Norwich care home, Hillcrest, formed a guard of honour to mark one of their residents’ 100th birthday in style.

The team at the care home on Thorpe Road lined up in front of colourful balloons outside the home as resident Ruby Baker began a day of double celebrations.

As well as marking her centenary, the occasion also involved Ruby’s first trip out of the home with her family since lockdown.

Following the latest government guidance, the team at the home helped to plan a special trip out for Ruby. This meant she could spend time with close family at a small tea party. On her way out of the home, Ruby was greeted by the guard of honour and a chorus of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday to Ya’.

Ruby has led an exciting life and was lucky enough to be married to her beloved husband Chris for more than 60 years. They lived together at Hillcrest care home for many years until he sadly passed in 2013, on Ruby’s birthday.

She and Chris share four children, son Stephen and daughters Susan, Elizabeth and Julie. Her wider family includes four granddaughters and eight grandsons.

A Career History Filled With Talents

Ruby was a talented tailor for many years. She also worked in a boat factory, clothing factory and as a cleaner.

Ruby said: “I had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday with my family. It was so lovely to be greeted by the staff forming a guard of honour as I left.

“My secret to a long and healthy life is self-discipline, self-will, determination and faith in myself!”

Amy Parker, home manager of the Norwich-based care home, said: “Ruby has a great personality and is very kind to others. She is known as the ‘Queen of Hillcrest’! Ruby will always join in with any activity and will never let her age get in the way.

“We are delighted to have been able to celebrate such a special day with Ruby. We look forward to celebrating future birthdays with her here at Hillcrest care home.”

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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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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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