Category: National Awareness

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.

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.

National Hot Breakfast Month

National Hot Breakfast Month

February is National Hot Breakfast Month.  Within our homes porridge is a popular choice as is some or all elements of a full English Breakfast.  Breakfast is often reported to be the most important meal of the day with sayings “eat like a King at breakfast” often quoted.  It breaks the fast of the night and is important part of achieving good nutrition and hydration. Many of us grab something on the go, or quickly eat a bowl of cereal or round of toast before dashing off.  On these recent cold mornings something hot may break the cycle of coldness.

So what is your favourite hot breakfast?  In Japan the traditional breakfast would include rice, seafood and fermented foods.  In India different areas have their own traditions and specialities which may include stuffed breads and spicy vegetables.  In America the stack of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup is popular.    Other options you could consider eggs benedict, scrambled eggs on toast, and boiled eggs with soldiers, frittata, pancakes or waffles.

To accompany your hot breakfast what is your drink of choice: cold juice, nice cup of tea or a coffee?

We thank Robin at Cornerways for sharing a picture of a cooked breakfast he prepared for one the residents breakfast. It certainly looks like a feast fit for a King and an excellent way to start the day.

 

National Hot Tea Month

National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month a fantastic excuse to have an extra cup of tea and indulge in a biscuit or piece of cake.

Tea has been drunk for thousands of years, originating from China. From there it grew in prominence until it was one of the most important beverages in the world. Some say it rivals coffee as the drink of choice for mornings.

Tea is mostly drunk hot but iced tea or cold tea because you simply forget to drink it while it was hot is often experienced.

What’s your favourite tea? We have arranged some tea tasting within the homes from fruit teas, herbal teas to different leaves of tea. Our tea tasting adds to our collection of activities to encourage hydration. We will see what the favourite is and then have the discussion on how to make the perfect cup of tea. Does the milk go in first or not at all, lemon, honey, weak tea or “builder’s brew”, cup and saucer or mug and so many choices.

Cornerways have already had one tasting session trying peppermint tea, peach & raspberries, and strawberry & raspberry tea. The favourite by a large margin was strawberry & raspberry with no one liking peppermint tea.

So put the kettle on and enjoy your favourite tea whatever that may be. If you’re in Moretonhampstead on January 20th please do join our coffee/tea morning.

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/

Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child

Following last year’s success Coppelia residents have decided to support Samaritan’s Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’. They are hoping to beat last year’s donation of 12 boxes.

When making up a box you decide boy or girl and which age bracket you would like to support. This year I’ve prepared a box for a boy and a girl both in the 2-4 age bracket. You also pay £3.00 towards shipping each box.

 

If you’d like to donate some new items, Coppelia are more than happy to receive donations. The local collection is November 5th but they will take boxes after that date to the main collection point too.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief and development organisation that works through local churches. Since 1990, 124 million children have received a Christmas shoe box in over 150 countries. We hope you’ll join us in helping children worldwide this Christmas.

samaritans-purse

https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/how-to-pack-a-shoebox/

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.

Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day

Today’s blog is written by David Arnold, Chairman of Peninsula Care Homes Ltd.

September 11th is Grandparents Day.  For my wife and I it is doubly special because our 5th grandson, Jack, was born to our daughter Louise, Managing director of Peninsula Care Homes, on September 10th 2015.  I had secretly been hoping that he might have been born on my birthday, September 6th but our only real concern was that our daughter’s baby would be healthy and that Louise would be well.  There were a few anxious moments during and after the birth but everything worked out well.

We are very fortunate to have four grandsons born to our son and wife and have loved every minute of seeing them growing up, the eldest is about to become a teenager!  Unfortunately they live 250 miles away so we don’t see them as often as we would like.  Jack on the other hand lives close to our Exeter Care Home, Parkland House and we have seen him for 1 or 2 days almost every week since he was born.

It is endlessly fascinating to see how a baby progresses in its first year of life – the first signs of recognition, the first smile, the first wave, the first crawl, the first swim underwater and still to come the first words and the first steps.  Many people will say that Grandparents Day is just commercial exploitation by greetings card manufacturers but for us it is a reminder of the gift of having all our grandchildren.  So, if you are a grandparent then please take a moment to give thanks for the gift of grandchildren.  It is a day for you to bring your grandchildren into our care home to see their great grandparent and marvel at the opportunity for 4 generations of your family to be together.

#NationalAllotmentWeek

#NationalAllotmentWeek

According to the Kings Fund “increasing people’s use of green spaces has been linked to long-term reductions in health problems as well as higher physical activity and increased self-rated mental health.” It seems appropriate to be sharing the statement from The Kings Fund during #NationAllallotmentWeek.

Our resident, seen as many as Coppelia’s assistant gardener, has been very busy looking after his allotment on the grounds of Coppelia House.  His produce has included potatoes, beans, courgettes, marrow, beautiful sweet peas and much more in the making.

Next to his allotment is his shed a perfect sanctuary to rest and admire your work whilst enjoying a nice cup of tea.

If you fancy helping our homes create more allotments then we would love to hear from you.