At Muirton House Care Home in Blairgowrie, we love to help our residents celebrate special moments in their lives. 

The visiting restrictions that we have all learned to live with during the Covid-19 pandemic mean that our residents’ relatives are not able to join them in the home at present. Although this is to safeguard the health and safety of our teams, it is most difficult on special days such as birthdays.

That is why we were even more determined to ensure that Muirton House resident Margaret McGregor felt like royalty on her 100th birthday. Marking a centenary requires something a bit special, and while Margaret thoroughly enjoyed her socially distanced birthday party with her fellow residents and the Muirton House team, it was the Scottish fanfare that really set it off.

Surrounded by 100th birthday balloons, her presents, and cards, Margaret was serenaded by two bagpipers outside in the garden.

“A Wonderful Character With Fascinating Stories to Tell”

Margaret, a resident of Muirton House Care Home for the past two years, was born in Wimbledon in 1920. At the beginning of WWII, she worked as a clerk fo the Co-Op and had to walk over five miles a day on her commute. This meant navigating through streets of bombed-out buildings destroyed by the Blitz, always wondering if her family home would still be standing on her return.

Margaret joined the Auxilary Territorial Service in October 1942. In the service, she was trained to track enemy aircraft using radar and was billeted at many army bases around the UK. It was during her time in the ATS that Margaret met her husband. He was serving in the Royal Navy, and after the war, the couple returned to Glasgow, his home city, where they settled down and started a family.

A Celebration Fit For Royalty

In the run-up to her birthday celebration, friends and family sent Margaret cards and gifts for the team to present to her on the big day. In addition, one extra special item arrived in the post with a royal stamp. Margaret was over the moon to receive a card from Her Majesty the Queen!

Margaret said: “I had a wonderful day and was made to feel very special by the staff.”

Catherine Russell, home manager at Muirton House, added: “Margaret is a wonderful character, with fascinating stories to tell about her life during the war.

“Although her birthday party wasn’t what she is used to, I hope she had a lovely day nonetheless and we will make up for it when we can welcome her family to the home again.”

 

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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 at Muirton House Care Home in Blairgowrie get to enjoy a wide variety of events and activities. Live music is a firm favourite at Muirton, and we are lucky to have a wealth of local entertainers that visit the home.

Following the unveiling of our Christmas decorations, local singer Kenny Martin stopped by to treat residents to an afternoon of singing and dancing around the Christmas tree. With a selection of classic hits, Kenny helped them to reminisce about their younger years.

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Three staff members have been presented with Long Service Awards in recognition of their years of dedication at Muirton House Care Home. Pearl Kerr has worked as a carer at the home for 27 years, Gill Rennie has served as Home Administrator for 17 years, and Arlene Palmer, Head Cook, has been with Muirton House for 15 years.

Catherine Russell, Care Home Manager, said; “There have been many changes in the home over the last 30 years and the staff have adapted admirably to this. These staff, along with others who have given a lot of years of service, are dedicated to Muirton House and will help out at any time to ensure the comfort and safety of our residents. Having staff who know the home well helps with continuity of care, especially for those residents who are frail or have dementia.”

As a thank you for their years of hard work, all three staff members were also presented with vouchers for Victor and Sons Jewellers in Blairgowrie.

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Muirton Berry Pickers

To celebrate Staff Recognition Week, the team at Muirton House Care Home in Blairgowrie decided to host a themed dress-down day. A relative suggested they dress up as the famous Blairgowrie Berry Pickers. Blairgowrie, known as “Berry Town” is famous for its berry fields. Every year tens of thousands of Scots headed “to the berries” for the summer to pick the fruit.

The Muirton House team got into their “berry gear” for the day. Sporting cleeks (hooks tied around the waist to carry the baskets for picking) and luggies (small buckets). Residents loved reminiscing about their days “at the berries” and rounded it all off with live music and strawberries and cream for all!

 

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Young Peter visited Muirton House from St Stephens school as part of the take your child to work day. His mum is a carer in the dementia unit however, on this occasion, he was helping Jane with activities, which included sensory dance, provided by Andrea Holbrook.

Everyone had a very enjoyable time.

 

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Friends of Muirton House, Carol Maclean and her Labrador Bud visited on Tuesday 22ndJanuary for a special tea party.

Carol and Bud from Therapets, visit Muirton House every two weeks and have become friends to many of the residents. This is an invaluable service and over the last year, staff ran a collection, raising £84 for Therapets from visitors’ and staff loose change.

The money was presented to Carol by Mrs Marjorie Scott thanking her for all the work they do.

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Pet Therapy at Muirton House

Staff at Muirton House held a Christmas T-shirt day (too warm for jumpers!) to raise funds for Children in Need. Claire Campbell, Clinical Lead who organised the day said a total of £43 was raised. Staff, residents and visitors all enjoyed the fun and said it was a great day!

 

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Residents at Muirton House have been taking part in regular Zumba sessions with local instructor Fiona Edwards.

Home Manager Catherine said “these are fun, happy sessions. The level of participation and concentration is fantastic. It certainly lifts the spirit and the sense of achievement for all involved!”

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Zumba Muirton House