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30 May 2015

Marlborough Court Care Home Ambassador Joan Packman was recently a VIP guest at the televised Care England and ITN Productions health debate in Covent Garden, London. Care England’s aim was to gather prominent figures in the sector to discuss the care act, integration and supporting the workforce; all in front of a carefully selected live audience. Joan was invited to represent the views of service users with dementia, and was accompanied by her granddaughter Candice Chigley, Home Manager Maggie Candy, Deputy Manager Sheilla Davies and dementia carer Tijani Biodun.

The panel included broadcaster, journalist, presenter and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador, Angela Rippon; Chief Executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green OBE; Deputy Director of Citizens UK, Mathew Bolton who is leading Citizens UK’s national campaign on social care, and prolific blogger and health campaigner, Beth Britton.

Joan was excited to attend the event and to meet Angela Rippon: “This day has been very enjoyable for me. I love living among friends at Marlborough Court.” Joan stated how staff within Marlborough Court had transformed her life within its specialist dementia (PEARL) unit.

Marlborough Court care home offers award winning nursing, residential and residential dementia care within 3 individual units. Home Manager Maggie Candy was delighted to take part in the debate: “We welcome participation in health care debates and the opportunity to talk about the exceptional services and care within Marlborough Court.”

To watch the event click here

Photo, left to right: Home Manager Maggie Candy, Joan Packman and Angela Rippon.

27 May 2015

Four Seasons Health Care will be running two workshops at the Alzheimer’s show at Olympia on June 5th and 6th. This show, run in association with the Alzheimer’s Society, is the UK’s only dedicated exhibition and conference for those affected by dementia. The show is aimed at carers, care professionals and members of the public and will showcase a range of information, products, experts, services and practical advice to help those affected by dementia.

Joanne Agnelli, Dementia Services Quality Manager at Four Seasons, will be running a workshop entitled ‘Promoting the use of person-centred language in clinical practice and society’. She will talk about how the language we use when talking about dementia, both as health practitioners and people, is a gateway to increasing or reducing stigma associated with the disease.

Jessie McGreevy, Dementia Training at Four Seasons, will be running a practical session on ‘Understanding and responding to distress’. This session looks for the meaning behind certain behaviours, seeing them as a means of communication, and looks at appropriate non-pharmacological responses.

Four Seasons Health Care will also have a stand at the show where information about the company, and some freebies will be available.

For more information about the Alzheimer’s show, to book tickets or to see the programme of speakers click here

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26 May 2015

Four Seasons Health Care has introduced Wi-Fi into all of its care homes and residents have been taking advantage of the opportunities that internet access provides. They have readily adapted to using the technology to keep in touch more frequently with relatives or friends who live far away.

Violet Amies at The Maltings Care Home in Fakenham said: “Having Wi-Fi in the home means that my daughter and I can sit together and use Skype to talk to my other daughter who lives in the United States, which is much easier than trying to arrange a telephone call. It’s great to be able to hear her news more regularly and to be able to see each other and share photos online.”

At Cossins House Care Home in Cobham a resident who used to be a ballet dancer and is now living with dementia, regularly watches ballet videos online. This helps to stimulate positive memories, as well as encouraging her to reminisce about her earlier experiences with other residents and staff members. Many residents are also shopping for books and other small items online in addition to adding to their Kindle libraries.

Alistair How, Chief Operating Officer of Four Seasons, the UK’s leading care homes operator, said: “It has been a significant investment to upgrade our IT systems and install Wi-Fi in all of our care homes, but it is one that we consider to be very worthwhile. It has enhanced our residents’ enjoyment of life in their home. They are able to connect more frequently via social media services and email and they can also keep up to date with their personal interests more readily, as well as maintaining their independence by shopping online.”

25 May 2015

When Old Vicarage resident Yvette Weinberg moved in to the home last October, her artistic daughter Natalie Leigh wanted to make the transition for her mum as easy as possible. So with the support of Care Home Manager, Pauline Clews, Natalie set about personalising the room to make it feel homely and comfortable.

“I wanted to make my mum’s room an enjoyable space for her and for me when I visit, the best way I could do this was to use familiar pieces of furniture and ornaments and paint the room in ‘happy’ colours. I also thought about all the things she used to like to do, such as sitting at a table next to a window and I rearranged the room so that she could still do this. A favourite mirror was my initial inspiration and my ideas grew from there. “

She made such a good job that Natalie’s interior design skills were soon used to decorate the corridors of the home. “Natalie is incredibly artistic and has made areas of our home more interesting and brighter for residents to enjoy,” commented Pauline Clarke. “It is important to us here at The Old Vicarage Care Home that residents live in a safe and homely environment surrounded by things that make them feel happy so it is always lovely to get support from family members such as Natalie.”

Pictured from left: Natalie Leigh with Pauline Clews (Home Manager)

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24 May 2015

Hesslewood House had a visit from some unusual animals when ZooLab came in to provide animal therapy. The animals that visited the home included a Madagascan hedgehog, a tarantula, an Australian blue tongue lizard, an orange corn snake, a bearded dragon and a Vietnamese blue tree frog. Residents and staff had the chance to learn about the animals and to handle them.

ZooLab has been carrying out animal handling workshops and animal therapy sessions across the UK since 1995. Animal assisted therapy is used as an occupational therapy tool within psychology and has been shown to reduce both anxiety and blood pressure.

The interaction and relationship between people and animals has also been shown to reduce stress and promote wellbeing, increase socialisation, improve self-esteem and confidence, and promote quality of life.

Home Manager Michelle Pepworth said, ‘The residents really enjoyed listening to the information about each animal and where they came from, they all had the chance to hold and touch the animals, they were very brave!’

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