Category: Guest Blog

The Parkland Poets – Outstanding

The Parkland Poets – Outstanding

The Parkland Poets Lyn, Bekki and Rhianne have written another lovely poem to celebrate the Parkland House Outstanding rating from CQC.

Thank you very much for sharing with us and we would love for you to share with friends and family.

Outstanding by The Parkland Poets
Happy Christmas 2018

Happy Christmas 2018

We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.  Christmas for many is a magical time.  Christmas carols, gift exchanges and family feasts are just some of the enduring traditions that make the season one of the world’s favourite holidays.  It’s a time to reflect on happy memories of family gatherings, and festive cheer.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each of our staff for their continued dedication to providing outstanding care and ensuring our homes run well.  All of them will be juggling their own celebrations with their work and we thank them for this.

Whilst Christmas for most is a magical time it is also a time to reflect on life as it was, perhaps remembering those that are no longer with us or families that we cannot visit due to distance or other circumstances.  It is a time to think about those less fortunate than ourselves.

All of us at Peninsula Care Homes would like to wish our residents, their families and our staff a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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!

 

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

caribbean-food-week

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).

caribbean-food-week-3

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.

caribbean-food-week-2

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.

caribbean-food-week-1

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!

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

Guest Blog: Plymbridge House on National Gardening Week

Guest Blog: Plymbridge House on National Gardening Week

It is National Gardening Week 30th April – 6th May a time to encourage gardeners to share their love of gardening.

National Gardening Week was launched seven years ago by Royal Horticultural Society and aims to become the country’s biggest celebration of gardening.

Our blog today is written by Mark, our Plymbridge House gardener.

“It is here again”, time to start planning and getting all our residents idea`s, every year the residents partake in the garden as much as possible, especially with the 100 baskets which are put around the home’s gardens for everyone to enjoy.

I go and talk to the residents and ask them to choose what colours and style they would like in their basket, I try to match their ideas, it has worked every year and with the residents input we have won 5 Plymouth in Bloom Gold Medals. The Sensory Garden this year will have more attention to give maximum effect to create that area of the garden where you can go to smell, touch and reflect on the times past in a relaxed environment.

plymbridge-house-reflextion-garden

As the warmer weather approaches it also gives a chance to take residents out and about the grounds to see the beauty of every plant that has managed to overcome the horrid winter weather we have had. The Hostas are now just peeping through, the delicate leaves of the Acers are about to unfold, the bright new growth of the Evergreens, Reds, Yellows and the Pale Greens all remind us to get busy, Spring is here. Just about to be brightened up, are the shaded areas, there are lovely blues of the Bluebells, the yellows of the Celandines and numerous other pretty colours of the Primulas.

plymbridge-spring-flowers

It is the time to become very busy and create the WOW factor once again for all to enjoy. To design and plant for this year`s Plymouth in Bloom competition and for the delight of the residents, families and visitors to the home,.

Plymbridge House on National Tea Month

Plymbridge House on National Tea Month

National Hot Tea Month is a fantastic excuse to have an extra cup of tea and indulge in a biscuit or piece of cake. Plymbridge House residents have been enjoying some tea tasting this month, here’s a blog from Registered Manager, Kathleen Shopland:

“Today we have tried the Strawberry and Apple Tea, it smells and tastes very nice.  We felt that it was a great drink to soothe throats.  It also made the day feel like a bright balloon, floating upwards, and brought about a sense of calm.  There were however some funny looks when first tasting the Strawberry and apple tea.

Conversations about how to take tea were discussed between residents and staff at Plymbridge.  One resident said it had to be in special china mug, with a little honey in the bottom topped with hot water, tea, and a dash of milk.  A favourite seemed to be a china cup and saucer, tea leaves steeped in the warmed teapot , a tea strainer placed on the cup and the tea passed through, a little milk and sugar to taste added.  A bonus would be to make it in to an event with a serving of tiny fingers of cucumber sandwiches and little bite size cakes.

Residents spoke about memories of childhood: – when the tea cups were empty, if any tea leaves had escaped the tea strainer, place the empty cup upside down, turn 3 times and then have your cup read, good fun for a small after tea game.”

Many of our residents across our homes have been enjoying various tea selections, perfect for keeping warm on these cold January days. So put the kettle on and enjoy your favourite tea whatever that may be.

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.

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”