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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All bets were off at Highfield Care Home in Canterbury in June as residents made their own hats and fascinators for a Royal Ascot-themed fun day.

Residents at the care home on Bekesbourne Lane, shared their stories about previous visits to the races as they recreated the annual event with the help of activities co-ordinator Claire Handcock.

The eye-catching headwear, which is a main staple of Royal Ascot, stole the show at the care home in Canterbury. With residents spending the afternoon creating their own fantastic fascinators and terrific top hats. During the morning, residents also played a horse racing game using matchsticks as currency.

Each resident began the day with 50 matchsticks each. However, Rita Turner, the outright winner, beat all the odds to finish the day with around 90 per cent of everyone else’s matchsticks. An unbelievable achievement!

All the Thrills and Spills of the Races!

The thrills continued well into the afternoon at Highfield, with residents sitting down to watch the real racing from Ascot on television. Albeit without the usual crowds or a visit from Her Majesty the Queen due to coronavirus restrictions. Although no bets were placed on the afternoon’s racing, plenty of winners were picked by residents. Fun was had going through the runners and riders in the newspaper as residents selected their favourites.

Speaking of her success, Rita Turner said: “I didn’t realise I had such a talent for picking winners. I can’t wait to try my luck at our next bingo game!”

At Larchwood Care, one of our top priorities is to make sure our residents are stimulated and feel involved with the local and wider community. We have dedicated activity teams that work hard to ensure residents have fun, play games and get involved with whatever we’re up to.

 

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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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Residents of Highfield House Care Home in Bekesbourne, Canterbury, have enjoyed a busy programme of activities so far this year.

The home’s dedicated Activities Coordinator puts together a varied weekly programme of things for residents to enjoy. These include group activities in the communal areas, as well as activities designed for those with reduced mobility to enjoy in the comfort of their own rooms.

Creative pastimes are a firm favourite with Highfield residents. The home has an active knitting and crochet fraternity, who regularly meet to create designs and to have a good old chat. During February residents spent a week having a go at expressionist art. Using paints and canvases, residents enjoyed letting their imaginations run wild, creating all sorts of colourful designs.

Looking Forward to Spring

In the last week, our craft activities have taken a springtime twist, with residents creating their own miniature indoor gardens. Using miniature figures, craft items, and gravel, they have created some wonderful unicorn gardens.

Live music and birthday celebrations have been amongst the big highlights of the last few weeks, with Elvis gracing us with his presence. Our local Elvis impersonator is a firm favourite at Highfield, and once again got everyone clapping and singing along to all of the ‘King’s’ biggest hits. Continuing the party atmosphere, a crowd gathered in one of our residents’ rooms to wish them a happy birthday. Family, friends, and members of staff came together to sing a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ as a Birthday cake was brought into the room.

Residents and the Highfield Care Home team are already looking forward to busy spring and Easter period, with plenty of arts and crafts, entertainment, and gardening activities on the horizon.

 

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Residents at Highfield Care Home in Bekesbourne, Canterbury, enjoyed a great selection of entertainment over the festive period. The home’s character lounge area proved to be the perfect backdrop for a couple of Christmas sing-alongs.

The Bridge Choir joined the local vicar, dressed in Christmas jumpers, to lead the Highfield residents and staff in some traditional carol singing. Residents also enjoyed a special Christmas performance by the legendary local vocal group “The Greatstone Seniors.”

We have a great relationship with many local musicians and performers at Highfield. Fantastic live entertainment continues to be a popular feature of our regular activities programme.

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It’s been a crafty Christmas so far at Highfield Care Home in Bekesbourne, near Canterbury. Residents of the home kicked off the seasonal celebrations with one of their favourite activities.

We run regular arts and crafts sessions as part of our activity programme at Highfield. With plenty of rooms to dress for Christmas, we encouraged residents to make decorations to put up around the home.

There were some beautiful creations including angels, wreaths, stockings, and finger paint Christmas cards. Arts and crafts activities can help improve cognitive skills and coordination and give residents a real sense of achievement.

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Uploaded ToThe Zoo Lab visit Highfield Care Home

We had a great afternoon with the Zoo Lab, and our residents enjoyed seeing some lovely creatures!!

Easter Fun at Highfield

We had a lovely morning on Easter Monday with both residents and family members. We had two great ladies performing “Down Memory Lane” with some great songs from years ago, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

We also had some lovely Easter cakes made by our very own staff Nurse Tess, and the lovely Shirley, our resident Mr Gipps wife. Thoroughly enjoyed by all. I would also like to thank all those who donated to our Easter raffle which enabled us to make £70 pounds. We really appreciate the support shown by family members, and without you, we would be lost.