Month: September 2016

The Great Big Rhino Project

The Great Big Rhino Project

The Great Big Rhino Project is a trail around the streets, parks and open spaces of the English Riviera and Exeter, and beyond.  For 10 weeks, life-size rhino sculptures will inhabit the streets, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the area, while highlighting the significant conservation threat facing wild rhinos and how the local business community can make a difference.  Similar Wild in Art events have run throughout the country, including The Great Gorillas Project in 2013. Last year Bristol and London had Shaun the Sheep raising funds for Wallace & Grommit’s Children’s Charity.


The Rhinos can be seen on the streets until Sunday 9th October. They will be on display at Paignton Zoo from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October before being auctioned for charity in early November. Money raised by Paignton Zoo’s Great Big Rhino Project will be channelled through Save the Rhino International.

Parkland residents will be visiting Rhino Blossom and Lives in our Hands at Bernaville Garden Centre, Cornerways residents won’t have to travel far to see Rhino Stardust located on Preston green.


Follow the trail here:

How dolls can help some residents with dementia

How dolls can help some residents with dementia

If you visit one of our residential homes you may find residents with dolls treating them as a baby, this is part of doll therapy also known as cuddle therapy.  The theory behind doll/cuddle therapy is that for someone it may bring back happy memories, with the doll being cared for as they would have cared for a baby. We try to use dolls that are as lifelike as possible but they don’t cry as this could cause distress.

Memory loss is a large part of dementia and affects each person differently.  Often memory can be recalled from earlier in their life, but recent events or familiar recent situations may be forgotten.  The Alzheimer’s Society say “It is thought that older memories – which are thought about more often – become more firmly established and are more likely to be recalled than newer memories.”

Doll therapy has been in use for over 20 years but much of the evidence supporting its use is anecdotal.  There are studies done by a number of bodies, NICE guidelines which are favourable about the therapeutic use of dolls with people living with dementia but like all things doll therapy isn’t something that will work with all people.  Where it works studies show it could be used to increase positive behaviours and decrease negative behaviours.  We therefore provide dolls in our homes for those that benefit from comfort, activity, inclusion, communication & interaction, identity and the memories dolls/baby can evoke.

We will never force dolls on anyone, like everything there must be a choice.  We had a baby doll in one of our homes, lying in a small Moses basket and it brought a smile to many when they watched a gentleman gently rock the basket with his foot.  You couldn’t help but wonder how many hours he had perhaps spent rocking his own children to sleep.

I have visited with my own son and sat with a lady who had her ‘baby’ doll and was happy chatting about sleep habits and sharing some top tips with me. The whole time we spoke she was stroking her doll whilst it was on her lap.

Within our homes we are constantly looking to introduce activities that bring a smile and for those that choose to care for the baby dolls a lot of pleasure is gained and looks of contentment on resident’s faces.

We will soon be introducing a reminiscence box of baby things which will help stimulate memories and stories.  So far we have nappies, knitted clothes, baby grows, first shoes, and talc to name a few.

For some dolls provide purpose, nurture and comfort and it is for them that we have dolls available in our homes.

Here is an example of doll therapy:

Last Night of the Proms

Last Night of the Proms

A guest blog by Dianne Gregory, Business Manager, for Peninsula Care Homes Ltd.

My grandmother (91yrs), a retired teacher always comments that when it’s ‘The Last Night of the Proms’ it’s back to school and the start of darker evenings…

She is a lover of classical music, but maintains that the ‘Last Night’ is not necessarily the best night for classical music enthusiasts and more a performance of fun and patriotism.  Whilst chatting I said one of my favourite pieces was Adagio for Strings, a powerful piece of music by Samuel Barber, she screwed up her nose and said ‘sentimental’ and ‘sad’…

This generated a long conversation about music and memories, I had remarked that Adagio for Strings reminds me of Remembrance Sunday and the film ‘Platoon’ and perhaps that’s why it has such sentimental vibes.  She said the most sentimental tune for her was ‘And the Merry Go Round Broke Down’ more commonly known as the original theme tune to Looney Tunes, I was astonished and asked why?  She explained that she would listen to my grandfather and his friends whistling this tune in the streets whilst waiting to be ‘called up’ (circa 1939)

Wow! (with a lump in my throat) it really is quite remarkable how music provokes such strong memories, and, that our minds can store this information, even after 72 years.

For people living with a dementia, music is an excellent way of reaching beyond the disease, ask someone close to recall a musical memory – you may be surprised at the answer!

Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day

Today’s blog is written by David Arnold, Chairman of Peninsula Care Homes Ltd.

September 11th is Grandparents Day.  For my wife and I it is doubly special because our 5th grandson, Jack, was born to our daughter Louise, Managing director of Peninsula Care Homes, on September 10th 2015.  I had secretly been hoping that he might have been born on my birthday, September 6th but our only real concern was that our daughter’s baby would be healthy and that Louise would be well.  There were a few anxious moments during and after the birth but everything worked out well.

We are very fortunate to have four grandsons born to our son and wife and have loved every minute of seeing them growing up, the eldest is about to become a teenager!  Unfortunately they live 250 miles away so we don’t see them as often as we would like.  Jack on the other hand lives close to our Exeter Care Home, Parkland House and we have seen him for 1 or 2 days almost every week since he was born.

It is endlessly fascinating to see how a baby progresses in its first year of life – the first signs of recognition, the first smile, the first wave, the first crawl, the first swim underwater and still to come the first words and the first steps.  Many people will say that Grandparents Day is just commercial exploitation by greetings card manufacturers but for us it is a reminder of the gift of having all our grandchildren.  So, if you are a grandparent then please take a moment to give thanks for the gift of grandchildren.  It is a day for you to bring your grandchildren into our care home to see their great grandparent and marvel at the opportunity for 4 generations of your family to be together.