Author: peninsulacarehomes

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!

Walking up the down staircase with dementia.

Walking up the down staircase with dementia.

Those lovely Parkland Poets have done it again with another very moving poem about their understanding of dementia.

parkland-poem-vdt

Walking up the down staircase with dementia.

My life hadn’t ended,

When my dementia descended,

I felt confused when it came,

But my passion for life remains the same.

Even though my life has changed.

 

I re-live sad moments, comfort me when these times come,

Remind me of the good times of when I had so much fun,

So if I have a sad moment and cry,

I can’t help it, even if I try.

So when I can’t understand,

Sit with me and hold my hand.

 

Dementia sometimes makes me feel confused and unwell,

I get frustrated with myself when I don’t remember everything you tell,

Occupy me with things to do,

This will remind me that I’m still a person too.

 

Having dementia is like re reading a book,

You’re with me on this chapter but there’s many more, just take a look.

Help me to remember with pictures of family and friends,

I may have forgotten them, but the love never ends.

 

Even though this chapter in my life is unclear,

I know you’ll help me through and take away the fear

Walking up the down staircase each and every day,

Makes it better when you’re here showing me the way,

 

Even thought my youth has left and gone,

I still feel young and will till my times done.

Life with dementia is a different chapter,

But I know I’ll get through this chapter with my new family.

 

Written by Rhianne, Bekki and Lyn “The Parkland Poets”

The Importance of Silent Call Bells

The Importance of Silent Call Bells

Instacare systems are our local independent company who support our nurse call system. They are able to supply, install and commission new systems and service existing systems.

They installed a new system for us at Parkland House and have been servicing our other homes since 2015.

Director of Instacare, Gail, has recently written an article about “The Importance of Silent Call Bells”.

Extensive studies carried out in dementia care show that sufferers are extremely sensitive to their surroundings with several common environmental triggers. One of the most distinct contributor to high levels of stress and upset, is noise. So, creating an environment that is free of repetitive, high volume noise is essential if you are striving to create a calm and happy environment for your dementia residents.

A study published by the University of Stirling, found that call bell noise is one of the most common causes of stress to dementia patients, suggesting “fitting call alarms which alert nurses but do not resonate throughout the whole building. Alarms can be particularly disconcerting as they may encourage the person with dementia to respond or investigate the sound. At the very least the loss of sleep will compromise a person’s ability to concentrate. It can affect their attention levels and capacity to cope, as well as being detrimental to their overall state of wellbeing. Personal paging systems are preferable to bells and buzzers.”

Louise Arnold of Peninsula Care Homes decided to do just that. InstaCare Systems installed the BlueBell paging system in their Exeter home. Louise said “the change at the home was immediate, by eliminating the intrusive ringing of bells, instead now we can hear music, conversations and laughter”.

So, let InstaCare Systems turn off the call bell noise in your home and create a silent nurse call system. You don’t even need to replace your existing system to achieve it! We have access to all the major paging brands such as Scope and CST, plus we can supply the unique BlueBell pager which has many additional benefits including being waterproof, built in staff ID, exit alarm and is incredibly robust. We can integrate any paging system with any call bell system, so there’s no need to replace your existing asset.

Why not give us a call today and let us help you work out the best solution for your home.

Tel: 01392 877267 Email: info@instacaresystems.co.uk Web: http://www.instacaresystems.co.uk

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.