiness, there was a trip involved as well… I was very frightened for her. I think we all know that head injuries can result in life changing events and a risk to life, and because of the amount of blood that was there, I felt very shaky… I felt a bit all over the place if I’m honest.

Following her mum’s first fall, Ruth told us:

We felt that mum’s memory had declined. She was finding it quite difficult to recall dates and facts about things. She lost confidence, she didn’t want to leave the house… she didn’t really want to walk. Emotionally, mum is a very strong woman… but what I did notice 6 months later is that mum couldn’t remember having a fall.

 

How can we support older people with earlier detection of falls risks?

Ideally we’d like to be able to prevent every fall, but experts agree that such aims are unrealistic. The focus of current technological solutions is around detecting falls risks, particularly when someone starts to move around, for example by getting out of bed at night. 

Sensor monitoring in resident’s bedrooms is one solution we are considering for Peverel Court Care homes. Sensor monitoring detects changes in noise, picking up when someone starts to move, which could be particularly helpful at night in reducing the number of night-time checks staff do that can disturb residents. We asked our residents and relatives who participated in our research interviews on falls what they thought of this technology.

Don said:

So long as it’s not obtrusive, I won’t notice it. I’m trusting the technology to help me.

Andrea, Don’s daughter, told us:

I wouldn’t want it (sensor monitoring) to totally replace any human checks, but if it could reduce the number of checks staff make that would be useful. It’s not a mistrust of the technology, it’s just nice to see someone in the night if you’re unsure and you’ve woken up. Sometimes dad gets a bit disorientated.

I remember my grandmother, she had a fall and broke her hip, and that was life changing for her. So anything that helps to prevent falls is good.

Lynn echoed Don and Andrea’s views. She said: 

It just seems a real benefit to have some sort of monitoring that is there… overnight in rooms, because who knows when somebody gets out of bed and decides they want to wander around the room or go to the toilet. To have that constantly monitored has got to be a good thing. I know staff pop in every now and again, but things happen in between visits so I think that can only lead to a better outcome.

 

What are the key considerations when introducing new falls detection technology?

Whilst we are keen to explore new falls technology, we know there are many considerations to implementing this to ensure our core values of providing the highest standards of care and support for our residents are upheld.

We explored this topic with Connie who told us:

When we’re looking at the sensor* technology we definitely need to keep the level of privacy, making sure that it’s non-intrusive. 

I think for residents especially, they need to know that there are no trip hazards. For instance, the mats that go on the floor (that we currently use to detect movement), they are potentially a trip hazard. I’ve always wondered why they are used, because I don’t think they’re that effective in preventing falls, which they are designed to alert (us to) if they are on the floor. 

I think with the sensor* monitoring, keeping the autonomy of the resident is really important, that’s one that the residents would say themselves. 

Removing the need for nighttime hourly checks would be really beneficial for residents, especially those with dementia. Sleep is incredibly important, it has an effect on their day-to-day moods, their balance, their lives. I think that would be the main benefit.

 

What’s next?

In our third and final blog of this series, we will look at the future of falls prevention and how different digital solutions and advancing technology can assist us at 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 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.

 

*Sensor monitoring/technology is also referenced as acoustic monitoring/technology by some of our interviewees.

Best Care Practices

Personalised, at-home physiotherapy for our residents

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

 

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

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

 

Why keeping our residents moving is important

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Tony said:

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

 

Audrey (Family member) said:

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

 

Esther said: 

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

 

About The Caring Physio

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

 

Bartletts, Community, Events

Bartlett’s charity walk for Age UK

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

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

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

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

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.

Portrait of a Life, Real life, Stone House

Olive’s Portrait of a 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 Olive’s remarkable life.

Discovering our resident’s life stories is one of the most wonderful aspects of supporting them in their later 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 had health-related careers or in some way been linked to health or care work teach us a huge amount about what care and support used to be like. These are fascinating insights that our younger staff in particular are often captivated by, and Olive’s story is one such example.

 

Olive has lived at Stone House since June 2022 and is a former nurse. Olive has kindly shared her story with us as follows:

 

 “I was born on 20th February 1928 in Thame. I had one brother, Harold, who was three years older than me, but sadly Harold passed away in 2000. 

 

I was educated at Thame Girls High School. After my schooling I joined a Matron Housekeepers Course at Bridge House London. The last term of the course was based in a Children’s Ward which I enjoyed, and as a result I started training as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital where I became a SRCN. After that I qualified as an SRN at Kings College Hospital, where I became a Night Sister for two and a half years, before I had to return home to Thame as both my parents were ill. I later took up a post as a Theatre Sister at Thame College Hospital. 

 

In 1959 I met my husband, Herbert Nicolle. We married in 1961. In 1969 our daughter Anne was born and we were living in Princes Risborough. I became a member of the Risborough Choral Society for 35 years. I worked as a Volunteer Librarian at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital Red Cross Library for 18 years. I also became a member of the committee of the Princes Risborough Horticultural Society and a member of the Princes Risborough Methodist Church. 

 

One of my greatest highlights is a round-the-world holiday in 1987 that I went on with my husband and two friends. We visited Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Honolulu and Canada. 

 

Our daughter Anne got married in 1990 to Simon and I have a grandson, Tom, who was born in 2000. My husband died in 2001 only three months before our 40th wedding anniversary.”

 

Olive’s wonderful story now continues with the support of our Stone House colleagues. Olive says of living at Stone House:


The whole general atmosphere is very friendly and I like meeting other residents. I’ve been enjoying the activities a lot recently, especially the painting [pointing at her recent work on display]. I haven’t done much painting before! And of course the visits from the animals, I love seeing the dogs.”

 

With Olive’s healthcare background, we’ve been really keen to gather her thoughts on working as a nurse, which are particularly insightful for our nursing staff to learn about. 

 

We caught up with Olive to find out more about her life as a nurse and her thoughts on nursing:

 

Olive, you worked both day and night shifts – what did you prefer and how did you find the shift work?

 

“I was a Night Sister for two and a half years, and although I enjoyed my whole nursing career, I preferred the day shifts really. 

 

I worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for 3.5 years. Then I did my General Nursing qualification, which was reduced from 3.5 years study to 2.5 years because of my time at Great Ormond Street. Then I did 6 months in Maternity and became a Night Sister for 2.5 years.”

 

Thinking about everything you did in your career as a nurse, what would you say was the highlight?

 

“Well I think the contact with the patients, even when I became a Sister. I always loved the Children’s Ward, and when I was a Night Sister I always loved going up to see the children.”

 

What would be your key message for today’s nurses? 

 

“Keep at it, it’s a very rewarding role.

 

It was funny, because when I left school, the only thing I knew I didn’t want to be was a nurse! The war had just come to an end when I left school in 1945, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. My real love was literature, but I didn’t want to teach.

 

I ended up going to a Domestic Science College for two years which covered all sorts of subjects, and the last term was working in the Children’s Ward at St. Mary’s in Paddington, and of course I loved it! So I went on to Kings College Hospital to study and qualify as a SRN. They said they wanted to promote me to Sister, but it was a rule of the hospital that you had to do your Part 1 Midwifery, so off I went to study again! It was all worth it, I loved being a nurse.”  

 

A huge thank you to Olive for sharing her 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.

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]

Events, Merryfield, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

Wheelchair Ice-skating

Merryfield House Nursing Home

Who?

“Operated by Fusion Lifestyle, our popular ice rink in the heart of Oxford can play host to fantastic activities including Skating sessions, Skate School, plus much more!”

https://www.fusion-lifestyle.com/centres/oxford-ice-rink/ 

Why?

Activity helps to sustain both physical and mental health. It is important that people living in care homes are able to maintain their interests and have opportunities to develop new ones. 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’s 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.  

Outcome

Esther and Joe had never experienced being on the ice before, and by the look on their faces they were having “the time of their lives” with big smiles and lots of laughter. 

Esther tried pushing herself round for a while as she wanted to give it a try, then, a member of staff, Tim, offered to take over and give her a spin. He spun her round and they went faster round the rink! Esther really enjoyed this, she was fully engaged laughing and smiling, joking with Tim.

When Joe was asked if he wanted to go ice-skating, he said “oh wow. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, ok”. When Joseph arrived, he was pointing and laughing saying “look at all that ice”. When Martha pushed Joe’s chair round the ice-rink, he was cheering and exclaimed “woo [laughing] well done dear!”

Residents benefit from social interaction and communication. Sharing their expertise and experiences which is enjoyable for them. 

Time spent by our activity teams in discovering an individual’s passions can help them to find events which each resident would enjoy. 

Testimonials 

Residents – Esther:

What did you think of the experience? “I thoroughly enjoyed myself, that was the best trip I’ve ever had!”

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I feel like a normal person again, I get to see the real world and get to do normal things.”  [laughing]

Resident – Joseph: 

When we asked Joe if he enjoyed himself and he said “I’m afraid I really did” [laughing] “it was lovely, thank you ever so much” [smiling]

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, why not!” [smiling]

Dementia, Events, Merryfield

Puppy Visit Pawside Yoga – The benefits of Animal Therapy in Care Homes

Puppy Visit Pawside Yoga – Merryfield House Nursing Home.

Who?

https://pawsideyoga.co.uk/ 

Our Mission, 

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,

  • 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.

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 Merryfield 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. 

Testimonials 

Resident – Vera:

What did you think of the experience? – “Amazing, the puppies were so cute.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, definitely!”

Resident – Phillis:

What did you think of the experience? “I loved it, I held a few of them!” [laughing]

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would.”

Resident – Joseph:

What did you think of the experience? “It was lovely, I really enjoyed their visit!” [laughing]

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, of course, it was nice to meet them.”

 

Bartletts, Community, Events, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

A visit from Brush Party: how art benefits our residents

A visit from Brush Party: how art benefits our residents at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we’re always looking for new and exciting activities to stimulate and engage our residents. We also love working with local businesses as part of our commitment to our company value to Care For Our Communities. So when we found out about Aylesbury-based Brush Party, who run group painting events, we knew that we had found a match made in heaven.

 

Why is art used in care homes?

Art in care homes can provide many opportunities for residents to use their imagination, make connections and reminisce. Arts participation offers a chance for residents to express themselves, learn a new skill (or return to an old one), and form a stronger sense of personal identity that can sometimes be diminished in care.

 

A visit from Brush Party

We arranged for Brush Party to visit Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, and our residents enjoyed a fantastic fun art-based event. Afterwards, we decided to speak to Becky Carpenter from Brush Party to find out more about the business and their visit to Stone House.

 

Tell us a little about your business and how you came to be doing what you’re doing.

”Brush Party is all about giving people the opportunity to get creative and learn how to paint through fun and easy to follow step by step tuition. Since starting in 2016, we have grown enormously and are so grateful for the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people.”

 

How did you come to work with Peverel Court Care?

”Our little red van was spotted driving around Aylesbury. When we were contacted by Peverel Court Care we couldn’t wait to work with you and take our Brush Party events down a new route.”

 

What are the benefits for older adults?

”There are so many benefits to painting – it’s stress relieving, fun and also hugely rewarding. It’s such a mindful activity and yet we often find that most people are fairly nervous when it comes to picking up a paintbrush. We love being able to put people at ease and allow themselves to get creative in a fun and supportive environment.”

 

What impact and outcomes did you see for the residents?

”A lot of the residents were incredibly engaged throughout the events and seemed to really enjoy the different aspects; from singing along to the music and occasional tapping of the feet to getting involved to really understand the techniques of the different brush strokes. When speaking with the residents during the session a lot had said that they hadn’t painted for years and that it brought back fond memories for them. Some told stories of family members who were artists too and that was really lovely to hear.”

 

How did you find spending time with our residents?

”They have all been so welcoming and it’s been lovely to get to know them and listen to the stories. It’s also been amazing to see how pleased they have been with their paintings at the end of the sessions.”

 

What did you think of the art created by our residents?

”There has been a lot of fabulous artwork created by the residents, there have been lots of vibrant colours and bold brush strokes that have made each one so unique and individual.”

 

Did you hear about the art exhibition we held at Stone House after your visit?

“The staff did tell us about the art exhibition and we think this is such a fab way to showcase the wonderful work created by the residents!”

 

We asked some of our lovely residents for their feedback on the Brush Party visits:

What did you think of the experience?

Joan: “I really enjoyed it, it was relaxing!”

Rosemary: “Yes, I thought it was fun!”

 

And would you like to take part again?

Rosemary: Yes, I would! I need to improve my painting skills” [laughing]

 

After the initial visit from Brush Party, we held an exhibition at Stone House of the artworks created by our residents.

 

Stone House Art Exhibition

 

Brush Party now regularly visit all three of our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire as part of a continuing partnership.

 

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.

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