Category: Awareness Weeks

National Curry and Chocolate Week

National Curry and Chocolate Week

It’s a busy week for foodies with Chocolate Week and National Curry Week being celebrated.

Whether it’s a Thai curry, Japanese curry or Indian curry, fiery, hot or mild, many people enjoy a curry. The most popular takeaway is apparently Indian with two thirds of meals out being Indian.

Parkland House have recently celebrated and India themed day with a special themed lunch, including a glorious chicken curry with rice followed by coconut ice made by the residents.

parkland-house-india-day

 

Chocolate week has certainly captured everyone’s attention within the homes. You are sure to find some chocolate inspired treats on the menus this week.

If you are visiting the homes, feel free to bring some chocolates for residents to enjoy.

Happy Curry week and National Chocolate Week everyone.

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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.

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!

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.

Guest Blog: #NationalGardeningWeek

Guest Blog: #NationalGardeningWeek

It is National Gardening Week from 10th-16th April and our care home gardens are starting to spring into action. Parkland House gardener Nik, shares her guest blog with us.

Hello there, I am Nik from Trusty Tools and I take care of the garden at Parkland House.

As the garden awakens in April there are some sunny days perfect for sitting in the garden, hearing the birds and bees calling in the Spring.

The Daffodils, Narcissus and Crocuses planted last Autumn are already in out in all their glory, and the tulips are following closely behind. The Hyacinths planted by the residents look splendid, they were potted up for some to be taken indoors so that all the residents could experience them.

It is time to be vigilant against weeds as the longer days trigger faster growth and to keep watch for the warning silvery trails of slugs and snails that love the Hosta shoots starting to appear now.

When selecting what plants to grow, we try to pick ones that satisfy as many of the senses as possible: bright colours, strong scents and tactile plants like Amaranths.

We are now planting bulbs for Summer: vibrant Sparaxis, Lilies and Gladioli. The Sweet Peas planted last Autumn have been hardened off and moved out to the raised beds. We all look forward to the smell of the Sweet Peas. This year’s one is called “Dusty Springfield” and we chose it for its fast growth, bright pink colour and heavy scent.

The residents enjoy getting involved with the new raised beds, they were designed for easy access so no needing to bend down to plant a seed or to get at the dandelion you want to pull out! In one of the beds we have planted a few vegetables, these go into the kitchen for soups and salads, so the fruits of labour can be savoured by all.

parkland-gardening

Please let your care home manager or activities co-ordinator know if you would like to help out or join in the residents gardening activities, we would like to hear from you.

National Pie Week

National Pie Week

It’s National Pie week this week in Britain and we’ve been discussing pies in our homes.  One interesting debate was what makes a pie a pie?  For some it has to have pastry somewhere in the dish whether it be the base, the topping or all over.  For others it’s something cooked in a “pie dish” so could be cottage pie, shepherd’s pie.

There was a petition in recent years to define a pie as “a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry” anything without a pastry base should not be classed as a pie. One resident said it was only a pie if it had some booze in the sauce naming steak and ale pie as the winner.

With all the talk of savoury pies it’s important not to forget sweet pies like traditional apple pie or mince pies at Christmas.  Both are favourites with many of our residents.

According to research 75% of people enjoy a pie at least once a month.  Whatever your view we hope you enjoy National Pie Week…. The Homes menu’s include Steak & Kidney Pie, Cottage Pie and Chicken & Mushroom pie along with fruit pies for dessert.

World Nursery Rhyme Week

World Nursery Rhyme Week

This week its World Nursery Rhyme Week and having recently visited Cornerways with my one year old son, Jack, it appears nursery rhymes are similar to Christmas Carols you never seem to forget them.  Jack had a gentleman sing “Humpty Dumpty”  whilst a lady recited “Pat a cake” complete with actions.  

Do you have a favourite that you could recite?  I seem to find myself singing “twinkle twinkle little star” and it does help Jack go to sleep probably because he’s had enough of my singing.  We go to swimming lessons each week and all techniques are learnt whilst singing nursery rhymes: “12345 Once I Caught A Fish Alive”, “The Grand Old Duke of York” to name a few.

I hadn’t until recently ever considered how important nursery rhymes are in early childhood development. Some experts claim that if a child knows eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are four, they are usually amongst the best readers and spellers in their class.  Nursery rhymes are great way to learn early phonic skills, they provide practice in pitch, volume as well as language rhythm.  Experts believe that its not just language development they help with its cognitive development, physical development, aid with maths, as well as providing social/emotional development.  With all these benefits we will certainly keep reciting nursery rhymes to our little one.

In the spirit of World Nursery Rhyme Week, Parkland House residents spent an afternoon this week reciting nursery rhymes and reminiscing about their favourite childhood rhymes. All the residents remembered all the words and thoroughly enjoyed the activity.

parkland-house-resident-nursery-rhyme-afternoon

So in the Homes during World Nursery Rhyme Week  don’t be surprised if you hear staff and residents reminiscing on their favourite nursery rhymes, participating in nursery rhyme themed quizzes and perhaps making our own rhymes up.  If you have a little one or grand or even great grandchild there is some fantastic free resources available on Musicbugs website and in some local libraries.

http://www.musicbugs.co.uk/

Chocolate Week and National Curry Week

Chocolate Week and National Curry Week

It’s a busy week for foodies with Chocolate Week and National Curry Week being celebrated.

Whether it’s a Thai curry, Japanese curry or Indian curry, fiery, hot or mild, many people enjoy a curry. The most popular takeaway is apparently Indian with two thirds of meals out being Indian.

Our residents aren’t planning to beat the 2012 poppadom tower record, where 1280 poppadoms were piled high to celebrate National Curry Week. There is however curry on the menu in some of our homes and certainly a chocolate pudding option as standard.

Chocolate week has certainly captured everyone’s attention within the homes. Cornerways are starting their week and Bramble Down are ending their week with a chocolate fountain sensory tasting afternoon. A number of things will be dipped into the melted chocolate and enjoyed by many.

If you are visiting the homes, feel free to bring some chocolate treats for residents to enjoy and have fun judging their favourites, so they make pick their winners.

Happy Chocolate week and National Curry Week everyone.