What music would be on your favourite playlist?

What music would be on your favourite playlist?

Have you ever had the experience of hearing a piece of music on the radio and been transported back to a time, place or event in our lives?  Perhaps it was your first dance at your wedding, a concert you attended or a track from your favourite musical.  Music is so powerful for so many of us and more and more research is highlighting the additional benefit for those living with a dementia.

The power of music, seems to reach parts of the brain in ways other forms of communication cannot. Some studies are showing that finding the right music for an individual may result in less anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medication. Individually chosen music can aid therapeutic benefits of other music provided by our homes.

Our appeal is that families help create a personalised playlist for their relative in our care.  You may not know all their favourite music but you probably know more than you think.  I can think back to my grandmother’s house and I probably would have found a number of clues to help me select music: sheet music, programmes from musicals, memory of her singing as she baked cakes, and the theme tune to her favourite TV programme to name a few.

We would love for our residents to have a playlist of music that means the most to them.  It could be on an iPod, tablet or other device and staff would gladly play the music and hear the stories it uncovers. The music might soothe, calm, comfort, or even provide an opportunity to get up and dance.

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Alzheimer’s Society Blog: Gina Awad Dementia Friendly Awards 2017: Last year’s winner, one year on

Alzheimer’s Society Blog: Gina Awad Dementia Friendly Awards 2017: Last year’s winner, one year on

Last year saw founder of the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, Gina Awad, win her award for Dementia Friends Champion of the Year 2016.  Several of our homes are members of the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance and we work closely with Gina to help raise awareness of building a more dementia friendly community in Exeter. The Alzheimer’s Society reflect on last years winners as 2017 nomination open.

With nominations for 2017’s Dementia Friendly Awards now open, one of last year’s winners Gina Awad explains how work continues in her local community.

Since winning the award for Dementia Friends Champion of the Year in 2016, I have continued to raise awareness across Exeter.

In this busy, vibrant city a transformation in the perception of dementia is beginning to take shape. It’s inspiring to see this vision of a dementia friendly community embraced with open arms, but there is still much more to do. As we know change is tough, but being open to change is a key starting point.

Building the movement

I am certainly not superwoman and at times I’ve genuinely struggled juggling work, being a mum, following my passion in dementia and working towards the completion of my BSc in Health & Social Care through the Open University.

But I’m proud to continue delivering regular Dementia Friends sessions, which have now reached more than 1,300 people. These sessions have ranged in diversity from GP practices to supermarkets, coffee shops and yoga festivals. I even led a session in Beijing airport when I trekked the Great Wall of China for dementia research!

I also continue to present my quarterly community radio show on Phonic FM, ‘Living better with dementia’. The show gives a platform for people living with dementia to share personal stories and experiences, as well as giving innovators the space to share new and existing initiatives.

Empowering the community

What I’ve discovered more recently is the power of collaboration and partnership and how it moves mountains. We have a lot to learn from eachother, and by sharing fresh perspectives and ideas we can achieve so much more.

I have delivered more than 90 individual Dementia Friends sessions to date. What’s even more important, though, is developing a collaborative approach with local businesses and organisations to further the reach of this evolving community work.

The Dementia Friends social action movement has been pivotal in bringing local organisations into the fold. To date the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance has received commitment from 58 organisations – a tremendous achievement that I feel very proud to have played a part in.

Learning never stops

Even at this stage in my journey, there is always more to learn. So it has been heartening to receive support from the community as I chose to further my education in dementia following my degree.

With trepidation, I took the plunge to crowdfund an online Post Graduate Certificate in Dementia Studies with Stirling University. Last week I achieved my funding target thanks to the generosity of those who have supported my voluntary work. What can I say… I don’t have words!

I am not unique as a Dementia Friends Champion. There are so many fantastic individuals across the country making tremendous differences daily and I salute you all.

For anyone who wants to join the movement, all I’d say is that Dementia Friends has changed my life. Being honoured for my work is a welcome bonus and for that I am truly thankful.

Blog posted here: https://blog.alzheimers.org.uk/inside-the-society/dementia-friendly-awards-winner/

Memory Walk 2017 Exeter

Memory Walk 2017 Exeter

On Sunday 3rd September some Peninsula Care Homes staff joined hundreds of people walking for the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk.

Starting in Exwick playing fields near the canal we walked just under 5 miles taking in some of the canal views and wildlife. It was an extremely damp day with pouring rain but didn’t prevent us and many others walking for Alzheimer’s Society.

Should you wish to donate please visit our fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/MW41275x

Our next walk/run is supporting the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance. The Muddiford’s Cheese Run is on October 8th and includes a 5 mile scenic run/walk from Burlescombe Village along The Grand Western Canal finishing at Muddiford’s Court Country House. After the finishing line we can enjoy the fun day.

muddifords-cheese-run-2017

Parkland House Bake Off

Parkland House Bake Off

On your marks, get set, baaake!

It’s that time of year again and everyone’s favourite excuse to get baking.

Each year the Great British Bake Off series on TV is enjoyed by millions and continues to be one of the nations most talked about topic.

Last year’s Bake Off saw Candice Brown crowned as the winner. Only a short while after GBBO fans were shocked as the show announced its move to Channel 4. With this even further disappointment followed when Mary Berry announced she would not be returning for the series on Channel 4, along with most loved comedy duo Mel and Sue.

Parkland House have been testing their baking skills over the last few weeks, just in time to watch the beginning of the new Great British Bake Off series.

parkland-bake-off-cupcakes

Residents have been reading through old recipe books and picking their favourite baking treats. Parkland’s activity coordinators helped to set up a baking factory in the new lounge so everyone could have a go at making some delicious fairy cupcakes.

It was a very busy afternoon, greatly enjoyed by all and finished with a lovely spread of cupcakes, teas and coffees.

parkland-bake-off-1

Whilst we may not be having a bake off between the Homes each home over the series will be using the Great British Bake Off as an excuse to try new cakes or enjoy their current favourites. Why not dig out some old recipes books at home or ask relatives for their recipe recommendations and give them a try?

Peninsula Care Homes are members of the Devon Care Kite Mark and will be attending its Thanksgiving Jamboree on Thursday 23rd November. All attendees are invited to bring a cake, this year the entrants must be fit for Thanksgiving. All entries are judged on presentation and then donated to St. Petrock’s, a charity in Exeter for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed.

Happy Baking!

Moretonhampstead Carnival Week 2017

Moretonhampstead Carnival Week 2017

Coppelia residents are looking forward to enjoying Moretonhampstead Carnival Week.  The residents love watching all the different entries to the parade on Carnival Day on Thursday 24th August.

Moretonhampstead Carnival has been running for around 90 years, stopping only during the war years.  The funds raised used to go to local hospitals until the hospitals were taken over by the Health Service.  Since then money raised is used to support local organisations.

The carnival remains a really popular event with activities leading up to the grand procession.  This years theme will be Rock n Roll and Coppelia House residents have called their entry “You are never too old to have fun! Let’s take you back to 1951”.

carnival-prep-1

Ladies will be dressed as teddy girls in skirts & scarves which they have helped to make or chosen their own clothes. Gentlemen will be dressed as teddy boys and have picked bright colours for the trim on their jackets, with bolo ties which residents helped to make.

carnival-prep-5

Ladies have also made mock milkshakes to hold as well as cheerleader style ‘pom poms’. Finishing touches will include inflatable guitars and a jukebox.

carnival-prep-8

Some staff will also be dressed in the 1950’s theme to make for a very colourful entry.

Coppelia residents will be an official entry on the programme with the procession starting at 6.30 pm. On August 23rd they will be a dress rehearsal for the outside entertainer at 2pm with his Rock n Roll special.

 

National Allotment Week Memories

National Allotment Week Memories

There are celebrations throughout the country during this year’s National Allotment Week which takes part 14th-21st August.  The theme is “Growing the Movement” to thank everyone who is helping to create, develop and safeguard future sites.

So many of our homes have vegetable patches which are looked after by residents and staff.  Bramble Down recently contributed to the 45th Denbury Flower and Produce Show, entering flowers, vegetables, poems and a Dundee cake.  They received a number of prizes for their entries including the “Brooking Trophy” for the “floral art exhibit that most pleased the judges”.  So much fun was had in preparation and joining in the village show.

national-allotment-week-2017

For one Coppelia House resident we have created his own allotment within our garden.  He regularly supplies the kitchen with his fresh produce- potatoes and runner beans are the most popular choice.  It often starts a conversation about memories of grandfathers sitting in the corner of the kitchen stringing the runner beans.

coppelia-gardener

During National Allotment week our residents will take the opportunity to reminisce about experiences of allotments.  Many people talk about the sense of community between allotment members, others remember the competition on who could grow the best produce, sharing tips on pest control and how to keep the birds away whether it be stringing CDs or scarecrows.

Guest Blog: Cornerways RM Debbie Flynn shares her career experience in the care industry.

Guest Blog: Cornerways RM Debbie Flynn shares her career experience in the care industry.

Have you thought about a career in care?  Our Manager of Cornerways, Debbie shares her journey as she progressed within Cornerways.

I had worked in retail and then an office based environment for many years and did not think I would be able to have a career in the care industry.

I had previously helped look after my grandad and I thought I could do a better job than the carers that we were paying were doing.

They were asking him if he wanted to do things instead of encouraging him, for example do you want a shave and not getting the hot soapy water and shaving things to prompt him.  As he was of the generation where he did not want to bother anyone and he would just say no I`m fine.

I was totally frustrated by this experience as we were paying for an hour of care a day and they were with him for less than 10 minutes.  It was this insight into the care industry that became my inspiration to make a change and a difference.

I stopped the carers we were paying for and supported the rest of the family to look after him properly.  After losing my Grandad I thought I would love to do this for a job, so I applied to Cornerways for a care assistant`s job.  I applied because I had a lot of common sense and the ability to communicate and listen which I feel are the main skills required as it is not rocket science.

The opportunities were available for me to progress quickly as I had the determination and focus.  I achieved my NVQ`s in social care, which led me to become a senior carer then team leader.  In June 2014 I was offered the position of Manager and accepted.

Since becoming manager I have continued my learning.  I still remember my Grandad and take special care of all my residents to ensure they have the care they deserve.

We are always looking for individuals who wish to start or progress their careers in the care industry.  As a company we offer a lot of training but you need to have the compassion and willingness to make the difference.

Living Will or Lasting Power of Attorney? How to make the right choice

Living Will or Lasting Power of Attorney? How to make the right choice

We have asked Mark Lister, solicitor and director of Fortress Law Limited, to explain the differences between Living Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney for health and care decisions and to highlight the nature and effect of each legal arrangement.

Living Will or Lasting Power of Attorney? How to make the right choice by Mark Lister.

Planning for the future and a time when you may no longer have the mental capacity to make your own choices in life is something that many people choose not to think about and yet the alternative, to do nothing and hope that the worst will not happen, is a far more concerning prospect.

Mark Lister, a director and specialist in older client matters, looks in this article at Lasting Powers of Attorney and Living Wills, explaining the differences between the two legal arrangements and why it is important to carefully consider which option is the more appropriate choice for your circumstances.

Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced in October 2007 yet are still widely misunderstood. Research conducted by the Office of the Public Guardian revealed that almost half of respondents (45 per cent) had never heard of Lasting Powers of Attorney, or knew nothing about it. When respondents were told about it, around a third (34 per cent) were keen to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney at some point in the future. This research dates back to 2014 and, three years on, it would be interesting to know just how many have followed through with their good intentions.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, you can choose whether to use a Lasting Power of Attorney or a Living Will when making arrangements for future medical treatment. As both directives have different functions, careful consideration should be given as to which one is more appropriate.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will allows you to refuse specific medical treatment if, at some point in the future, when treatment is to be given, you have lost capacity to give your consent to it. A valid Living Will can, for instance, act as a refusal of treatment, such as a transfusion of blood and would therefore mean that the treatment specified cannot lawfully be given. The document must give details of exactly what treatment you want to refuse and explain in what circumstances it should apply. It is also useful to give reasons for the decision, for example, religion.

If you wish to refuse life sustaining treatment then your Living Will must be in writing and signed by you in front of a witness. It must also contain a specific statement which says that your Living Will applies even when your life is at risk.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Care Decisions?

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare allows you to appoint attorneys to make decisions regarding your health and welfare when you no longer have the mental capacity to make such decisions yourself. These decisions can include decisions regarding the sort of healthcare you require, moving you to a residential care home, as well as day-to-day issues such as your diet and dress.

There is also an option for you to give your attorneys the authority to consent or to refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf. Life sustaining treatment means care, surgery, medicine or other help from doctors that’s needed to keep you alive, for example:

–        A serious operation, such as a heart bypass or organ transplant

–        Cancer treatment

–        Artificial nutrition or hydration (food or water given other than by mouth).

Whether some treatments are life-sustaining depends on the situation. For instance, if you had pneumonia, a simple course of antibiotics could be life-sustaining.

The main focus here is that you would be delegating such powers to your Attorneys who may not agree on the best course of action should you appoint more than one Attorney. They may even agree on giving you life sustaining treatment even though it may not be your wish. Delegating such decisions to other people can be quite stressful for them given that they will already be distressed about your then current predicament.

Do I need both a Living Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It is important to note that if you make a Living Will but afterwards make an Lasting Power of Attorney, the Lasting Power of Attorney will take priority to make decisions about the same treatment. Where a valid and applicable Living Will is made after a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Living Will takes priority.

It is important to consider carefully what it is you want to achieve in creating either of the above documents and how much discretion you want your family and medical professionals to have. It is possible to have both a Living Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, but there should be no conflict between the two documents. If you have clear feelings about what treatment you would like to refuse and in what circumstances treatment, including life sustaining treatment, is to be refused then a Living Will is the best way to record your wishes. If you want to appoint a particular person to make decisions about your day to day health and care then a Lasting Power of Attorney is the best place to do this.

Both documents allow you to have a say over how you should be treated once you no longer have the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. Creating such documents provides guidance to relatives as to your wishes and can help to prevent family disputes over treatment or care.

What is the Difference between a Living Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Care Decisions?

The important difference between the two documents is that you are making your own decision when using a Living Will so it must set out the specific medical treatment that you wish to refuse and the circumstances in which it should apply. Lasting Powers of Attorney, on the other hand, offer more flexibility and provide the appointed attorney with general authority to make decisions on your behalf. In other words, the Living Will is effectively you deciding before anything happens to you the circumstances in which you would and would not wish to receive certain medical treatment whereas a Lasting Power of Attorney delegates those functions to somebody else at a time when they may be very upset and may find it difficult to make a decision.

How do I Put in Place a Living Will or Lasting Power of Attorney?

Advice regarding whether to choose either a Lasting Power of Attorney or a Living Will is something which a specialist legal expert can assist with. Putting in place a directive for your future care is an important decision and there’s no time like the present for sorting this out.

For more information and advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney and Living Wills, please contact Mark Lister on the details below:-

Direct Tel: 01803 896821 Main Tel: 01803 896820 Email: Mark.Lister@fortresslaw.co.uk

Address: Belgrave House, 2 Winner Street, Paignton, Devon TQ3 3BJ

 

 

Celebrate British Flower Week 2017

Celebrate British Flower Week 2017

June 19-25th marks “British Flower Week”, a week-long celebration of British Flowers and the UK cut flower industry.

British cut flowers are enjoying a resurgence in demand as people want to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of locally grown flowers and foliage. British Flower Week believe that our flowers have charm, grace, scents and sustainability.

Personally I love fresh flowers. My favourites are sweet peas and peonies and they make me smile seeing them in a vase at home. Coppelia House usually have some stunning design arrangements using peonies and an assortment of foliage from the garden. They are usually lucky enough to be donated dahlias which also look beautiful around the home.

Residents at Cornerways are always keen to have a flower arranging competition. Maybe they will try and copy one of the five top florists who are commissioned to create 15 exquisite designs, exclusively for each British Flowers Week.

Residents at Plymbridge House are busy ensuring their garden is stunning and are hoping to win Plymouth in Bloom for the fifth year running.

plymbridge-gardens

If you are visiting one of our homes perhaps bring a bunch of fresh British flowers with you or perhaps you’d like to become a volunteer in our gardens or arranging flowers within the home. We would love to have more volunteers and never say no to a fresh bunch of British flowers.

National Picnic Week

National Picnic Week

In the warmer months our residents enjoy taking part in picnic lunches in the gardens. Our homes have various spots with benches and tables to provide the perfect picnic spot. And on occasion residents may enjoy a picnic on a trip out to the seaside.

Putting together a picnic is great fun and something we all love to do when the sun is shining. It is also a great opportunity for our residents to join in social interactions in what may have been considered a family and friends summer tradition.

Top tips for a picnic:

Be prepared: Fill up your picnic hamper with all the essentials and the extras. Don’t forget the cheese and crackers for light nibbles and plenty of plates!

Let’s entertain: As well as lots of lovely food and drinks to choose from, packing some books, games and perhaps a music player would be great for those looking to relax.

Cover up: As the perfect picnic weather appears, it is important not to forget to apply sun protectors, such as creams or sprays and be prepared for insect bites or high pollen counts. Pack items which may provide shade and covers for food.

Keep it clean: Enjoy a great picnic and always leave the area as you found it!