Category: National Awareness

National Soup Month

National Soup Month

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?

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National Hobby Month

National Hobby 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 enquiries@peninsulacarehomes.co.uk or call 01392 346442 for more information.

Looking back at 2017

Looking back at 2017

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

#NationalPoetryDay

#NationalPoetryDay

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!

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/