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.

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Libraries Week

Libraries Week

PCH Marketing & Admin Coordinator, Nikita Morgan on Libraries Week 2018

Do we make the most out of our library services?

Something I was questioned about at a recent Literacy meeting at my daughter’s school to help develop her reading and writing skills. It got me thinking do we really make the most of visiting our local libraries and using the resources available to all of us? And how can I help bring the library experience to our homes?

As part of learning from a young age, we are encouraged to read and be read to as much as possible and as it has been regularly publicized, continuing to read books boosts our mental well-being.

As we focus on Libraries Week we are also helping raise awareness of World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10th October. As part of everyday care in our homes, our staff make a huge effort to initiate positive thinking from residents. Sometimes by simply starting a conversation & giving positive comments or feedback. Some staff will pick up a book or newspaper to read with a resident so they can still enjoy the experience.

Books have always been a part of our lives and routines at home and often provide an escape from the stresses of every day life. Many or our residents enjoy their weekly or monthly subscriptions to their favourite newspaper or magazines. Our homes will always have a selection of novels to read in the lounges which are available to everyone. It is great to see them sharing the news or story with others and members of staff, it goes to show it is a great form of communication and social interaction.

Some of our homes are lucky to be in areas close to a local library and have in the past had the library visit the home. As part of Libraries Week, we are working with our activity staff to arrange visits with residents to their local libraries and include a coffee stop at the library café if available. Visiting a library would have been a weekly occurrence for some of our residents and we would like to help re-create this for them.

We are always happy to hear from volunteers who perhaps would like to spend some time reading with residents, please do get in touch. If you have any books you would like to donate, do let us know, they will always be greatly appreciated in the homes.

Happy Libraries Week and happy World Mental Health Day!

 

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day

This year National Poetry Day falls on Thursday 4th October 2018 and the theme is ‘Change’. It was founded in 1994 by charity Forward Arts Foundation, who like to celebrate the importance and excellence of things poetry.

National Poetry Day is an annual celebration that is set to inspire as many people in the UK as possible and grow their audience. The day is supported by organisations such as the BBC, the Royal Mail and leading publishers, booksellers, libraries and schools.

You can get involved by visiting their website https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/about-npd/ or by joining in the campaign on social media using the hashtag #NationalPoetryDay to share how you will be celebrating the day. Don’t forget to tag us @PeninsulaCare1 (Twitter) or @PeninsulaCareHome (Facebook) as we would love to share your love of poetry.

We would love to take this opportunity to share with you some of our budding writers, The Parkland Poets, who have produced three truly inspirational poems based on their experience and training with Dementia. You can find their videos on our Peninsula Care Home You Tube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCakJ-IEXqQ2yAF1lrT5GU2Q

Happy National Poetry Day for tomorrow!

Introducing our PCH Quality Assurance Manager

Introducing our PCH Quality Assurance Manager

We would like to introduce you to our new Peninsula Care Homes Ltd Quality Assurance Manager, Andrew Kirby…

andrew-kirby

Andy started out in the healthcare industry working as a carer, and soon decided he was destined to become a nurse. Andy has since gained extensive experience in nursing and management, having worked first in the NHS in a variety of settings, before managing residential and nursing homes.

His ethos has always been about ensuring every person has the best possible care, and has a good day, every day. Andy is very excited to join the company, and is looking forward to meeting both staff and residents in all our homes, to support the staff to deliver the highest quality care possible.

Andy lives in Crediton with his wife Karen, and two teenage children. They also have a black Labrador called Paddington, a cat called Alan and two leopard tortoises called Pedro and Primrose. Andy runs with the Kirton Hash House Harriers running club, and has been known to perform in the occasional musical with the Crediton Operatic and Choral Society.

Caribbean Food Week 20th – 26th August 2018

Caribbean Food Week 20th – 26th August 2018

@caribbeanfoodwk #CFW2018 #FlavaWithABeat

PCH Marketing & Admin Coordinator, Nikita Morgan, shares her experience and love of Caribbean food.

This week many will be celebrating Caribbean Food Week and all the exciting flavours and techniques of Caribbean cooking.

Some of our homes shared Caribbean food experiences during the recent Care Home Open Day back in April. Residents, staff and visitors were treated to Jamaican style pulled pork for lunch followed by some Reggae beats. This was part of the NAPA challenge 2018 – A food journey around the Commonwealth http://www.napa-activities.com/whatson/napa-challenge-2018

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Earlier this year I was lucky enough to travel to Jamaica and experience the very best food the Caribbean has to offer. The main dish of course being Jerk Chicken. Many mistake the meaning of ‘Jerk’ to be the sauce or flavour, however it actually refers to how the chicken is cooked. Usually in a steal drum BBQ over a pit of coals after marinating in a special blend of Jamaican spices. The most popular Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork is usually served with rice or yam (grown on the island, very similar to potato).

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When I visited the Blue Mountains, famous for its coffee plantations, I discovered it was also the best place to find the freshest banana’s I have ever tasted. They were more of an orange in comparison to the white/yellow we are used to in the UK. This was just one of the many wonderful fruits on offer grown on the island and all freshly picked that day. My particular favourite had to be the Jamaican Coconuts.

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After a lot of trekking we came across the highly recommended Eits Café, popular not just for its famous visitors, stunning mountain views and resident hummingbirds, but also for it amazing locally sourced dishes. Eits short for ‘Europe in the Summer’ is a clever mix of European dishes and flavours tied in with traditional Jamaican cooking and tastes. The result is delicious. Even Levi Roots (famous Jamaican sauce creator) himself recommends the fresh okra and fried bammy (fish and flatbread). I tried a glorious shrimp pasta, crab cakes, plantains (cooking banana) and very generously doused rum cake. Of course finished off with a brew of Blue Mountain Coffee.

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Jamaica has so many tasty and fresh foods to choose from and it is fun to re-create some of the dishes back home, especially for Caribbean Food Week. Another traditional Jamaican snack is the patty, similar to a pasty but filled with a unique Jamaican curry blend with chicken, beef or vegetables. The pastry is to die for and I have not come across a recipe to match this yet. So I may not have the Caribbean weather or Norman the Patty Man, but I did bring back some Jamaican spices which I will be using to ‘Jerk’ my chicken dishes this week!

National Allotment Week 2018

National Allotment Week 2018

This week we are celebrating National Allotment Week a week early as everyone is out enjoying the warmer weather.

Our homes have their own allotments on site which residents enjoy looking after. As we know most of our residents are keen gardeners and several owned their own allotment.

According to the Kings Fund “increasing people’s use of green spaces has been linked to long-term reductions in health problems as well as higher physical activity and increased self-rated mental health.” It seems appropriate to be sharing the statement from The Kings Fund during #NationalAllotmentWeek.

They have grown a variety of produce including potatoes, beans, courgettes, marrow, beautiful sweet peas and much more in the making. Once collected, the residents prepare the produce to be used in the kitchen for meals.

If you fancy helping our homes create more allotments or give a helping hand in tending to the gardens, then we would love to hear from you.

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.

Current roles we are recruiting for include a Quality Assurance Manager, Registered Manager (Nursing), Registered Manager (Residential), Senior Care Assistant, Care Assistants and Domestic Assistants. If you or someone you know may be interested in applying for care work, please visit our Indeed Career Page https://www.indeedjobs.com/peninsula-care-homes/_hl/en_GB?cpref=JXWAtnzf3XW5aRnY2g_zohRSoEeMyZToCOSSSX3DUL8

The importance of hydration

The importance of hydration

Hydration one of life’s essentials and yet in this summer heat are we all hydrated enough?

Our homes are aware of the risk of dehydration and actively encourage each other as well as residents to stay hydrated. A variety of drinks are available throughout the day, the activity staff are using their creative skills to create hydration themed events. In recent days homes have had “happy hour”, mocktail making and make your own smoothie.

Our kitchens are also helping to keep everyone hydrated by making and serving high fluid fluids. Some foods have included jelly and milk pudding, fruit platters, ice lollies and sorbets.

At our Manager’s meeting last week we enjoyed elderflower cordial made by Coppelia residents.

So whatever you are doing make sure you’re keeping well hydrated.

Changes in daily life at Bramble Down

Changes in daily life at Bramble Down

It’s always really positive when changes you make have a positive impact on resident’s day to day lives.  At Bramble Down our activities coordinator recently attended a course with NAPA.  NAPA is the National Activity Providers Association. There wish is to help every care and support setting to be full of life, love and laughter.

As a result of the NAPA course and discussions with residents at Bramble Down some changes have been made and others planned.  One of the first changes was the introduction of a mobile shop.  Residents provided a long list of items they wished to see within the shop rather than having to rely on others to get provisions for them.  A drinks trolley now is regularly seen visiting residents with their favourite tipples – currently gin, wine and beer are the most popular choices.

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To add to the weekly Tai Chi classes we are pleased to be working with GFitness, a national company helping to provide health and fitness classes for those in care settings. The classes will change to reflect residents needs but will likely include strength & balance work, flexibility and mobility to name a few.

With the sun shining in recent weeks many residents have been making the use of the garden: relaxing in the sunshine, tending to the vegetable patch, playing games and enjoying the visiting ice cream parlour and an evening bbq.

The gentleman in the home have been enjoying the new pop-up barbers and everyone has appreciated the pampering including foot massages.

We look forward to making more changes and ensuring we provide exceptional care for each individual.

Picnic Week 2018

Picnic Week 2018

We are celebrating 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!