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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The adventurous residents at Atherton-based care home The Chanters have celebrated Australia Day in true antipodean style.

Wearing cork hats and surrounded by inflatable native creatures, the residents of the home on Tyldesley Old Road enjoyed a fun afternoon filled with Australian-themed games.

One of the residents’ favourite activities was the bushtucker trial where they ate creepy-crawly shaped sweets, rather than the real thing of course!

A key part of ensuring we provide stimulating and exciting activities for our residents is giving them an opportunity to explore and celebrate different countries and cultures. This may be through learning a new language, trying different cuisines or themed days like Australia Day.

Fond Memories of Places Travelled

It also gives us an opportunity to share anecdotes of places we have been in the past, and it’s always lovely for the residents to reminisce about their travels. Reminiscence is another important part of our activity plan at The Chanters as it helps to engage the residents in meaningful conversations.

Sybil Downham, age 93, a resident at The Chanters, said: “I really enjoyed the Australia Day afternoon, especially playing the games. We had a giant inflatable spider that we threw rings onto its legs to score points! When it was my turn to spin the bushtucker trial wheel I had to eat a pretend snail, it was horrible, but I washed it down with my shandy.”

Anne Hargreaves, home manager at The Chanters, said: “The residents had a lot of fun celebrating Australia Day, and the bushtucker trial game was a hit! You’re never too old to learn and it’s important that we all take time to understand more about other cultures and countries. It was very interesting to discover more about the animals and creatures that are native to Australia too.”

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The residents of Atherton-based care home The Chanters can confirm that miracles can happen, even in 2020!

The residents and team at the care home on Tyldesley Old Road were lucky enough to receive a visit from Father Christmas during the festive period. He turned up on his reindeer-led sleigh and took time to wish a socially distanced ‘Merry Christmas’ to the everyone through the home’s windows.

Dressed in his famous red-suit, Father Christmas stepped down from his sleigh to walk around the outside of the home, ensuring as many residents as possibly received a festive wave. There was quite the buzz around the Chanters as news of his arrival was announced. The sounds of Christmas music filled the air outside as residents, both upstairs and downstairs, waved from windows and danced along. It was the perfect start to our Christmas week celebrations!

Helping Raise Funds for Those in Need

However, Santa didn’t come bearing gifts. This time he came with the hope of giving gifts for those less fortunate. Arranged by Atherton Rotary Club, the festive visit helped to raise money for charitable causes in The Chanters’ local area of Manchester. Due to social distancing requirements, this year the focus was on donating virtually via text message and a Just Giving page.

Supporting local causes is very important to us at The Chanters, and we’re so pleased to be part of something with the aim of bringing joy to people at Christmastime. We are also working hard to keep our residents connected with the local community during the pandemic. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local organisations and our supporters for helping us to achieve this.

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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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At The Chanters Care Home in Atherton, residents have been enjoying weekly cinema nights thanks to kind donations from a local film society.

Staff at the home on Tyldesley Old Road, have been hosting ‘Movie Mondays’ for its residents, playing popular movies from a selection of DVDs, donated to the home by Leigh Film Society.

As part of the weekly movie sessions, residents take it in turns to pick what film will be shown. They also get to tuck into a range of all-important movie snacks, popcorn and pick-and-mix.

Some of the films that have been ‘premiered’ at The Chanters include Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, The King’s Speech, The Sound of Music and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. So far, musicals have proved to be the favourite genre amongst residents. Currently, The Sound of Music is leading the way as the residents’ favourite film.

Favourite Day of the Week

Resident Sybil Downham said: “Movie Monday is my favourite day of the week. We take turns to choose movies, and there are some films that I enjoy watching over and over again. Even if I have seen them before.”

Thanks to the fantastic generosity of everyone at Leigh Film Society, our residents have been able to enjoy the big-screen experience in the comfort of their own home. The wonderful gifts have gone down a treat. ‘Movie Mondays’ have provided hours of joy for everyone at the home.

When normal visiting arrangements resume, our door will always be open at The Chanters for Leigh Film Society. We would love them to come round and enjoy a ‘Movie Monday’ with our residents.

Through our busy programme of activities, we work to ensure that all of our residents continue to do the things they love the most.

 

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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 The Chanters Care Home in Atherton, Manchester, are helping local school children reach the top of their game by sponsoring their sports kit. Pupils at Sacred Heart School will now wear jackets with the care home’s name printed on them to all of their sports events.

The Chanters Care Home and Sacred Heart School have built a relationship over the last 12 months, with students visiting to join residents for crafts activities. They also perform their end of term shows for our residents which include lots of singing and dancing.

Lyndsey McBride, Activities Coordinator at The Chanters, said; “We’re delighted to have been able to support Sacred Heart School and to provide them with their smart new jackets.

“It’s really important for us to get involved in community projects like this. It’s good for our residents to have an anchor in the present.”

Eileen Simpson, 86, a resident at The Chanters, added: “I’ve been a sports fan all my life but I haven’t got the energy to take part myself nowadays. I’m glad our home is able to support local school children who might well be the next generation of sports stars.”

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At The Chanters Care Home, we have reached out to members of the public to send our residents postcards. Activities coordinator, Lyndsey McBride posted the appeal to the Facebook group ‘Postcards of Kindness,’ which connects people with over 150 care homes in the UK.  The postcards help with reminiscence activities by getting residents to talk about the destinations that they have visited. So far residents have received over 50 postcards, with some from as far afield as India and Taiwan.

Sybil Downham, a resident at The Chanters, said; “Everybody used to send postcards. Once upon a time, no holiday was complete without a search for stamps or a long wait in a post office. Nowadays, mobile phones have overshadowed the humble postcard, which is a real shame.”

The Chanters have created a special ‘The Chanters’ postcard to reply to the cards received. It was designed using a photograph of the outside of home, in its summer glory, including flowers in bloom.

If you are yet to go on holiday, please do send a postcard to:

The Residents, The Chanters, Tyldesley Old Road, Atherton, Greater Manchester, M46 9AF

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Four Year 6 pupils from Sacred Heart RC Primary School recently visited The Chanters and read to two groups of residents. The residents sat eagerly awaiting their arrival and thoroughly enjoyed hearing the children read their selected stories. The children also met some residents who are room bound, said hello, and had a conversation with them. A fantastic start to this new endeavour. A further date is booked to visit again and partake in Easter craft activities. Before leaving, the residents asked if the children would come back again soon and share some more of their work / readings.

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