National Bird Feeding Month

National Bird Feeding Month

February is National Bird Feeding Month. It is a time to welcome back the birdsong and the early signs of Spring. As the February and March weather can be quite unpredictable, our homes have started to make simple bird feeders to hang in the gardens for our little friends. See our recipe for Bird cake below:

Make a speedy bird cake

Make this quick and easy cake to keep the birds happy!

You will need:

  • Good quality bird seed
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Grated cheese
  • Suet or lard
  • Yoghurt pots
  • String
  • Mixing bowl
  • Scissors

Important notes

Not suitable for people with nut allergies. Note that bird seed, including peanuts bought for birds, is not suitable for human consumption.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Carefully make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot. Thread string through the hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the pot to a tree or your bird table.
  2. Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don’t melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your finger tips. Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds it all together.
  4. Fill your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for an hour or so.

Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table. Watch for greenfinches, tits and possibly even great spotted woodpeckers.

Have fun bird watching!

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Sepsis Awareness

Sepsis Awareness

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.  Medically, Sepsis is your body’s immune system overresponding to an infection.

In February last year, PCH’s Chairman David Arnold sadly passed away due to Sepsis.  On this first anniversary, we thought we’d share links to the Sepsis Trust to increase awareness.

The Sepsis Trust is working to saves lives and improve outcomes for survivors.  They raise public awareness, educate the public and support those affected by sepsis.

During our Devon Care Kitemark conference last year, Pippa Richards – Lead Nurse for sepsis at Musgrove Park Hospital shared a simple video which is available on YouTube, it’s worth a watch, taking only 5 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGfC82UnOH8

The UK Sepsis Trust share sepsis screening and action tools for community nurses and care assistants. The tools are available to view in all our homes.

We already have had PCH staff rightly seek medical help for residents suspecting sepsis.  We hope that increased awareness “Just ask: Could it be Sepsis” will save others and help prevent death from sepsis.

If you would like to join the UK Sepsis Trust’s current campaign “Streets Against Sepsis” please visit their website:  https://sepsistrust.org We will be raising money for the UK Sepsis Trust during 2019 and will let you know further details in due course.

Parkland House validated as Eden Alternative Home

Parkland House validated as Eden Alternative Home

We are very excited to announce that Parkland House has been successfully accredited as an Eden Alternative home and will now join the Eden Alternative UK Register.

It was lovely to meet Helen from Eden Alternative on last week’s inspection and introduce her to Parkland residents, staff and families. We would like to thank the staff at Parkland House for their continuous hard work, love and support to the residents at Parkland House.

Helen from the Eden Alternative, “It was an absolute pleasure to visit Parkland’s on Thursday. It is a lovely home and I am delighted I was able to validate it as an Eden Home”.

The Eden Alternative is an American philosophy which compliments our vision for our homes. It focuses on changing the culture of care, from one where ageing is seen as a period of decline to one where individuals continue to grow.

It is a person centred approach to care aimed to support residents play a full and active role in their community by challenging loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

We believe it helps us provide exceptional care and support from our team who are committed to promoting resident independence and well-being.

The Eden Alternative believes the solution to the three plagues are:
Loneliness is loving companionship. Contact with people and animals in and out of the home.
Helplessness is to create opportunities to give as well as receive care.
Boredom. Daily life full of variety and spontaneity.  Our homes to provide an environment where unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings take place.

We hope that you will support us to ensure residents live the best life possible whilst at Parkland House. We look forward to receiving the certificate of validation and Eden Tree plaque to share with the residents and staff.

New Year, New Career?

New Year, New Career?

Recruitment in the care sector is at an all-time low, this is a particular challenge for Peninsula Care Homes due to the remote location of some of our Devon based Homes.

We want to allay the rumours that the general public have about careers in care and promote the roles, ‘working in care is immensely fun, sometimes challenging, but always rewarding and enjoyable!’

At Peninsula we believe that every one of our staff plays a key role in providing outstanding care. We want our staff to perform to their best.  Staff are genuinely kind and compassionate and often go the extra mile to provide residents with excellent, high quality care.  We support residents based on their individual needs and strive to maintain the best possible quality of life in a home from home environment.

We find out as much as possible about each of our residents; who would have known that John has visited twelve Countries, Margaret has met the Queen three times and that Cyril was a mountaineer… residents relish the opportunity to share stories and staff love listening to them.

If you are a tactile person, many of our residents still enjoy human touch, cuddles, kisses and hand holding are free of charge and can change the way someone is feeling in an instance.

In return we provide a wide range of training delivered in-house or using outside providers, senior staff are encouraged to mentor junior staff and all our managers have an open door policy.  Staff attend seminars and conferences based around the ever changing culture in care.  Staff recently experienced the Virtual Dementia Tour, which provided an excellent insight into what living with dementia may be like.

It is possible to have a career in care, we have had staff commence as Carers, progress to Senior Carers, Team Leaders and eventually become Registered Managers.  Other roles include our Activity Co-ordinators who provide entertainment for physical and mental stimulation as well as general well-being.  Residents often rekindle hobbies and interests that they may not have done for 50 years…  Our Cooks prepare good quality home cooked food and are encouraged to interact with residents to find out the likes and dislikes.  Domestic and laundry teams have a huge part to play, chatting to residents as they go about their daily routines. Admin staff, maintenance staff, kitchen assistants to name a few.

Working hours are flexible too, you can do a 6 hour or 12 hour shift, therefore you could work three 12 hour shifts and have a four day weekend!

In summing up, our residents are never lonely and neither are our staff.  If you have ever thought about a career in care, what’s stopping you?

Contact us today via Facebook, Twitter, http://www.peninsulacarehomes.co.uk or email enquiries@peninsulacarehomes.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Christmas 2018

Happy Christmas 2018

We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.  Christmas for many is a magical time.  Christmas carols, gift exchanges and family feasts are just some of the enduring traditions that make the season one of the world’s favourite holidays.  It’s a time to reflect on happy memories of family gatherings, and festive cheer.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each of our staff for their continued dedication to providing outstanding care and ensuring our homes run well.  All of them will be juggling their own celebrations with their work and we thank them for this.

Whilst Christmas for most is a magical time it is also a time to reflect on life as it was, perhaps remembering those that are no longer with us or families that we cannot visit due to distance or other circumstances.  It is a time to think about those less fortunate than ourselves.

All of us at Peninsula Care Homes would like to wish our residents, their families and our staff a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Technology in our homes

Technology in our homes

Technology has now become a part of our everyday lives and is providing many great opportunities in the care home environment.

In most care homes and nursing homes you will find residents or staff using tablets or phones to play music or videos for residents. They may even be used to play games such as solitaire, chess or puzzles. You may also hear ‘Alexa’ taking commands to play certain playlists or ask questions during a quiz. Here is an article we found useful https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2018/10/18/talking-alexa-assistive-technology-can-help-adult-social-care-services/

The world nowadays is much more interactive and we are excited to be introducing a range of technology into our homes. So far Bramble Down residents enjoy iPad club and the Echo Dot Quiz time, so we would like to carry this trend across the PCH group.

We currently have an iPad for each home to use with a Google Chromecast which will enable staff to show residents their favourite movies,videos or music playlists. It will also be used for more interactive quizzes and games with images and video. We have also started to introduce the Amazon Echo which voices ‘Alexa’ to become a host to a range of activities.

Some of the requests Bramble Down residents have been asking Alexa to play include: Joyce Grenfell, Victor Sylvester, Frank Crumit, Harry Secombe, The Goons and Edmond Hockridge. We know one resident at Bramble Down has put an Echo Dot on his Christmas list!

We hope our staff will find the new technology useful,helpful and beneficial for activities with residents. We would like to encourage residents, families and friends to join in use of the iPads, Chrome Casts and Amazon Echo’s. We would also welcome your best troubleshooting tech tips on the use of the new tech, as most of us know it’s great until it needs an update!

We look forward to seeing the outcome the new gadgets provide in the homes.

Our Top 10 Present Ideas 2018

Our Top 10 Present Ideas 2018

We have asked each home to tell us the top ten presents they would suggest for residents this Christmas. They were actually nearly all the same so here they are in no particular order:

  1. Technology as suitable (Echo Dot, tablet)
  2. Slippers and/or shoes
  3. Sweets and/or chocolate
  4. Jumper or cardigan
  5. Create resident own playlist of favourite music
  6. Favourite tipple
  7. Photoframe
  8. Calendar
  9. Plant – amaryllis are popular
  10. Hairdresser or pampering voucher

Our last request is please do buy clothes that are suitable for tumble dryers and of course don’t forget to label them please. Happy Christmas shopping!

Eden Alternative

Eden Alternative

Parkland House are hoping to become an Eden Alternative accredited Home. Why do we want to achieve this and what is the Eden Alternative?

The Eden Alternative is an American philosophy which compliments our vision for our homes. It focuses on changing the culture of care, from one where ageing is seen as a period of decline to one where individuals continue to grow.

The Eden Alternative is a person centred approach to care aimed to support residents play a full and active role in their community by challenging loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

We believe it helps us provide exceptional care and support from our team who are committed to promoting resident independence and well-being.

The Eden Alternative believes the solution to the three plagues are:
Loneliness is loving companionship. Contact with people and animals in and out of the home.
Helplessness is to create opportunities to give as well as receive care.
Boredom. Daily life full of variety and spontaneity.  Our homes to provide an environment where unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings take place.

We hope that you will support us to ensure residents live the best life possible whilst at Parkland House.

Parkland House staff completing Eden Training with other Devon Care Kite Mark Homes
Remembrance Day at Coppelia House

Remembrance Day at Coppelia House

Our Homes all like to pay their respects on Remembrance Day, honouring all those that fought for our country.

Each Home created their own display within the Home or garden.  Coppelia House wanted to link their remembrance to their local community Moretonhampstead.

Resident Robert Beer who served in the RAF, went to the local memorial ceremony and laid a wreath on behalf of Coppelia residents and staff.

Within Coppelia’s garden, poppies were made by the residents, each poppy recorded the names of those lost from Moretonhampstead.  Residents also made purple poppy’s to pay tribute to the many animals lost in war.

Within the Home residents’ created a display to greet visitors. They also made poppy plaques for their front doors and decorated the dining room.

Residents watched the remembrance service which was especially poignant on the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War.

National Baking Week

National Baking Week

If you have visited any of our homes in the lately you would be under the impression that we LOVE baking!

After a successful trial runs, our Activity Coordinators are now running fortnightly cooking clubs for residents to take part in baking some traditional cakes, biscuits, sweets and desserts.

The cooking clubs are very popular and a firm favourite among residents and visitors. One family member mentioned she loves to visit during the cooking club to make cakes with her mum as she used to quite often and that it has been great for involving family members.

The smell of freshly baked treats brings back so many wonderful memories, but of course it is all about the bake. Reports are good and so far no bake off disasters!

We see and hear how much joy baking brings our residents and we look forward to sharing more of their bakes with you.