Virtual Dementia Tour 2017

Virtual Dementia Tour 2017

PCH staff recently took part in the Virtual Dementia Tour training and our Parkland House poets have produced another touching poem to share their experience of the tour.

Walking the Dementia path.

parkland-poem-vdt

You are you and I am I,

Today we walked in your dementia shoes,

The experience made us sad,

The emotions you feel every day,

We have never been able to fully understand,

As we entered the room, time stood still,

This is how you must feel,

The darkness overcame us all,

It was hard not to fall,

Our senses had disappeared,

Then the unknown had appeared.

We had no feeling in our hands and feet,

Our eyes were covered with what seemed like a black sheet,

You live each day like this,

Staring sadly into the abyss.

During the tour we took comfort in knowing we can return,

But this saddens us you can’t, but we’ll help you and learn,

We felt the daily obstacles that get in your path,

We will take these away with a smile with all the staff,

The voices that you hear are loud and unclear,

We can now understand to try and ease that fear,

The sounds you hear must make you disorientated,

But we can promise- our reassurances won’t be belated,

Now we can walk beside you, we’ve been in your shoes,

We will live in the moment with you, we have nothing to lose,

We’ll make the moments as special as you are,

Even if they are few and far.

Now we’ve walked the dementia tour,

We can help to comfort you more,

The darkness that surrounds you,

We felt that too,

We’ll help to bring the light,

We will make it shine, make it bright.

By Lyn, Bekki, Rhianne

Guest Blog: #UnitedAgainstDementia for Dementia Awareness Week

Guest Blog: #UnitedAgainstDementia for Dementia Awareness Week

Peninsula Care Homes are raising awareness for Dementia Awareness Week from the 14th to the 20th of May 2017. This week’s guest blog comes from PCH Marketing and Admin Coordinator, Nikita Morgan.

I am the Marketing & Admin Coordinator at Peninsula Care Homes and I look after the company’s social media, website and publications. In this blog post I am looking back at my first year at PCH and my experience with dementia.

This time last year I joined PCH and took up my first role in the care industry. Being completely new to the industry, I quickly learnt how important it was to be aware of dementia and how to help those living with it. Visiting the care homes for the first time I could witness just how much hard work its staff members put in daily and nightly. Almost instantly I was completely drawn into the passion the caregivers gave doing their jobs and helping residents.

It has been heavily reported that dementia is set to be one of the UK’s biggest killer. With too many facing it alone, it is more important now more than ever to unite against the condition and to understand how to help those living with it. This was something I turned my focus towards.

As each of our residential homes care for residents living with dementia, this was something I familiarised myself with quickly. From watching the PCH staff when visiting the care homes for the first time, it was clear this kind, caring and patient nature was not just essential but almost second nature as they went about their duties

Part of my role at PCH is to keep up to date with local communities and strengthen our relationships with our organisations. PCH are members of the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, a group founded by Gina Awad with one goal, ‘to create a more dementia friendly community’. More recently our Plympton care home have become members of the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance, another great opportunity to help support their local events and raise awareness in the Plymouth area.

The Alliance has created some fantastic opportunities for local care homes, including ourselves, and families to get involved in fun events and exciting activities in the city. It has also raised significant awareness in the city for those living with dementia, from the Royal Albert Museum holding craft classes for those living with dementia to come with their families or carers, to dementia friendly screenings at the local Picture House. All of which are to help Exeter become a more dementia friendly community.

In addition to Company training on dementia many PCH staff have chosen to become Dementia Friends. You can become a Dementia friend by taking a course that inspires and teaches the fundamentals to understanding dementia and those affected. I joined the course and received my lovely forget me not Dementia Friend Badge, with the little book of friendship as part of completing the course.

I recently completed the Virtual Dementia Tour; a course that puts you through a virtual reality experience simulating how an individual may experience living with dementia. It was such an incredible experience which will stay with me. It was almost like a light-bulb moment and after the course I understood a great deal more about the symptoms of dementia and how I can help the care homes and residents going forward. For an example, I learned that the primary colours are the last colours to be identified – this helps me when I am designing posters, newsletters and food menus, etc, to make them more dementia friendly.

virtual-dementia-tour

My understanding of dementia has grown as well as my passion to help those living with the symptoms. I hope you join us and the national conversation this Dementia Awareness Week and stand ‘United Against Dementia’. Contact our homes or your local community to find out what activities are taking place across the week.  Or simply join in the conversation across social media by using #UnitedAgainstDementia and #DAW17.

Donkey Awareness Week 2017

Donkey Awareness Week 2017

You will often see Donkey’s visiting our care homes and as its Donkey Awareness Week we thought we would highlight why we have donkeys and other animals visit our homes.

Donkey Awareness Week is a time to encourage everyone to get up close and personal with the donkeys at our local Sanctuary. For many of us Sidmouth is our local Sanctuary and we are fortunate that donkeys visit our homes too.  Residents and staff enjoy petting and stroking the donkey visitors and sometimes even feed them a treat or two.

parkland-house-donkey-visit

Pets and animals generally hold a special place in many people’s hearts and lives, and there is compelling evidence that interacting with pets can be beneficial to the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of humans.  Dr William Thomas who designed the Eden Alternative training believed that animals could lessen the sense of boredom and loneliness for those in care.

Moving into a care home shouldn’t be the end of animal contact and that’s why we arrange many visits.  Some of our recent animal visitors have been: – staff pets, donkeys, Birds of Prey and local zoos with a collection of reptiles and other creepy crawlies.  Some of our homes even have their own animals with fish, turtle, tortoise, guinea pigs, birds and rabbits all looked after by staff and residents.

coppelia-house-falconry-visit

Many residents look forward to the animal visits, they spark conversation which can lead to sharing of memories and emotions. Or an animal just may provide companionship and enjoy sitting on a resident’s lap being stroked.

Parkland House Poets present ‘This is your home’

Parkland House Poets present ‘This is your home’

Following the success of their Christmas and Easter message, the Parkland House poets have surprised us again with another touching poem reflecting the removal of wearing a uniform in the care home.

This is your home, and we’d like to welcome you,

We’ll open our arms and guide you,

Now this is your home, we’ll help you to embrace,

We’ll ensure you have your own space.

 

We are all here together to share the day,

We will help the bad days fade away,

Nothing is more important than wearing a smile,

To provide that extra mile.

 

Uniforms we used were once adorned,

Now we have been reformed.

No longer do we wear the barrier that separates us,

Wearing our smiles and our individuality is a must.

 

Now the uniforms have gone,

As carers we feel re-born,

We can unite as one,

As the uniforms are done.

 

Uniforms say to dementia you are ill and different from me,

Now our own clothing says we are a part of your family,

Everyone likes our bright colours we wear,

It makes them smile, comment and stare.

 

The uniforms gave a clinical air,

Now our clothing says we are fair,

We still approach with respect and care,

We are a part of the family that’s always there.

By Rhianne, Bekki, Lyn, Ann

Quote – “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”

Nelson Mandela.

Easter at Peninsula Care Homes

Easter at Peninsula Care Homes

Peninsula Care Homes would like to wish everyone a lovely Easter and invites you to join in our Easter celebrations in our Devon care homes. Our budding Parkland Poets have surprised us with another touching poem to reflect Easter time at Peninsula Care Homes.

parkland-house-vegetable-allotments

Easter at Peninsula is a special time,

To over indulge in chocolate and wine,

We’ll sing and dance along to the Easter parade,

While drinking a sherry and lemonade.

 

We will help residents to make an Easter bonnet,

And they will choose what they want upon it.

They may choose a rose or a love bird two,

With a wide floppy brim to keep off the dew.

 

Everyone loves visits from family and friends,

But Easter time is not where it ends,

We will all celebrate with yummy food,

simnel cake, hot cross buns and chocolate too.

 

We will still remember why Easter is here,

And let residents know to us they are very dear,

We’ll celebrate the re birth of Christ,

And we will make the day for everyone ever so nice.

by our lovely Parkland Poets

Guest Blog: #NationalGardeningWeek

Guest Blog: #NationalGardeningWeek

It is National Gardening Week from 10th-16th April and our care home gardens are starting to spring into action. Parkland House gardener Nik, shares her guest blog with us.

Hello there, I am Nik from Trusty Tools and I take care of the garden at Parkland House.

As the garden awakens in April there are some sunny days perfect for sitting in the garden, hearing the birds and bees calling in the Spring.

The Daffodils, Narcissus and Crocuses planted last Autumn are already in out in all their glory, and the tulips are following closely behind. The Hyacinths planted by the residents look splendid, they were potted up for some to be taken indoors so that all the residents could experience them.

It is time to be vigilant against weeds as the longer days trigger faster growth and to keep watch for the warning silvery trails of slugs and snails that love the Hosta shoots starting to appear now.

When selecting what plants to grow, we try to pick ones that satisfy as many of the senses as possible: bright colours, strong scents and tactile plants like Amaranths.

We are now planting bulbs for Summer: vibrant Sparaxis, Lilies and Gladioli. The Sweet Peas planted last Autumn have been hardened off and moved out to the raised beds. We all look forward to the smell of the Sweet Peas. This year’s one is called “Dusty Springfield” and we chose it for its fast growth, bright pink colour and heavy scent.

The residents enjoy getting involved with the new raised beds, they were designed for easy access so no needing to bend down to plant a seed or to get at the dandelion you want to pull out! In one of the beds we have planted a few vegetables, these go into the kitchen for soups and salads, so the fruits of labour can be savoured by all.

parkland-gardening

Please let your care home manager or activities co-ordinator know if you would like to help out or join in the residents gardening activities, we would like to hear from you.

John’s Campaign

John’s Campaign

Peninsula Care Homes is pleased to support John’s Campaign, which supports the rights of people living with dementia to be supported by their family carers. Named after Dr John Gerrard, who died in November 2014 after a catastrophic stay in hospital.  Following his death his daughter wanted to improve life for those living with dementia who need to stay in hospital.

The campaign was launched with a single, simple principle: We should not enforce disconnection between carers and those who need care. When someone with dementia is hospitalized, the medical staff should do all within their power to make access easy for family carers and utilise their expert knowledge and their love.

Throughout the country over 400 wards and hospitals have made pledges to improve the care to those living with dementia, being more open, welcoming and supportive of carers.  More recently the campaign has been adopted by residential and nursing homes across the company.

By joining the campaign we are reiterating our commitment to provide the best possible care to those living in our homes and support to their carers. Carers/families are more than “visitors” to a person with dementia; they are an integral part of that person’s life and identity and often their best means of connection with the world.

At Peninsula we do not have visiting hours and welcome visitors at any time.  Families and friends are encouraged to be part of the life of the home.  Many help with the gardening, arts and crafts, attending parties, and joining us with outings. Families join our meetings and contribute to sharing ideas, experiences and improvement plans within the homes.

It is well documented that knowing an individual’s life history enables Homes to care for them in the best possible way.  We rely on families to offer insights and help us learn about a resident’s preferences, hobbies, past life stories.  Whilst attending Eden Alternative training recently we were asked to share a small pleasure….for many it was the first mug of coffee, served in their favourite mug and made with just the perfect amount of sugar and milk.  It is these small pleasures that family can share and make such a difference to us delivering quality care personalised to the individual.

We look forward to seeing John’s Campaign continue to grow momentum and help make a positive difference to those living with dementia in our care and when they have to visit hospital.

http://johnscampaign.org.uk/#/

World Down Syndrome Day 2017

World Down Syndrome Day 2017

If you visit bramble Down on March 21st don’t be surprised if you see everyone wearing odd socks, short socks, long socks, t-shirts with socks on.  This is all part of campaign to raise awareness of Down Syndrome during its 12th anniversary of Word Down Syndrome Day.

The day hopes to improve awareness of Down Syndrome and enable people with Down Syndrome to speak up, to be heard and influence government policy and action and to be fully included in the community.

For our Bramble Down Manager Sue, the campaign is very close to her heart as her grandson Luca has Down Syndrome. Luca’s mum says “When we first heard Luca’s diagnosis we were sent into a whirlwind of questions and emotions.  With such little knowledge and understanding of Down Syndrome it was difficult to comprehend what the future might hold for him and for us as a family. If I knew then what I know now there is no way I’d have been so petrified of what lay head.  We believe in the work that the Down Syndrome Association (DSA) do.  With such a huge variety of information and resources from new parents through to adulthood, the DSA is always my first port of call with any questions I might have or help we might need.”

Sue says that like all her grandchildren “every milestone he has achieved has been celebrated just as any other child, it has just taken him a little longer but he achieved them and that’s what matters. As a family, Luca has enriched our lives and we have supported the Downs Syndrome Association. Some of our fund raising efforts have included a sponsored sky dive, organising a Father Christmas grotto as well as a Christmas Faye to name a few.”

Every year on 21st March we all wear our odd socks and encourage our work places to raise money for the World Down Syndrome Day. It is time to do this again so we will all be in our bright fun coloured odd socks.

#wdsd17 #MyVoiceMyCommunity

National Pie Week

National Pie Week

It’s National Pie week this week in Britain and we’ve been discussing pies in our homes.  One interesting debate was what makes a pie a pie?  For some it has to have pastry somewhere in the dish whether it be the base, the topping or all over.  For others it’s something cooked in a “pie dish” so could be cottage pie, shepherd’s pie.

There was a petition in recent years to define a pie as “a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry” anything without a pastry base should not be classed as a pie. One resident said it was only a pie if it had some booze in the sauce naming steak and ale pie as the winner.

With all the talk of savoury pies it’s important not to forget sweet pies like traditional apple pie or mince pies at Christmas.  Both are favourites with many of our residents.

According to research 75% of people enjoy a pie at least once a month.  Whatever your view we hope you enjoy National Pie Week…. The Homes menu’s include Steak & Kidney Pie, Cottage Pie and Chicken & Mushroom pie along with fruit pies for dessert.

National Hot Breakfast Month

National Hot Breakfast Month

February is National Hot Breakfast Month.  Within our homes porridge is a popular choice as is some or all elements of a full English Breakfast.  Breakfast is often reported to be the most important meal of the day with sayings “eat like a King at breakfast” often quoted.  It breaks the fast of the night and is important part of achieving good nutrition and hydration. Many of us grab something on the go, or quickly eat a bowl of cereal or round of toast before dashing off.  On these recent cold mornings something hot may break the cycle of coldness.

So what is your favourite hot breakfast?  In Japan the traditional breakfast would include rice, seafood and fermented foods.  In India different areas have their own traditions and specialities which may include stuffed breads and spicy vegetables.  In America the stack of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup is popular.    Other options you could consider eggs benedict, scrambled eggs on toast, and boiled eggs with soldiers, frittata, pancakes or waffles.

To accompany your hot breakfast what is your drink of choice: cold juice, nice cup of tea or a coffee?

We thank Robin at Cornerways for sharing a picture of a cooked breakfast he prepared for one the residents breakfast. It certainly looks like a feast fit for a King and an excellent way to start the day.