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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A Droitwich care home resident has starred in their own CBeebies Bedtime Story worthy video for National Storytelling Week.

Ravenstone Care Home resident Audrey Prince, 90, gave a stellar performance of Goldilocks and the Three Bears on the home’s Facebook Page. Her fellow residents helped with the production by creating Goldilocks themed drawings that were shown on-screen throughout the video. The hand-drawn images included pictures of Goldilocks herself, grizzly bears and bowls of porridge.

The video has delighted the home’s Facebook fans, who have shared their praise and thanks, with many commenting on Audrey’s fabulous recital of the childhood favourite.

National Storytelling Week focuses on encouraging people of all ages to explore reading books and sharing stories with one another. An important part of Ravenstone’s activity programme includes spending time and reminiscing. Events such as National Storytelling Week provide the perfect opportunity for residents to be able to engage in reminiscence activities.

A Childhood Favourite

Audrey said: “I had a lot of fun reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears to our followers on Facebook. It is a childhood favourite which has been enjoyed by many generations and will be for many more years.

“One of my favourite books as a child was A Peep Behind the Scenes because it is just such a great story.  I read it so many times as a child.  It is a sad story though, it made me cry.”

Wendy Stokoe, home manager at Ravenstone care home, said: “Celebrating National Storytelling Week is very important to us as a home as it gives us an opportunity to share stories with one another. This can be childhood favourites, adult fiction or even telling our own stories to each other.

“The residents had a lot of fun and we have discovered some fantastic new stories to get stuck into!”

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The residents of a care home in Droitwich are delighted to have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ravenstone Care Home was among the first in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to receive the vaccine on-site. The vaccinations were administered by the Droitwich Integrated Care Team at the home in a Covid-secure environment.

Ravenstone resident Betty Powell was told by the vaccination team that she was one of the first residents to be vaccinated in their own care home in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  Betty said: “I am so grateful that I have been given the vaccine. Everyone at Ravenstone 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.”

A Wonderful Day for the Ravenstone Residents

Home Manager Wendy Stokoe said: “This is a wonderful day for our residents and their families. 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 once again we are able to relax the restrictions on visiting and finally the day when all restrictions can be removed – that will be the day we have a big party!”

The staff and residents at the home are now awaiting the date for their second vaccination.

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Ravenstone Care Home residents in Droitwich were thrilled to receive beautifully decorated Christmas cards from local children in the run-up to Christmas. 

At a time when digital capabilities are changing how we communicate with one another, our residents love to receive handwritten cards and letters. Thanks to its location in Droitwich town centre, Ravenstone has excellent links with many local community groups and organisations. Under normal circumstances, the home would welcome children from the local Salvation Army pre-school to spend join residents for intergenerational visits. However, during the visiting restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, these have sadly not been able to happen.

Care home residents benefit greatly from interactions with the younger generations. This helps promote social and memory skills, improve mood, and the children can learn a lot too. This is why we are keen to maintain our links with the pre-school from a distance. As you can imagine, our the Ravenstone residents were filled with joy when the children’s handmade letters arrived.

Residents enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful colours and hearing what the children had been doing in the lead up to Christmas. In addition to these cards, another local child took the time to write to each of our residents individually.

The Wonderful Christmas Post

The hand-written Christmas wishes didn’t stop there! Later in December, a batch of cards and letters from volunteers all over the country arrived at the home. Part of ‘The Wonderful Christmas Post’ initiative, each resident received a personalised Christmas card. Not only were they addressed to each resident personally, but the authors also wrote about each residents’ interests too. Messages ranged from discussions about whiskey to a selection of quiz questions for our quiz champion!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the groups, organisations and volunteers that have thought of our residents this year.

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Even though Remembrance Day celebrations were different this year, Droitwich-based care home Ravenstone ensured residents could still commemorate. Paying respects to those who fought for our country, and those that continue to serve in the Armed Forces.

Ravenstone resident John Tarleton received a memorial wreath from his military regiment to ensure he could continue take part in this year’s Remembrance celebrations. John served in the Royal Mechanical Engineers and laid his wreath in the home’s garden.

John requested that the wreath was then taken to Droitwich War Memorial. At the memorial, it was laid by Dylan, the son of carer and Royal British Legion member, Sarah Moore.

With two members of staff also members of the local Royal British Legion branch, the home was in the fortunate position to be able to hold their own socially-distanced Remembrance commemoration complete with the last post for its residents.

Keeping Connections with the Local Community

Wendy Stokoe, home manager at Ravenstone, said: “It has been a very strange year for everyone. However, we have been working hard to help the residents feel included as part of the wider community, as well as feeling safe and stimulated within the home.

“Remembrance Day is incredibly important to many of our residents. Particularly for those who are veterans or who have family members who have served. So we knew we needed to find a way to mark it appropriately, even if we couldn’t visit a public event.

“We gave our residents time and space to reflect and remember and share stories of their own experiences and those of loved ones on this significant day. We hope that next year we will be remembering with family and friends in the community, together again.”

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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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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 at Ravenstone Care Home in Droitwich have formed their own quiz team. Every month they take part in a quiz championship where they compete against teams from several other homes in the local area.

The latest quiz championship, the last before Christmas, took on a festive feel with crackers, party hats, mulled wine and Christmas-themed treats. This time, we had two newcomers to the team, Betty and Jill who helped greatly, as the Ravenstone team proudly came away with the trophy! Well done to all for this spectacular victory!

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Residents at Ravenstone Care Home in Droitwich recently invited local pre-school children to join them for their Remembrance activities. Children from the town’s Salvation Army Pre-School take part in weekly visits to spend time with residents of the care home. The visits are not only great fun for all involved, but can also help improve residents’ memory and thinking skills through positive interaction between the generations. Long after the children have left, residents continue to talk about how much they enjoy seeing them.

The pre-school visit in the week of Remembrance Day encouraged the children to help residents make poppies out of red tissue paper. The poppies are now proudly on display around the care home. During the visit, the children also got see a regimental poppy wreath. The wreath belonged to Ravenstone resident John, who took part in this year’s Remembrance Service at Droitwich Cenotaph.

On Remembrance Sunday, kind volunteers helped some of the Ravenstone team escort a group of seven residents to watch John lay his wreath at the service. John served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), travelling to many places around the world during his service. John remembers his time in the army well and was honoured to join other veterans from the town in paying respects to the fallen.

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