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.
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 who enjoys 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.
February is National Bird Feeding Month. It is a time to welcome back the birdsong and the early signs of Spring. As the February and March weather can be quite unpredictable, our homes have started to make simple bird feeders to hang in the gardens for our little friends. See our recipe for Bird cake below:
a speedy bird cake
Make this quick and easy cake to keep the birds happy!
You will need:
- Good quality bird seed
- Grated cheese
- Suet or lard
- Yoghurt pots
- Mixing bowl
Not suitable for people with nut allergies. Note that
bird seed, including peanuts bought for birds, is not suitable for human
make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot. Thread string through the
hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the
pot to a tree or your bird table.
- Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don’t melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your finger tips.
Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds
it all together.
your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for
an hour or so.
Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table. Watch for greenfinches, tits and possibly even great spotted woodpeckers.
Have fun bird watching!
Our Homes all like to pay their respects on Remembrance Day, honouring all those that fought for our country.
Each Home created their own display within the Home or garden. Coppelia House wanted to link their remembrance to their local community Moretonhampstead.
Resident Robert Beer who served in the RAF, went to the local memorial ceremony and laid a wreath on behalf of Coppelia residents and staff.
Within Coppelia’s garden, poppies were made by the residents, each poppy recorded the names of those lost from Moretonhampstead. Residents also made purple poppy’s to pay tribute to the many animals lost in war.
Within the Home residents’ created a display to greet visitors. They also made poppy plaques for their front doors and decorated the dining room.
Residents watched the remembrance service which was especially poignant on the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War.
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!
This year National Poetry Day falls on Thursday 4th October 2018 and the theme is ‘Change’. 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!
@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
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).
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.
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.
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!
This week we are celebrating National Allotment Week a week early as everyone is out enjoying the warmer weather.
Our homes have their own allotments on site which residents enjoy looking after. As we know most of our residents are keen gardeners and several owned their own allotment.
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 #NationalAllotmentWeek.
They have grown a variety of produce including potatoes, beans, courgettes, marrow, beautiful sweet peas and much more in the making. Once collected, the residents prepare the produce to be used in the kitchen for meals.
If you fancy helping our homes create more allotments or give a helping hand in tending to the gardens, then we would love to hear from you.
We are celebrating 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!
We would like to encourage you to get involved with our homes. The volunteering opportunities are diverse and we could use your skills and talents to help others. It’s about giving your time, making friends, sharing hobbies/ interests and creating new experiences.
We welcome any suggestions but ideas could include helping a gardening club, help the knitting group, reading, accompanying residents on a trip or just come enjoy tea & cake and reminisce. We would love to have volunteers of any age as everyone plays a vital role in making connections, improving lives.
We believe volunteers would complement our staff and would have a big and positive impact on the quality of life for those in our homes. Research suggests that volunteering has health as well as social benefits. In addition it brings a sense of pride, satisfaction and knowledge of giving back to society.
We would love to hear from you if you are interested to know more, contact the home manager and arrange a visit to the home. We will need satisfactory enhanced DBS (free of charge) prior to starting and an understanding of what you’d like to do.
This week Bramble Down residents have been taking advantage of the nice weather and planting more of their vegetable patch.
So far a large variety of herbs have been planted. The fruit and vegetable plot has so far got:- tomatoes, parsnip, carrots, sprouts, cauliflower, red cabbage, rhubarb, courgettes, radishes, lettuce and potatoes. The kitchen is looking forward to the wonderful home grown fruit & vegetables.
We do wonder whether a friendly competition between our homes regarding the growth and yield of crops would be welcomed. Last year Bramble Down won various prizes at The Denbury Flower and Produce Show:
- Brooking Trophy for the Floral Art Exhibit that most pleased the judges
- First Prize for wedding arrangement
- Second Prize for wedding arrangement
- Third Prize for their Dundee Cake