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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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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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 and staff at Blairgowrie-based care home Muirton House have gratefully received their first Covid-19 vaccinations. 

The vaccinations were administered at the home off Essendy Road by NHS Tayside staff in a Covid-secure environment.

Home Manager Catherine Russell said: “This is a wonderful day for our residents and their families, and we are truly grateful to everyone who made this possible. It has been a difficult time, and we still have some way to go, but we’ve been celebrating this wonderful milestone today because it means that at last, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my amazing colleagues, our wonderful residents and their family and friends who have supported us throughout the pandemic. We are really looking forward to the day when we can relax the restrictions on visiting. When we can finally lift all restrictions – that will be the day we have a big party!”

A Heartfelt Thanks

Muirton House resident Robert Clark, 72, said: “I am so grateful that I have been given the vaccine.  Everyone at Muirton House has been fantastic all through the pandemic.  I know how hard they have worked and appreciate that it can’t have been easy, so I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks.”

During lockdown visiting restrictions, the team at the Blairgowrie care home have been working hard to keep residents virtually connected to loved ones and the local community. Phone and video calls have kept relatives in touch, while the home’s Facebook page has encouraged some wonderful support from the surrounding area. From gifts for residents to letters from school children and even a Christmas tree from Easter Rattray Farm, Muirton House has been overwhelmed with kindness.

Click here to find out more about Muirton House 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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A resident at Blairgowrie-based care home Muirton House has been left in awe after receiving a surprise delivery from his local footballing heroes.

Lifelong Saints fan Stuart McGregor was gifted a signed ball and personalised gift set from St Johnstone, his boyhood club, after being contacted by one of Stuart’s carers at the home.

Stuart’s signed football features signatures from several of his favourite current St Johnstone players, including Michael O’Halloran, David Wotherspoon and Callum Hendry. His gift set also included a St Johnstone water bottle and wallet, both emblazoned with his favourite club’s crest.

Stuart received the gifts after Becky McGregor, a student nurse at the Blairgowrie care home, contacted the club to see whether it would be possible to organise a delivery of gifts as a way of saying thank you to Stuart for being kind and welcoming to her at the home. Becky said that the club were more than happy to help upon receiving her request and she has already expressed hope of possibly being able to organise a visit to the home from some of the St Johnstone players in future when it is safe to do so.

Childhood Heroes

After opening his gifts, Stuart could not hide his delight. He said: “I can’t believe that the club have sent me these gifts. The St Johnstone players have been my heroes since I was a child.”

At Larchwood Care, we have dedicated teams that are always looking for ways to ensure our residents live happy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives.

We work hard to ensure that our residents are able to enjoy their favourite activities no matter whether they enjoy crosswords, gardening or watching their favourite football club in action.

No matter what your team’s colours are, with our diverse range of activities there will always be something to look forward to at our homes!

 

Click here to find out more about Muirton House 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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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.”

 

Click here to find out more about Muirton House Care Home

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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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