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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Although Remembrance Day celebrations were slightly different this year, Ellesmere Port-based care home Whitby House ensured residents and staff were able to continue a fundraising tradition. 

With visiting restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the home on Pooltown Road wasn’t able to receive its usual supply of poppies to sell on behalf of the Royal British Legion. Remembrance and Armistice Day are important occasions for many of our residents and staff. Some served in the armed forces while others have family connections to service personal, so all at the home were determined to continue their fundraising efforts.

Rising to the challenge, Whitby House resident Pauline Butterworth kindly offered to knit poppies to help raise money for the Royal British Legion instead. Pauline raised £25 for the local branch through the sale of her hand-crafted poppies which were snapped up by staff at Whitby House.

Supporting Veterans in the Local Community

Pauline said: “It was a shame that we couldn’t receive our poppies from the British Legion this year, but I wanted to ensure that we could still raise money.”

“I am a keen knitter, so I picked up my knitting needles and ball of wool and started making lots of poppies that the staff could buy. The funds will be donated to our local Royal British Legion branch, which does wonderful work for veterans in our community.”

Whitby House’s manager, Angela Earlam, said; “Remembrance Day is incredibly important to many of our residents, particularly those who are veterans or where family members have served in the Armed Forces. It was a wonderful idea of Pauline’s to knit the poppies and they looked beautiful; the staff couldn’t wait to buy one from her.”

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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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Whitby House Care Home in Ellesmere Port invited relatives and friends to a ‘Tree of Lights’ celebration to remember their loved ones who are sadly missed but not forgotten. We sang carols and said a prayer.

Relatives and friends wrote messages on stars to hang on the tree. Following the celebration, the group enjoyed chatting to staff and other visitors with a glass of wine, cheese & crackers and a mince pie.

The feedback from the event was very humbling. Relatives told us they had wanted to visit us previously but found it too upsetting. However, the Tree of Lights celebration gave them the perfect opportunity to do so, and to remember their loved ones with a fitting tribute.

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Local boys and ghouls from Ellesmere Port joined residents at Whitby House Care Home for spooky Halloween celebrations.

The home, on Pooltown Road, planned a range of activities to keep their young visitors entertained including decorating scary cakes, pin the eye on the witch and dance games to Halloween-themed tunes.

Angela Earlam, home manager at Whitby House, said: “It was wonderful to have the children with us for the day. Seeing them interacting and forming friendships with the residents was lovely and they all looked fantastic in their Halloween costumes!”

Rose Bowen, resident at Whitby House, said: “I had a great day at the Halloween party with the local children. The outfits were brilliant, and I really enjoyed getting dressed up myself.”

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It was a lovely sunny bank holiday weekend in Ellesmere Port. Perfect weather for the Whitby House Care Home Summer Fair. Our garden was a hive of activity, with family fun, games, ice cream, and even a unicorn!

Our residents loved sharing the afternoon with so many families and local people. A massive thank you to the Whitby House family and volunteers for making the day a great success. Together we raised £550 to go towards more exciting activities and trips for our residents.

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Tropical-themed day for staff at Whitby House

Staff at Whitby House were celebrating Staff Recognition Week by chilling out with mocktails and enjoying the recent heatwave during a tropical-themed day.

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Whitby House Senior Carer, Dayo, was recently travelling back home to his home town in Nigeria to attend his mother’s funeral. Dayo felt he wanted to make some good out of this sad occasion. He told staff how poor the families are there, and in no time at all, the kind-hearted staff and visitors started a collection for the much-needed toiletries and stationery items. Dayo had planned to take the items in his suitcase, but the collection just grew and grew! Donations from staff and Larchwood Care paid for posting the items instead. Dayo was able to take his collection of items around to local schools and hospitals in his home town of Akure, where they were very gratefully received and overwhelmed with the kindness of those involved.

Well done and thank you Whitby House!

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