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 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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Kingsgate Care Home in East Kilbride has become the first care home ‘across the pond’ to participate in a USA initiative, Happygrams.

The home, which is based on Glasgow Road, decided to trial the American platform in December. Since then it has become a staple for residents and their families. So far, more than 60 Happygrams have been delivered.

78-year-old Stuart Duffy, one of the lovely residents at Kingsgate care home, has thoroughly enjoyed the service and has received particularly special Happygrams from his wife, Ann.

Stuart said: “I really enjoyed receiving my Valentine’s Day Happygram from my wife Ann. The Happygrams are such a great idea and they have cheered us all up; we love seeing the pictures from our families and friends and it’s lovely to be reminded they are always thinking about us.”

A Unique Way to Keep in Touch

The Happygram service is very easy to use and it helps to keep residents connected with their loved ones in a unique but special way. Family and friends can hop onto the Happygram website and send a message to their loved ones which is then delivered to the care home.

Users are even able to add photos to the Happygrams! All they need to do is select the home they wish to send the Happygram to by clicking here and fill out the necessary details!

Kathleen Crymble, activities coordinator at Kingsgate care home, said: “The residents have absolutely loved receiving Happygrams from their families. It’s genuinely heart-warming to deliver and assist with the reading of the messages to residents who need a wee bit extra help. The photos are great and it’s good to see the smiling faces of the families – we also love seeing photos of family dogs!

“We remain the only home in the world outside of America to offer a Happygram delivery service and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our residents’ families and friends who send in Happygrams.”

Click here to find out more about Kingsgate Care Home

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Kingsgate Care Home in East Kilbride ensured that lovebirds Helen and Danny Falloon celebrated Valentine’s Day in true romantic fashion. Particularly since the following day is their wedding anniversary!

This year, the lovely couple celebrated 63 delightful years of marriage together. Helen and Danny enjoyed a restaurant-worthy meal along with their fellow residents at the home to celebrate the day of love.

In the home’s dining room, the tables were dressed with themed decorations including rose petals, confetti and a beautiful red table runner.

However, the 15th February was all about them! The couple received lots of cards from their loved ones and they were also gifted a tasty cake, which didn’t last 5 minutes!

Helen and Danny have been married for 63 years and have two daughters, Anne and Yvonne. Danny was a welder/fitter and Helen worked in schools and supermarkets but enjoyed her job as a barmaid the most.

A Special Occasion

Helen said: “I really enjoyed our Valentine’s Day celebrations. It’s always a special occasion for us as a couple since our wedding anniversary is the following day. The home went to a lot of effort with the gorgeous cake and beautiful decorations, it was lovely.”

Danny said: “Valentine’s Day is always great, but our wedding anniversary is my favourite day. As it is just about my wife and me.  We were spoilt with lots of cards from our family and friends, it was a wonderful day!”

Liz Williamson, peripatetic manager at Kingsgate care home, said: “Helen and Danny are a lovely couple, and to be married for 63 years is quite an achievement.

“All our residents enjoyed Valentine’s Day and we had a lot of fun and making Helen and Danny’s wedding anniversary the next day special was the icing on the cake. Which was also delicious!”

Click here to find out more about Kingsgate Care Home

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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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Residents at an East Kilbride care home are taking part in an exciting month of activities by travelling the world on a virtual cruise ship.

Staff at Kingsgate Care Home, based on Glasgow Road, wanted to ensure residents didn’t feel the January blues and were able to welcome 2021 in style. Travelling the world on a virtual luxury cruise from the comfort of the home seemed like the perfect antidote to the colder weather and pandemic restrictions.

Each week will see the staff and residents visit new locations based in as many of the world’s continents as possible. The first location on the list was the Americas, week two – Africa, week three – Asia and the final week – Europe.

Along the way, everyone will focus on exploring food and drink from various countries. Trying Mexican food is already one of the big highlights of the excursion! The staff will help residents to learn more about different countries’ cultures, music and dance. Residents will also learn some fun facts about each country with quizzes, films and reminiscence activities.

Discovering Different Cultures

Stuart Duffy, 78, a resident at Kingsgate care home, said: “The cruise is very interesting as I like to travel. I’d like to go on a cruise as I haven’t done that.

“I am looking forward to learning about the different cultures of the countries, and I am especially interested in the week when we go to the Asian countries.”

Catherine Lawson, 90, another resident at Kingsgate care home, said: “I have never been outside of the UK, so I am really enjoying learning about the various countries and tasting the food and drink.

“I will never get to see these countries in person so doing it this way is just wonderful!”

You can follow Kingsgate care home’s virtual cruise on the home’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Click here to find out more about Kingsgate Care Home

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The residents of East Kilbride’s Kingsgate Care Home have been getting creative with Christmas cakes.

Kingsgate is home to some keen bakers, who regularly enjoy taking part in activities fit for the Great British Bake Off marquee! Having made their Christmas cakes in a previous activity session, residents were delighted to turn them into fully-decorated showstoppers just before Christmas. Using a mix of white and coloured icing, our resident bakers created festive scenes featuring snowmen with a selection of colourful scarves.

Made in the traditional way, fed with cognac, and now with beautifully-iced designs, we can’t wait to tuck in soon! With everything from Christmas crafts to Christmas carolling, a few birthdays and Christmas games, we’ve got plenty going on to distract us.

The Perfect Sensory Experience

We pride ourselves on delivering exciting and meaningful hands-on activities, but the Christmas cake sessions held another fantastic benefit for our residents. As Kingsgate Care Home’s activity coordinator, Kathleen explains; “It seems like a very simple activity, but it occurred to me that it’s almost a perfect sensory experience. Touch, taste, smell, seeing the different colours and shapes, reminiscence about Christmases in the past, imagining Christmases to come. Social interaction at its best!”

Kingsgate Care Home runs a packed weekly programme of events and activities for residents to take part in. As well as baking fun, music and movement play a big part in life at the home. You are never far away from a good sing or dance along at Kingsgate. Our team are always willing to take part too! We also tailor our activities to cater for each residents’ individual interests and needs. This ensures that everyone has plenty to enjoy.

Click here to find out more about Kingsgate Care Home

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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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Kingsgate care home residents, David and Anne Taylor, have recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with their friends at the care home in East Kilbride.

David (93) and Anne (91) celebrated their special day with a delicious cake which they shared with their fellow residents, as well as listening to songs sung by their granddaughter, Susie.

The couple, who were married on 9th September 1950, were both born and raised in Glasgow’s East End and were introduced to each other by David’s cousin. From the minute they met, romance blossomed and there were inseparable ever since.

On their wedding day, both the bride and groom wore suits. Their wedding reception was held at Anne’s mother’s home, which was very close to the church where they said their vows.

David was in the Navy where he trained as an electrician and worked on plane engines and electronics.  He then worked at Blochairn Steelworks before eventually moving onto British Rail. Anne worked as a tailor and specialised in making bridal gowns and dresses for special occasions, and even gents’ suits.

David said: “I’d like to thank the staff for planning a lovely party for us, we had a great time and I especially enjoyed learning about historical moments that happened on our wedding day and during 1950.

The Secret to a Long and Happy Marriage

“Our secret to staying married for so long is to be kind and attentive to one another, and to avoid arguments; your wife is always right!”

The home manager at Kingsgate Care Home, Anne Marie McKeich, said: “David and Anne are a wonderful couple, they’re big characters here at Kingsgate. I’m pleased that they enjoyed their celebration and I look forward to helping them make more memories together in the future.”

At Kingsgate Care Home, we work hard to ensure that our residents get to mark their special occasions with a fitting celebration.


Click here to find out more about Kingsgate Care Home

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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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