Loneliness Awareness Week was created three years ago by The Marmalade Trust to raise awareness of loneliness throughout the UK and to start talking about it.
This year the campaign focuses on reducing the stigma of loneliness and to promote #LetsTalkLoneliness
Many people will experience loneliness at some point in their lives. However it is known that older people are particularly vulnerable to loneliness and isolation which can have an effect on their health.
Avoiding loneliness in our homes has always been at the forefront of our work. Our staff create loving, social and active environments for everyone to take part in.
Parkland House have recently been accredited as an Eden Alternative home and joined the Eden Alternative UK Register.
The Eden Alternative is an American philosophy which compliments our vision for our homes. It is a person centred approach to care aimed to support residents play a full and active role in their community by challenging loneliness, helplessness and boredom.
We believe it helps us provide exceptional care and support from our team who are committed to promoting resident independence and well-being.
The Eden Alternative believes the solution to the three challenges are:
Loneliness: loving companionship, contact with people and animals in and out of the home.
Helplessness: create opportunities to give as well as receive care.
Boredom: Daily life full of variety and spontaneity.
Help raise awareness this week and get chatting about loneliness by tagging #LetsTalkLoneliness
This week we are celebrating National Growing for Wellbeing Week, which highlights the positive connection that growing your own produce can have on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Evidence shows the benefits of gardening can have improve mental
and physical health, confidence, concentration, communication and is a great
way of bringing others together.
Our homes each have a Gardening Club who help tend to the gardens, repotting plants, weeding and flower arranging. The clubs are always well attended with those that participate and those that just like to watch.
Parkland House have recently established a herb and flower garden on the lounge terrace. Taking inspiration from the recent Eden Association Accreditation, Parkland wanted to create a more personal gardening space. This has allowed everyone to enjoy the outdoors and grow some of their favourite herbs and flowers. So far they have grown strawberries, lavender and sunflowers for their ‘dig a sunflower’ competition.
We know summer has arrived when the hedgehog planters start
to appear in the Coppelia House gardens. Coppelia’s Gardening Club re-use
plastic bottles to create effective hedgehog shape planters so they may grow
herbs and flowers. They have also re-used milk cartons as planters to fill with
their favourite flowers.
We look forward to sharing more of the homes Gardening Club projects.
May is #NationalWalkingMonth, when campaigners encourage individuals to try and walk more. There are many suggestions: trying walking to school or work, add 20 minutes walking to your day. People have so many different motivations for walking – it may be just the need to get outside, experience new surroundings or even just out of necessity.
Across our homes we have many keen walkers. Irene loves to go for a fast pace walk, often taking a staff members dog with them. They walk for miles but occasionally like to take the bus back up the hill to Parkland House. There has been more walking at Bramble Down including trips to the local pub, and exploring the village. Cornerways is lucky to be so close to Preston Sands, a beautiful stretch of beach dotted with beach huts.
We hope that you enjoy some walking during May. If you don’t fancy walking but want to read a good book about a couple walking I highly recommend The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. Described as “An astonishing narrative of two people dragging themselves from the depths of despair along some of the most dramatic landscapes along the South West Coast Path, looking for a solution to their problems and ultimately finding themselves.” Enjoy the book and walking!
Across our group we have a number of our own pets who are carefully looked after by our staff and residents.
We thought we’d introduce our pets to you. At Bramble Down we have “Bramble” the tortoise.
Coppelia House have their two resident budgies Fred and Freda. In the garden live their two guinea pigs Bertie and Barnaby. Residents also enjoy families visiting with their animals along with “Watson” the visiting Therapy Dog.
Cornerways look forward to Animal HQ who visit monthly with their guinea pigs, rabbits, dog and chinchilla.
In Parkland House we have Barney the guinea pig who enjoys hanging out in the admin office where they enjoy much fuss and attention from residents. The homes also welcomes Gus the “Pat-A-Dog” who visits regularly.
Plymbridge seem to have adopted a cat, Lilly. They also have Domino the rabbit and Hovis the Therapy Dog who visit regularly.
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 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.
Many of our residents enjoy the various visiting animals, these include donkeys from The Donkey Sanctuary, Birds of Prey, Local Zoo’s and a Dartmoor Pony.
February is National Bird Feeding Month. It is a time to welcome back the birdsong and the early signs of Spring. As the February and March weather can be quite unpredictable, our homes have started to make simple bird feeders to hang in the gardens for our little friends. See our recipe for Bird cake below:
a speedy bird cake
Make this quick and easy cake to keep the birds happy!
You will need:
Good quality bird seed
Suet or lard
Not suitable for people with nut allergies. Note that
bird seed, including peanuts bought for birds, is not suitable for human
make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot. Thread string through the
hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the
pot to a tree or your bird table.
Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don’t melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your finger tips.
Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds
it all together.
your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for
an hour or so.
Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table. Watch for greenfinches, tits and possibly even great spotted woodpeckers.
Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening
response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and
death. Medically, Sepsis is your body’s
immune system overresponding to an infection.
In February last year, PCH’s Chairman David Arnold sadly
passed away due to Sepsis. On this first
anniversary, we thought we’d share links to the Sepsis Trust to increase
The Sepsis Trust is working to saves lives and improve
outcomes for survivors. They raise
public awareness, educate the public and support those affected by sepsis.
During our Devon Care Kitemark conference last year, Pippa Richards – Lead Nurse for sepsis at Musgrove Park Hospital shared a simple video which is available on YouTube, it’s worth a watch, taking only 5 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGfC82UnOH8
The UK Sepsis Trust share sepsis screening and action tools
for community nurses and care assistants. The tools are available to view in
all our homes.
We already have had PCH staff rightly seek medical help for
residents suspecting sepsis. We hope
that increased awareness “Just ask: Could it be Sepsis” will save others and
help prevent death from sepsis.
If you would like to join the UK Sepsis Trust’s current
campaign “Streets Against Sepsis” please visit their website: https://sepsistrust.org
We will be raising money for the UK Sepsis Trust
during 2019 and will let you know further details in due course.
Our Homes all like to pay their respects on Remembrance Day, honouring all those that fought for our country.
Each Home created their own display within the Home or garden. Coppelia House wanted to link their remembrance to their local community Moretonhampstead.
Resident Robert Beer who served in the RAF, went to the local memorial ceremony and laid a wreath on behalf of Coppelia residents and staff.
Within Coppelia’s garden, poppies were made by the residents, each poppy recorded the names of those lost from Moretonhampstead. Residents also made purple poppy’s to pay tribute to the many animals lost in war.
Within the Home residents’ created a display to greet visitors. They also made poppy plaques for their front doors and decorated the dining room.
Residents watched the remembrance service which was especially poignant on the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War.
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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!