Our Atherton care home held a high-flying celebration for its residents this VE Day.

To mark 76 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe, the day began with a replay of Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech. Enjoying VE Day themed cakes while watching, the speech brought back memories of the day in 1945 for many of the home’s residents.

Surrounded by paper chains, bunting and flags made during craft sessions in the days before, residents were given toy glider versions of iconic wartime planes. These conjured childhood memories of both the toys themselves and of seeing the aircraft they represent in the sky.

As well as having fun with the gliders, residents also enjoyed completing VE Day activity booklets and a reading special edition newspaper from the home’s Oomph On Demand digital activity platform.

As the soundtrack to 1940’s Britain filled the lounges, residents clapped, danced and sang along to some of their favourite wartime tunes.

Sharing Wartime Stories

The sights and sounds of the day led to a wonderful afternoon of sharing stories from the homefront and those who served. Midge, a resident of the Atherton care home said: “I can still remember everyone cheering when the news came that it was all over.”

Marjorie, who also lives at the Chanters, added: “I remember tucking into jam butties at the street party on our road!”

Following the afternoon of celebrations, the residents chose the perfect tea to finish off the day. In true 1940’s style, they opted for a fish and chip supper. Many of those who lived through the war remembered that fish and chips were one of the few foods not to be rationed. They recalled that this was because the government believed that safeguarding this comfort meal was a key way to keep morale up during a difficult time.

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The residents of an Atherton care home came face-to-face with a flying dragon during their St George’s Day celebrations.

Famous for their imaginative themed events for residents, the team at The Chanters wanted to make sure this year’s St George’s Day was one to remember. Naturally, the home was decked out with English flags and bunting in the run-up to the big event. Then on April 23rd, an action-packed day began with a screening of the St Geroge’s Day parade on YouTube. Always happy to sing along, residents then enjoyed joining in with patriotic songs while waving Union Jack flags.

Later on, there was an unexpected visitor to the home in the form of a dragon piñata filled with sweets. Just like St George, residents faced the beast with sword in hand, or in this case, a roll of tinfoil! After a few fatal blows from our mighty residents, victory was declared and the sweets were enjoyed by all.

A Feast of English Classics

As you can imagine, tackling the dragon piñata worked up a healthy appetite. So to bring the celebrations to a close, our warriors enjoyed some English classics for tea. After an exciting day fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding went down very well indeed!

Lyndsey McBride, the home’s activity coordinator, said: “St George’s Day 2021 was full of lots of fun and laughter and the dragon piñata was a good workout!”

With a dedicated activities coordinator, The Chanters offers a varied weekly programme of activities. As well as regular pampering, gentle exercise and craft-based activities, there is always a themed day or celebration for residents to look forward to at the home. We work hard to ensure that our residents celebrate the events that are most important to them, working together to create happy memories.

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Residents at Atherton-based care home The Chanters have enjoyed a much-anticipated trip to the home’s hair salon.

With restrictions in place due to the pandemic, like the rest of us, residents at The Chanters have been unable to enjoy regular trips to see the hairdresser.

The home is lucky to have its own in-house salon, and residents have been able to visit for a spot of pampering from the care team. This has provided a wonderful boost for residents’ wellbeing during visiting restrictions. However, there was quite a buzz of excitement when they heard that the professional could return!

In line with current government guidance, hairdressers are now allowed to visit care homes following a dynamic risk assessment. With strict infection control procedures in place for the visiting professional, including a negative LFD test, residents can enjoy the pampering they have missed.

Stepping Into the Salon for the First Time

To coincide with this, the Atherton-based care home has appointed a new hairdresser for its residents. Debbie Chazen, of Haircuts With Beauty By Deb, has been a hairdresser for 30 years and stepped into The Chanters’ hair salon for the first time on Wednesday 21st April, much to the delight of the residents!

Sybil, a resident of The Chanters, reflected on her first professional cut of the year by saying: “It was absolutely smashing, it’s great to finally get my hair permed again. I feel like a new woman!”

Fellow resident Eileen added: “My hair had gotten really long but it was still a shock to see how much had been chopped off when I saw it on the floor!”

Marjorie, also a Chanters resident, said: “It’s brilliant I can’t wait to have it done every week now.”

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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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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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