The beginning of May marks the start of the Living Streets National Walking Month campaign to get the country active and walking every day.
As you may well know walking as an exercise has many benefits both physically and mentally. It can help manage your weight, reduce anxiety and stress, build strength, reduce congestion on the roads and help maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Our residents enjoy daily walks around the gardens or trips out to their local communities and days out with the Freedom Wheels and Oomph Wellness bus. Wherever and whenever possible our carers encourage our residents to enjoy a walk big or small. This helps in so many ways but most importantly it helps in keeping active and who doesn’t enjoy a nice stroll to either meet your neighbours or enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
Join the online conversation using #walkthisway and discover fun and easy ways to enjoy new walking journeys. We have also included a few helpful links below to get started.
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.
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.
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,.
This week we are celebrating National Pet Month: a campaign to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership through educational campaigns.
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 and two unnamed turtles. We have suggested Bramble Down run a name that turtle competition during National Pet Month.
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 and Bertie the rabbit who also enjoy 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.
#NatConvWeek #ConvoWeek #KeepTalking #GetTalking #TalkMore #LoveTalking #LetsChat
This week our homes are taking part in National Conversation Week very simply by being mindful of having a conversation with someone. Our homes will be taking part in group discussions, quizzes, games and reminiscence therapy chats. Our staff also enjoy spending one-to-one time with the residents and this will include having a long conversation over a nice cup of tea or coffee. We have learnt about some amazing life stories from our residents, including a previous coder at Bletchley Park, a vinyl fault finder from Decca Records and an assistant to famous London photographer Howard Coster.
Spending the time to have a conversation with someone is a very rewarding thing. Not only do you fulfill a basic human need for interaction but you learn new things and discover more about that person. By giving your time and a listening hear you are helping that person feel good.
Let us know how you are getting involved this week and help raise awareness of the campaign to #TalkMore
You can never have too many conversations during National Conversation Week!
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.
January 2018 is National Soup Month. The cold, dark (and mostly wet) days in January are often used as the perfect reason to indulge in a bowl or mug of your favourite hot soup.
There have been celebrated soup dates dating all the way back to around 20,000 B.C where boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of the waterproof container. Interestingly the word soup derives from the French word soupe, meaning broth or soup, which was then sold as a cheap meal by street vendors to provide an antidote to physical exhaustion. Serving soups then become popular in restaurants around the globe and many cookbooks were published offering the best recipes and methods for homemade soup.
Nowadays you will head to the canned food isles in the supermarket for a tin of soup. This is thanks to Chemist, Doctor John T. Dorrance, who back in 1897 invented condensed soup with household name Campbell Soup Company. Originally the cans required water or milk to be added to double the quantity, however this is no longer the case as soup tins have become a very popular “ready-to-eat” meal and a lunchtime favourite.
To celebrate the goodness a bowl of soup can bring the stomach and soul, our residents have been enjoying their favourite soups over the January month as it is often found to be a preferred and more satisfying meal.
There is no clear soup winner, but as we all know you can’t beat a bowl of hot tomato soup with crackers or bread. It is also said chicken soup can help you get over a cold! What is your favourite hot soup and how will you be celebrating this month?
January is National Hobby Month. Perhaps the New Year Resolution is to try a new hobby or focus on the hobbies you enjoy.
Hobbies are great as they can relieve stress, challenge your brain, be social, good or bad for your health.
Within our homes we have residents interested in so many different things. We try to cater for as many hobbies as possible. We have exercise based: Tai-Chi, armchair aerobics, gardening (vegetable allotment, flower arranging), music (playing instruments, outside entertainers, dancing and singing. Lets not forget interest in animals, falconry, cooking, iPad clubs and knitting.
Which new hobbies are you going to set yourself this month?
Our homes are focusing on linking with their local communities including links with nursery’s and local schools. Perhaps one of your New Year goals is to take part in some volunteering, if so we would like to hear from you. We have numerous activities you can get involved in throughout the month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01392 346442 for more information.
As 2017 draws to a close it’s a great time to stop and reflect on the year. Our homes have been busy through the year providing exceptional care and creating magical moments.
Our dedicated staff have joined residents and families in a number of fundraising events. These have included the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, Macmillan Coffee Morning, Moretonhampstead Carnival, Rowcrofts Colour Run and Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day.
Our social calendars have been filled with awareness celebrations including National Curry Week, Knitting Week, National Care Home Open Day, Denbury Flower & Produce Show and Plymouth in Bloom.
Our staff have continued their professional development with courses including fire awareness, first aid, end of life, pain management, Parkinson’s, wound care, safeguarding, food hygiene, care and diabetes. Many staff experienced The Virtual Dementia Tour: an eye opening experience which is medically and scientifically proven to be the closest experience that we can give a person with a healthy brain an experience of what dementia might be like.
Reflecting on the year brings back so many fond memories of individuals, parties and events. We can’t possibly mention them all but hope you’ll find the time to reflect on 2017.
We look forward to 2018
This year National Poetry Day falls on Thursday 28th September 2017 and the theme is ‘Freedom’. 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
Happy National Poetry Day for tomorrow!
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.
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.
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.