With warmer summer days upon us, residents at Larchwood Care Homes across the country have been making the most of their beautiful outside spaces.

In the summer edition of Larchwood Life, you’ll learn how our residents have been enjoying garden parties, fundraisers and seasonal colour in the great outdoors!

Fluffy New Residents

While a great number of our homes boast revamped garden areas full of summer blooms, the Avonbridge family in Hamilton have welcomed some new feathered friends to their courtyard. In the summer newsletter, you’ll discover the residents’ joy of hatching chicks and watching them grow. Nurturing the hatchlings proved to be incredibly soothing for many of the Avonbridge residents, bringing back fond memories of chicken coops and fresh eggs for many.

A Good Old Knees Up For VE Day

Following the nationwide celebrations of last year’s 75th anniversary of VE Day, the teams at our homes were keen to create another memorable day for our residents this year. Once again, the 8th of May saw our homes decked out with Union Jack flags, banners, and hats, as the sounds of Vera Lynn and Glen Miller filled the air. In this newsletter, you’ll read how we took time to reflect on those who lost their lives during the Second World War but also recreated the street party atmosphere of 1945.

Raising Dementia Awareness

With many Larchwood Care homes specialising in dementia care, raising awareness and supporting vital research into dementia are very close to our hearts. Earlier this summer, our homes held many events for Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week and Cupcake Day. In addition, some of our residents and team members took on challenges of their own. Download the Larchwood Life Summer Newsletter below to learn more about Sam’s cycle challenge and a sponsored walk that brought residents and loved ones safely back together.

You can view the Larchwood Life Summer Newsletter here.

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Hamilton care home residents have enjoyed a special street party to celebrate VE Day in true 1940s style.

The team at Avonbridge Care Home know how important commemorating VE Day is to many of their residents. Determined to make sure the day was filled with happy and meaningful memories, they went to great lengths to capture the atmosphere of May 1945.

In the run-up to the event, residents enjoyed creating their own bunting with the help of the home’s Oomph On Demand digital activities platform. Creating their own personal designs during craft sessions, the Avonbridge residents were able to help staff give the home a street-party feel. In addition to the bespoke bunting and Union Jack flags, homemade ration book-style menus for the street party lunch completed the theme.

An Afternoon of Surprises

As an extra special treat, Keri, one of the residents’ favourite singers, arrived to perform outside of the home’s large front windows. Wearing Union Jack bowler hats, the Avonbridge family joined in with all the great wartime songs from the comfort of their lounge. This was a significant moment for the home, with Keri the first live entertainer to visit in over a year due to Covid-19 restrictions. As you would expect, residents were up dancing and singing along with excitement.

Ian Young, who lives at the Hamilton care home, said: “It was brilliant being entertained by a singer again! We have been watching concerts but nothing compares to seeing someone live and in-person”

After a lively performance, there was another Great British treat with the arrival of an ice cream van! As residents enjoyed a Flake ’99, they shared memories of their own experiences of VE Day 76 years ago.

Martha Whip, aged 101, said: “I remember having parties like this out in the streets when the war ended. Every family would be out celebrating so today has reminded me of that.”

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Larchwood Care, one of the UK’s leading providers of care homes for the elderly, has been shortlisted for the prestigious LaingBuisson Large Residential Care award.

2020 has been a very strange year for everyone, not least for our residents. Our teams have gone to great lengths to keep those in our care safe during the pandemic. In addition, they have done an incredible job in enhancing residents’ wellbeing in the absence of visits from loved ones.

We are delighted that the hard work and dedication of our teams across the country has been recognised with a finalist place for the prestigious LaingBuisson Large Residential Care award! This year, the awards will take place in a virtual format on Thursday 22nd April.

To be shortlisted, entrants must display excellence in residential or nursing care for older people, with a focus on innovation and engagement with service users within a larger organisation.

The key drivers for the nomination were:

  • Larchwood Care’s commitment to supporting staff with training and career progression
  • The use of technology and innovation to ensure the efficient operation of Larchwood Care Homes. With in-house tech products including Care Portal, the IMPaCT Audit system and the HowDidWeDo? feedback app
  • Improvements in regulatory body ratings over the last 4 years. Including CQC scores rising from 41% Good or Outstanding overall to 85% Good or Outstanding

Lynn Fearn, managing director of Larchwood Care, said: “I am very proud that the organisation has been shortlisted for the LaingBuisson Large Residential Care award. This is a very important award and to have been shortlisted as a finalist from the many excellent applicants, is a major achievement in itself.

“As a care provider, we firmly believe that whatever an individual’s means, they deserve to feel safe, be cared for in a dignified and respectful manner and receive that care in as comfortable an environment as possible.

“I look forward to the awards being announced in due course and would like to congratulate everyone at Larchwood Care for getting this far. Without each and every member of staff being as dedicated as they are, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

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Spring is in the air at Avonbridge Care Home in Hamilton with the arrival of eight new feathered residents.

After receiving eight eggs from an ethical hatching company, Incredible Eggs, staff and residents were shown how to properly care for them by a professional. Following their training, the Avonbridge family managed to successfully hatch all eight chicks.

The staff at Avonbridge Care Home are no strangers to feathered friends. Many of the team keep chickens of their own. They have gladly shared their knowledge with the residents on how to care for the chickens as they grow up.

The home has even erected a purpose-built chicken coop in the garden, ready for the chicks to move into when they are old enough.

A Soothing Activity

Rosina Fagan, aged 79, a resident of the care home in Hamilton, said: “I think the chicks are beautiful and have loved being able to watch them grow. It’s great to have them in the home. We love to care for them and it’s a very different activity for us to take part in.”

Another resident who has enjoyed watching the chicks grow is Shonda McMillan, aged 77. She said: “They are very soothing, and they have kept us all busy. I can’t wait until they are bigger and can peck around in their outdoor chicken coop. Hopefully, we can get lots of yummy eggs from them.”

Lesley Kelly, home manager at Avonbridge Care Home, said: “Our residents are very fond of animals and birds, and hatching the chicks in the home seemed like a fun, yet different activity for them to participate in.

“We were given lots of advice from Incredible Eggs, and we successfully hatched all the eggs into beautiful little chicks. We’re all really looking forward to watching them grow up and be big enough for their chicken coop!”

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Spring has sprung and there is a great deal of optimism in the air at Larchwood Care Homes across the United Kingdom. 

In the months since our last newsletter, there have been some considerable steps forward in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Amid a backdrop of encouraging vaccination rates and emotional reunions with loved ones, our teams have ensured residents remain active, entertained and full of the joys of spring!

Green Shoots of Recovery

In the Spring edition of Larchwood Life, you’ll get a sense of the excitement our residents have for their Covid-19 vaccinations and the step towards normality this has the potential to provide. This excitement was only overshadowed by the introduction of a regular designated visitor for each resident inside our homes in England and Scotland. While our residents in Wales have had to wait a little longer for government guidance, in this issue of the newsletter you’ll get to read about some of our residents’ first emotional reunions.

Sailing into Spring

Our dedicated activity teams have started 2021 with a spring in their step with a wealth of new ways to enhance our residents’ wellbeing. What better way to spend the colder months of the year than seeing the world from the comfort of your own home? From learning Mandarin and experiencing Chinese culture for Chinese New Year to celebrating Australia Day with ‘Bushtucker Trials’ our residents have been reminiscing about their travels and discovering new destinations. The Spring edition of Larchwood Life also shares how one home took its residents on a month-long world cruise without leaving Scotland!

An Exciting New Partnership

While our teams have been working hard to keep residents active and entertained, we appreciate how challenging this can be while unable to welcome our favourite performers, therapy pets, exercise professionals and community groups into our homes. That is why we have partnered with Oomph! the UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults. The Oomph! on Demand platform allows residents to enjoy exercise classes, entertainers and quizzes at their leisure while providing our activity teams with a wealth of ideas and resources.

Read all of this and more in the Spring 2021 edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter by clicking here.

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There is much excitement in the air at Larchwood Care Homes across the country thanks to a new online digital wellbeing platform.

We are proud to have partnered with Oomph! The UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults, to roll out their Oomph On Demand platform to all of our care homes in England, Wales and Scotland.

Oomph On Demand is a welcome addition to the well-established activity programmes at each of our homes. All Larchwood Care Homes have at least one dedicated activity coordinator organising a varied and engaging wellbeing calendar of events each week.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, our residents would enjoy regular visits from community groups, entertainers and fitness instructors, as well as enjoying day trips in the local area. During the last year, these have sadly been put on hold. However, our teams have been innovating with technology to ensure that our residents continue to do the things they love most.

From touring the world on virtual cruises to hosting virtual Christmas parties with relatives via Zoom, technology has been hugely important in keeping everyone active and entertained during lockdown periods.

A New Way to Stay Active

Following the first lockdown of 2020 the Oomph! team launched their innovative Oomph On Demand wellbeing platform brimming with digital content to further enhance the mind, body and soul of care home residents.

Thanks to our partnership, Larchwood Care residents and care teams have a wealth of interactive quizzes, musical performers, exercise classes, virtual escapes, and history documentaries at their fingertips 24/7.

While Oomph On Demand will be great to assist with group activities on large smart TVs, it can also be accessed on a one-to-one basis on our homes’ activity tablets or residents’ own devices whenever they wish.

The platform also comes with an abundance of training and resources to assist our Larchwood Care teams with their activity planning.

Encouraging Engagement With Technology

Lynn Fearn, managing director of Larchwood Care, said: “The Oomph On Demand platform is an exciting addition to our extensive activity plans for the homes. Also, it helps us to encourage our residents to engage with technology more effectively.

“At a time when inviting people into our homes such as intergenerational groups, dance teachers or entertainers is not possible, these on-demand activities will help in keeping our residents stimulated and active. Our homes are usually a hive of activity so it is important that we look at every way we can to continue to enrich the lives of our residents at this time.”

Ben Allen, chief executive of Oomph Wellness, said: “I am delighted that Oomph! will be partnering with Larchwood Care on the launch of our new digital wellbeing platform – Oomph! On Demand. Oomph! On Demand provides a wide range of expertly created wellbeing content all in one easy to navigate platform. I am so pleased we can offer this resource to care teams and residents at Larchwood Care Homes, that will enhance meaningful engagement 7 days a week.”

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With Christmas just around the corner, we wanted to take the time to share some news from Larchwood Care Homes across the United Kingdom. 

Following another difficult few months of varying visiting restrictions across all of our homes, we are proud to say that our teams have continued to ensure our residents are well cared for and continue to enjoy fulfilling lives.

Creative Thinking

The creativity of our staff is something that has really shone through during the pandemic. They have worked hard to come up with new things for our residents to enjoy while also adapting old favourites. Summer fundraising events are something we look forward to each year, welcoming relatives and friends into our gardens for fetes and BBQs to raise money for the residents’ fund. While these events have not been able to go ahead this year, our homes have looked to other innovative ways to fundraise. In this newsletter, you’ll read how one home called on some established names from the world of literature and film to help them raise funds.

Remembrance Goes Ahead

Remembrance commemorations are hugely important to many residents in our homes. With the usual remembrance events cancelled across the country this year, Larchwood Care teams put their thinking caps on once again to ensure our residents could continue to mark this occasion in a safe way. From knitting fundraisers to in-home services lead by staff members and stunning handmade memorials, you’ll find out how they ensured remembrance could still go ahead.

Awards and Recognition

We’ve also taken some time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Larchwood Care teams with our Staff Recognition Week. A week dedicated to thanking staff for all they have done during this challenging year to keep our residents safe. In this edition, you’ll read how they celebrated and how their hard work has been recognised with a prestigious industry award nomination!

You can download the Autumn/Winter 2020 edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter by clicking here.

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Staff at Avonbridge Care Home in Hamilton have surprised their residents by redecorating the walls at the home with a brand-new mural.

The staff decided to create the mural depicting a typical Scottish high-street after overhearing residents talk about their desire to go shopping in the local town centre once lockdown restrictions allow.

The brightly coloured mural features shops, hairdressers, cafés, grocery stores, and even a post office. The staff also included a variety of colourful nature scenes in the mural, such as cherry blossom trees and flowers.

The mural sparked a number of conversations amongst residents about their favourite shops, their favourite high street buildings and the places they’re most looking forward to visiting when restrictions allow.

Familiar Sights

The murals featured at the Care Home in Hamilton are specially designed to bring comfort to those living with dementia. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, these familiar sights have been a welcome addition for everyone.

Moira Buchanan, one of the residents at Avonbridge, said that she thinks the mural is gorgeous. She loves the bright colours and the feeling that she has everything she is used to seeing on her doorstep.

At Larchwood Care, it is important to us that our residents feel connected to the local community, especially during these difficult times. Reminding them about comforts, such as visiting the local shops, is just one example of the ways that our teams go the extra mile to ensure that our residents live happy, fulfilled, and stimulated lives.

Our homes have dedicated activities teams that work hard to create a varied programme featuring our residents’ favourite pastimes. Our teams also endeavour to provide our residents with new opportunities and experiences to find things that they enjoy.

 

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As we head towards Autumn, we are delighted to deliver the latest edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter. Despite visiting restrictions, our teams have worked hard to ensure our residents have enjoyed a fun-packed summer.

With plenty of sunny days over the last few months, our residents have been able to make the most of our gardens, with many able to welcome loved ones for Safe Outside Visits.

In this edition of Larchwood Life, you will discover how we have been improving many of our outside spaces, keeping residents in touch with local communities and reminiscing with the silver screen.

The Great Outdoors

We love to see our residents relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. That is why we have been working hard to improve the gardens at Larchwood Care Homes. Residents have enjoyed getting involved in these projects and getting hands-on with the planting. You’ll learn how we have been ensuring these spaces are accessible for all, with sensory elements to enhance the experience for those with dementia.

Getting Creative

At Larchwood Care, we are incredibly proud of the creativity and determination of our teams. Not only has the coronavirus pandemic presented many challenges around keeping residents in touch with loved ones, but it has also meant that we are not able to invite our residents’ favourite entertainers and activity providers into our homes. It has also put a stop to our much-loved outings. In this edition, you’ll discover some of the inventive ways our teams have been able to ensure our residents continue to enjoy their favourite events and activities.

Movie Premieres

On downloading the newsletter you will also learn how the kindness of the local community has helped residents of two of our homes reminisce about happy times at the pictures. Thanks to some very kind donations, residents have enjoyed movie premieres in their own homes.

You can download the Last Summer 2020 edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter by clicking here.

 

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Welcome to the first digital edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter. With visiting restrictions currently in place at our care homes across the United Kingdom, we believe it is more important than ever to share good news from Larchwood Care’s residents and teams. 

At Larchwood Care, we are working hard to ensure that our residents’ relatives and supporters of our homes can stay in touch with the great things that have been happening to keep life for our residents as normal and fulfilling as possible under difficult circumstances.

In this edition of Larchwood Life, you will discover how technology and social media have become an important part of maintaining contact with loved ones while also combatting loneliness during life in lockdown.

Maintaining High Standards of Care

With routine regulatory inspections on hold due to visiting restrictions, great ratings for Larchwood Care Homes have continued to be reported and celebrated by our teams and residents. In this newsletter, you will be able to read about the fantastic standards achieved in the eyes of the Care Quality Commission and the Care Inspectorate.

This edition also provides an insight into how Larchwood Care has been ensuring the health and safety of our residents and staff by sourcing and distributing appropriate PPE to all of our homes.

Community Kindness

Celebrating the kindness of our communities is another big theme of this publication, demonstrating that the general public’s admiration and appreciation of the social care sector reaches far beyond Thursday evening’s Clap For Our Carers event

On downloading the newsletter you will also discover how events such as VE Day, birthdays, and even a hen do have continued to be made special for our residents thanks to our incredibly caring and creative teams.

You can download the May 2020 edition of the Larchwood Life May 2020 Newsletter by clicking this link.

 

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