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21 Mar 2016

Residents definitely rule to roost at Cherry Trees Care Home in Barnsley following the introduction of their Residents Committee.

The Committee has been running since the start of the year and have already had an impact deciding what activities the residents should do in the home.

Residents have been getting handy in the kitchen, baking a batch of delights to enjoy with their coffee mornings, enjoying an entertainment evening with local entertainers who got all of the residents involved, and even one or two of them on their feet.

Residents have been joined by students from the local college, playing board games with each other keeping a tally of the overall winners – currently the golden oldies are beating the hip youngsters.

One of the most recent activities caused a friendly division between the residents and the team. Maxine Gascoigne, Resident Experience Regional Manager explains: “Last week Zoolab came in and offered pet therapy to the residents, with a slight twist. Instead of bringing the usual fluffy animals, such as guinea pigs and rabbits, they brought a rat, a Chilean Rose tarantula, a lizard and a selection of snakes. The residents had a whale of a time, but some of the team scarpered at the sight of seeing the spider and the snakes. Once the pets had gone, normal service resumed once again in the home.”

It’s not all been fun and games at the home. Residents and the team alike have celebrated a number of milestones. One resident celebrated her 80th birthday, whilst the homes residing married couple celebrated 61 years of wedded bliss.

Maxine Gascoigne added: “The feedback from our residents is very positive. In the last three months our Quality of Life Programme shows that 100% of them are happy living at Cherry Trees, and they all believe their views are listened to.

“Keep up the good work guys. I look forward to hearing and seeing what else the Residents Committee has up their sleeve.”


21 Mar 2016

Spring is in the air at Highstone Mews Care Home in Barnsley, as residents helped the team put 'all hands on deck' with their spring clean.

It all started off with a tidy up of the home’s garden, removing the weeds and any leftover debris from winter. This was quickly followed by an arts and craft session, where the residents created some bespoke decorations to celebrate St David’s Day. They even made their very own dragon!

There was no rest for the wicked, as the residents were encouraged to keep moving by local organisation Pulse, an exercise team. Pulse demonstrated a number of chair exercises for residents to complete. The residents duly obliged, and even put a few of the care home team to shame!

It’s not all go at Highstone Mews though the residents have indulged in a pamper session, which included many of the residents getting manicures and pedicures. Bingo is a firm favourite at the home, especially as the prizes for winning are of the chocolate variety.

Other relaxing activities have seen the curtains closed, for a movie morning where residents enjoyed a selection of popcorn and snacks for their ‘big screen’ experience.

Over the past couple of weeks the home has celebrated a couple of their resident’s birthdays, with one lively resident encouraging everyone else to join in an afternoon of singing and dancing, bringing the party atmosphere into the home.

Kay Littledyke, Home Manager said: “We’ve had a busy few weeks here at Highstone Mews. We do a range of activities to cater for all of our residents’ needs. I think we were all surprised at how flexible some of them were in the Pulse chair exercise session, although lots of fun was had.

“We’re always open to new ideas and regularly listen to our any suggestions our residents have. Our Quality of Life data backs this up with 92% of residents saying that they are listened to by the team.

“The home has definitely got that spring vibe and I’m looking forward to seeing what other decorations the residents make for upcoming events. It’s safe to say the dragon will be a hard one to beat.”


21 Mar 2016

The team at Southfield Court Care Home in Huddersfield have been helping residents get creative.

A new favourite activity in the home sees resident let loose with paint, glitter, colouring pens and glue as they make different decorations to adorn the walls in the home for upcoming events.

Clare McCourt, Home Manager said: “The residents enjoy the arts and crafts sessions run by our activities coordinator. It’s not just decorations they make though, last week they made stress balls which came in very handy for me. The majority of them did end up in my office.

“We all work hard here to make the residents feel at home, and it’s no surprise to hear that 88% of them agree with us that this is a happy place to live.”

It’s not all arts and crafts though; residents have also been to Holy Communion at the local church. Back at the home they’ve been treated to hair and beauty treatments with residents embracing the ‘pamper day’ to get the fill works done including their hair, manicures and pedicures in a variety of different colours.

The team have helped residents to bake a variety of biscuits and cakes, which they’ve washed down with a cup of tea whilst relaxing with a book or having a good old natter.

Clare McCourt added: “We try to make Southfield Court a home from home, doing things with the residents that they enjoy doing, as well as providing new experiences to give them special memories.

The team at Southfield organised a very special experience for one of the homes more poorly residents. Clare explains: “We hired a local bedside singer to come in and talk to one of our residents. The singer came in, found out our resident’s favourite songs, then spent the next half an hour serenading him. The resident’s wife was extremely pleased and thanked the team saying ‘it’s a memory that will stay with her forever.’ It’s one that will stay with me too.”


18 Mar 2016

Over the past couple of months, residents at Woodlands Care Home in Mirfield have had weeks packed with activities thanks to the activities coordinator and the rest of the team.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the team, as some of the mischievous residents try to get up to no good.

Maxine Gascoigne, Resident Experience Regional Manager said: “Woodlands is a fantastic home to work, live and visit. The team here put the residents needs at the heart of everything they do. They run activities that the residents are interested in, and introduce new things to create new memories.

“However, the residents are prone to playing pranks on the team. One of the residents regularly dresses up as a member of the clergy and delivers the immortal line of ‘more tea Vicar’. This is then followed by laughter, sniggers and cheers from other residents. The team all love it here, it shows that everyone at the home is up for having fun.”

It’s not all tea and biscuits at this home. The residents have taken time with the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds who came in to see what wildlife is in the grounds around the home. What started off as a slow morning soon changed as the residents competed against each other to see who could see the most birds. Later on the residents had the opportunity to get up close and personal to some owls kindly brought in by the Bird Sanctuary.

Another activity saw the team digging out sweatbands, lycra and leg warmers as everyone took part in keep fit activities including; passing balloons, twirling ribbons, playing golf, cycling and boxing (on the Nintendo Wii). Some of the more mobile residents took advantage of the games room by playing badminton, ping pong and bowling.

It’s not just physical activities that our residents get involved in. A recent session of ‘The Guessing Game’ had everyone pondering who, what, where and why. The game involves players looking at cards that depict a scene. They then have to guess the name of the movie/song, or if the card shows a historical point in time, share with the group what that player was doing on that day. There were some very interesting answers to say the least.

There is definitely no air of silence in the home, especially when music and merriment is on the menu. At the start of March ‘Melodies and Memories’ came and entertained the residents. It was an afternoon of dancing, singing and laughter all of which unlocked precious memories for everyone involved.

Maxine Gascoigne added: “There’s never a dull moment at Woodlands. Our residents have an amazing time and embrace every activity provided for them, even if the team run a mile – like when the owls came in. It's safe to say some of the team have a phobia of birds. It’s great to see so many smiles.”


18 Mar 2016

Spring is definitely in the air at Gosmore Care Home in Hitchin. With the yellow daffodils blooming, brightening up the place, showing that winter is finally gone.

Christina Hartles, Homes Manager said: “The view here at Gosmore is beautiful. The residents enjoy this view on a daily basis, with some using it as an inspiration for the upcoming World Poetry Day activity.”

Residents and the team are also getting into the Easter spirit, with the Activities Co-ordinator Lisa, creating beautiful gifts for an upcoming raffle to raise money for resident trips out.

Christina Hartles added: “Lisa has done a fantastic job pulling all of these prizes together. Although the main attraction is definitely her hand knitted Easter chicks. Everyone wants one. It’s all for a good cause though, and hopefully we will raise plenty of cash to provide our residents with some egg-tra special experiences.”

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