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.

Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Stone House

Brush Party x Aylesbury Dynamos x Stone House Nursing Home Sponsorship Collaboration

Why?

At Peverel Court Care we Care for our Communities, thus we are the proud sponsors of the Aylesbury Vale Dynamos Under 14’s Girls Football Team.

Intergenerational activities have been proven to energise older adults and give a sense of purpose, especially when they are 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.

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.

 

Who?

Aylesbury Vale Dynamos Under 14’s Girls Football Team – https://twitter.com/avdfcgirls

“Where painting gets social… it doesn’t matter if you have picked up a paint brush since school! A brush party is an unforgettable few hours of fun, friends and painting you’ll be talking about for weeks!”

https://brushparty.co.uk/

 

 

Outcome

Feedback from residents and the football team about Brush Party’s painting workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with all residents asking to participate in an activity like this again. With some gentle encouragement and inspiration from the girls, residents became lively and engaged in the workshop. They were guided through the session with tips and advice from the leading artists Mel and Sam. This provided a new experience for the residents and was a happy and expressive session that set a precedent for future collaborative activities at Stone House.

At Peverel Court we see how are arts have a positive impact on the resident’s emotional wellbeing every day. The arts bring joy and the ability to communicate feelings even when we can no longer communicate with words. We can use arts-based activities to crate a state of reminiscence which is why it is such a powerful tool within a care setting and fundamental in our day-to-day activities within a care home.

 

 

Testimonials

Resident – Sheila H:
What did you think of the experience? “It was lovely to have the girls help, I enjoy sitting in on the painting sessions but my wrists often ache, so it was good to have their help.”
Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, absolutely, it was great to meet the team.”

Resident – Heather W:
What did you think of the experience? “It was good, I relaxed while a member of the team showcased her painting skills.” [laughing] Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would, it was lovely to meet them all and be in the lounge.”

Resident – Jean L:
What did you think of the experience? “It was nice thank you, I enjoyed the conversation with Keira, the girl who helped me.”
Would you like to experience it again? “It was good to see the girls, yes, I would be interested in doing it again!”

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.

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.”

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]

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.”

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

The importance of reading for older adults at Peverel Court Care

The importance of reading for older adults at Peverel Court Care

 

Reading is one of the most important activities that older adults can engage in. It helps our residents to maintain friendships and keeps them mentally active and engaged. However, not everyone wants to read or finds reading to be easy for them.

 

Why reading matters for older adults

Reading is important for everyone; it helps us stay sharp, social and connected. For people living in care homes, reading is one way to help keep their minds engaged. And like anyone else, the choice of reading material for our residents will be led largely by their interests and their favourite genres. 

There are a lot of benefits to reading to older adults, especially those who are unable to read for themselves. At Peverel Court Care we have small in-house libraries in each of our homes. Our residents and staff help us to evolve the collection to ensure there is always something new to discover. It is also worth speaking with one of our Registered Managers as we also have a number of reading lists across our homes together with a writing and poetry club. 

 

Encouraging residents to read anything they choose

It’s never too late to start reading or to read more books. Reading can have a profound effect on mental health.  Reading may become more difficult as we age, so reading to older adults is one way to help keep them stimulated, entertained and engaged.

There are a lot of lists out there with recommendations on books to read, which cover a wide variety of topics. If you have an elderly family member or friend, give them some books you think they’d enjoy. Also, make sure you keep reading yourself. It can be fun to discuss what you’re reading with your relatives when you visit them.

 

Some places that might be helpful to consider

As not all care home residents are lucky enough to have access to so many books, the local library can also be a great place to start. Many libraries have reading lists for older adults and your loved one can get started on their reading list right away. 

 

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, Best Care Practices, Community, Events, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

A visit from Paws PT: how animal therapy benefits our residents

 

Increasing numbers of medical practitioners are recognising the benefits that come from the therapeutic use of animals to help ease the symptoms of a number of physical and mental health complaints. Numerous studies have shown that time spent in the presence of an animal can alter our physical, cognitive and emotional responses.

What is pet therapy?

Also referred to as animal-assisted interventions (AAI) or animal-assisted therapy (AAT), pet therapy is a form of complementary treatment that utilises animal interactions to help improve certain physical, psychological and emotional health issues. Put simply, animal therapy capitalises on the natural healing ability of spending time with animals, to help make us feel better.

 

The benefits of animal therapy

Pet therapy can benefit anyone, but particularly the elderly, by:

  • Promoting relaxation: Research has shown that stroking an animal releases endorphins which help to relax the body and mind. This is particularly beneficial to those who may be experiencing agitation, frustration or confusion with the onset of age-related memory loss.
  • Providing comfort: Through the provision of their calming source of support and reassurance, animals help to ease anxiety. The unconditional affection we receive from our pets helps us to feel loved and more emotionally stable. Animals can bring us comfort, joy and happiness. Just stroking an animal fulfils the basic human need for touch and provides sensory stress relief.
  • Combating loneliness: Time spent with animals can boost emotional wellbeing following traumatic experiences, such as the loss of a loved one or serious illness. Animal interactions can also be particularly effective in helping to deal with loss, loneliness, and other situations that may otherwise cause depression or anxiety. Pet therapy can help people, including those in care homes, to reduce any feelings of social isolation.
  • Encouraging exercise: Staying as physically active as we are able to becomes increasingly important as we get older. Pet therapy helps to keep people active and boosts energy levels by encouraging healthy lifestyle changes. It also encourages people to spend time meeting and engaging with other people. 
  • Promoting good health: Pets are also good for our hearts, and not just as a result of their unconditional love and affection. Spending time with animals has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease and has been shown to improve overall cardiovascular health. Separate research has also demonstrated that regular exposure to cats or dogs could reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. This has been attributed to the immune-boosting allergens in their fur. Meanwhile, a Cambridge University study found that people who own pets report fewer minor ailments like headaches, coughs and colds, according to Age UK. HelpGuide.org have also discovered that: “Pet owners over age 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.”
  • Providing purpose: Spending time with, or caring for, an animal can help to reduce boredom, offer a greater sense of purpose and a reason for living. Whether it’s the daily feeding and care of a pet, or receiving regular visits from an animal with their handler. Routine provides positive structure and gives people something to enjoy and look forward to. Pets can also be a wonderful source of fun; helping to keep us entertained and enjoying life.
  • Boosting self-esteem: Animals have a unique way of bringing people out of themselves. We can often see an increase in residents smiling or speaking in the presence of a pet. Through building self-confidence and reducing anxiety, animal-assisted therapies can help to increase verbal communication and improve interactions with others, really helping to boost social wellbeing.

 

A visit from Paws Pet Therapy

Based on the grounds of Bartlett’s Residential Home, Paws PT provides a friendly and reliable dog training service to meet the needs of both clients and their dogs.

As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive impact animal therapy can have on those living with dementia. That’s why we welcomed Paws PT to our two homes in Aylesbury, Stone House and Bartlett’s Residential Care Home.

When visiting our homes, Paws PT dogs 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.  

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations such as Paws PT helps us to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of whom are living with dementia. And as we’ve identified, interaction with pets has well-documented benefits to older people mentally, emotionally and physically, by improving emotional, social and cognitive abilities

 

A visit from Paws PT how animal therapy benefits our residents at Peverel Court Care

 

The view from Paws PT

We spoke to Jen, the owner of Paws PT, to find out more about her business and how she has found visiting our residents with her dogs:

 

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

I started dog training back in 2016 and originally it was just me, but over the years we’ve grown both the team and the number of dogs we have, which has been really fun. What we offer is quite bespoke, quite personalised training. Our clients come to us with a list of challenges that they have with their dogs, and we work with them to help them find solutions. So it’s very much tailored to the dog and the individual needs of their owner. It’s quite a broad scale; we work with rescuers who do a lot with working dogs and pets who are working breeds. We also do a lot of family fun sessions in the summer. But really, dog training is about people building.

 

How did you come to work with Peverel Court Care?

We have land at the bottom of the garden at Bartlett’s that we use for dog training. and one of the ladies got in touch to ask whether we could bring our dogs into the home. The first time we came, we did a Christmas visit for the residents with one of our spaniels and our oldest terrier.

 

What are the benefits for older adults?

We go round to meet the residents and we had one lovely encounter with a lady that we now know hadn’t really communicated much until then. She sat with one of our dogs and just chatted to him for ages and it was really lovely. That was the first time I really realised just how much more animals could do for humans than humans are able to do for humans sometimes.”

 

What impact and outcomes did you see for the residents?

The impact that the visits from our dogs have on the residents really varies. But we’ve discovered that a lot of the residents have had dogs, have had animals, or have wanted to have animals during their lives. And it’s a great connection point. You’re talking about something that’s in the room, which really opens up the conversation and allows people just to be in a different world, or even in a different time. A lot of them will critique training methods that they used to use with their dogs. They’re sharing breed specific knowledge, sometimes really, really intense breed specific knowledge, which is fantastic. And they really, really enjoy the interaction, that physical contact with the dogs and engagement. But mainly it’s just the conversation that opens up and the amount that they communicate with the dogs is amazing. We met one lady who, when we visit, actually squeals with delight. 

There have also been some laughs. Like when one of our dogs went off with a member of staff and they came back with just the lead in their hand. The dog had found the kitchen and didn’t want to come back, which the residents really enjoyed as well.

 

How did you find spending time with our residents?

It’s really nice. It’s a privilege to watch the joy our dogs bring to people. All of our team who’ve been into the Peverel Court Care homes have really enjoyed watching the way our dogs engage with different residents. Sometimes you can just see that there’s more of a connection and it is really fascinating to watch. It’s interesting to see how perceptive the dogs are as well. One dog that can be quite lively will be sat totally still with its head on the lap of a particular resident. It’s all about the connection with the residents and the dogs and just allowing them to interact.

 

Feedback from residents:

We asked some of our residents about their experience of Paws PT visiting them at our homes:

What did you think of the experience?

Angela Lloyd (resident): “It was good thank you, I enjoy it when the animals visit me in my room. The ladies who visit with them are also nice.”

Fiona (daughter of our resident Heather): “Mum and I enjoyed it! Mum has photos of her families’ dogs on the walls in her room. She mentioned how her mother brought Staffordshire bull terriers home from India!”

Olive (resident): “I love it when the dogs visit, I remember a couple of them by name now! The spaniels are my favourite!” [laughing]

 

Would you like to experience it again?

Heather (resident): “Yes, I would, I really enjoy visits from the dogs and enjoy giving them treats.”

Angela (resident): “Yes, I would. If the weather is nice next time, I would like to take them for a walk!”

Olive (resident): “Yes definitely, they are always welcome to visit me!”

 

Paws PT pet therapy now regularly visit Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House, Aylesbury as part of our sense & sensory range of activities.

 

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.

Events, Wellbeing

The benefits of Animal Therapy in Care Homes

 

Amazing Animals Therapy Monkeys – Stone House Nursing Home.

Who?

Here at Amazing Animals, we have been involved in the professional training and supplying of a wide range of animals for the media industry for four decades. Established in 1977, our company has the largest workforce of qualified and experienced animal experts for this type of work in the UK. 

https://www.amazinganimals.co.uk/ 

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 therapy monkeys from Amazing Animals to Stone House Nursing Home. 

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations, such as Amazing Animals, 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 – Ronnie Cann:

What did you think of the experience? – “Amazing, the best thing I’ve ever seen!”

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

Resident – Olive Nicolle:

What did you think of the experience? “I loved it, I saw similar monkeys on the nature programme last night!” [laughing]

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

Resident – Philippa Graham:

What did you think of the experience? “It was funny, they visited me in my room. They were very cute!” [laughing]

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

 

 

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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