Afternoon tea raises awareness of new Age UK service

Afternoon tea

A afternoon tea party was held at a Northumberland care home to raise awareness of a “friendship line” for the over-60s. The Age UK initiative, named Call in Time, is a free telephone befriending service for matching volunteers with older people.

The Oaks Care Home, in Blyth, held an afternoon tea for residents, relatives and friends to highlight the service ahead of its launch in Northumberland in 2018. The home’s staff all dressed in vintage, 1940s tea room uniforms to serve tea, coffee, cakes, muffins and trifle as part of the event.

Resident Pat Whyatt said:

“I had a good afternoon with my friends and it makes up for the miserable weather we’ve had lately.”

Paige Gallagher, activities coordinator at The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, said:

Making your Home Suitable for Live-in Care


Without a doubt 24 hour care and Live in care helps elderly people with long-term health conditions maintain a better quality of life, unfortunately, this type of care is associated with the loss of independence, as it is often believed that around the clock care is exclusively provided in care homes.

With up 97% of elderly people preferring to stay at home, live-in care makes it possible for people with long-term and complex health needs to receive the level of care they need without upheaval and disruption.

Karantis Partners with DCSL Software to Create Karantis Care App

Karantis Care App

Karantis Ltd has partnered with DCSL Software to create the Karantis Care App for carers and families across the world. Karantis provide solutions that increase the productivity, quality of service, transparency and accountability of the global care industry - particularly focused on those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Loneliness and Depression.

Having worked closely with carers and families, Karantis were aware of the main care challenges both sides were facing. Carers felt too much time was spent manually filling out paperwork reports when they could be spending more time with their client, and families were worried that they had no visibility of, or connection with, the people caring for their loved ones, especially if some family members were not located nearby.

Urging care home facilities managers to specify legal for trade

Y Pellets

With the pressures on spending, close scrutiny of procurement and good governance continuing to be under the spotlight, national wood pellet supplier, Y Pellets, is asking residential care home managers using biomass wood pellets as an alternative heating and energy source to fully examine what they pay for.

At a time when many wood pellet suppliers subcontract deliveries on vehicles which don’t meet EN Plus trading standards, the company, which supplies premium quality, sustainable wood pellets to homes and businesses from its 5,000 tonne storage facility in Google, has identified discrepancies in practices widely used by other contractors who are not legal for trade but may supply to private and public care home facilities.

Care company provides staff with free nutritional snacks to promote healthy eating

healthy eating

Following recent reports on healthy eating, claim that middle-aged millennials are set to be the most overweight generation since records began, one of Kent's leading home care providers, Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, has launched a new healthy eating initiative to coincide with the start of Nutrition and Hydration Week (12 – 18 March).

Under the new scheme, Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells's staff will be able to choose from a range of delicious and nutritious snacks, which will be provided free of charge. The options will include nutritionally balanced items such as dried and fresh fruits, high-fibre wholefood cereal bars, biltong, wholegrain popcorn, nuts, seeds and olives.

Margaret Shares Exotic Travel Stories Thanks to Innovative Care System

Blackwoods Clever cogs

A pensioner who enjoyed her first ever foreign trip has been able to share her holiday photos with the boss of the charity who developed the Blackwoods Clever Cogs innovative care system that allowed her to travel to Vietnam.

Margaret Sancken, 65, felt confident enough to book her first ever holiday to Vietnam thanks to Blackwood’s Clever Cogs system, a digitally enhanced product which aims to keep people as independent as possible. Blackwood has a commitment to push the boundaries of technology to allow property adaptations which make a huge difference to people with disabilities.

New online platform connecting RGNs and care homes with the best temporary shifts


Florence is a pioneering online platform that takes a new and different approach to providing temporary staffing to care homes in health and social care. The platform works by directly connecting healthcare managers with pre-vetted registered nurses (RGNs and RMNs) by cutting out recruitment agencies. Using more traditional recruitment agencies to fill temporary positions can be very costly, meaning money is taken out the system and doesn’t reach those who deserve it.

Outsourcing is the key to compliance


ECO is urging care homes to outsource help desk facilities to help ensure they stay on the right side of the law.

ECO Integrated Property Solutions (IPS) is advising managers that using a professional and expert supplier to co-ordinate and oversee any works in their property will not only lighten their load but will ensure compliance with rules and regulations.

Managing a schedule of repairs, refurbishments and maintenance can be a time consuming distraction and it would be easy to overlook smaller details or rush processes through lack of time. But trusting a specialist team to take on all aspects of property care will ensure accuracy, consistency and compliance, particularly if they’re invested in the latest technological advances.

She's making a career out of caring - with ‘ridiculously amazing' success

Balhousie Care Group

Jozi Stables' story is one of hard work and dedication. She progressed from doing dishes in a care home kitchen to becoming the youngest care home manager at Balhousie Care Group.

"Make Today Ridiculously Amazing" says a piece of art on Jozi Stables' office wall. It joins other words of encouragement as well as many photos - of the residents and staff of the care home where Jozi has just been appointed manager.

At the age of 27, Jozi is the youngest care home manager at Balhousie Care Group. She heads up 48 full- and part-time staff at Balhousie Ruthven Towers, a Scottish care home which has achieved top Grade 6 ratings from the Care Inspectorate for its management, leadership and standards of care.

Combined Care Initiative Benefits Old and Young in Romsey

Abbotswood Court

Encouraging greater happiness, mental stimulation and increased longevity amongst their elderly residents, Abbotswood Court care home in Romsey has been welcoming pre-school children from nearby Yellow Dot Nursery.

In the UK one in three over 65s see family members, including grandchildren, less than once a month. This can lead to feelings of isolation and mental decline. Providing positive mental and emotional stimulation, Abbotswood Court in Romsey has been connecting elderly residents with a group of pre-schoolers from the nearby Yellow Dot Nursery.

Youth and experience brought together at Oundle care home

Oundle care home

Oundle care home care home is leading the way in bridging the generational gap by opening its doors to local young people.

Abbott House has welcomed pupils from Oundle School, who have been volunteering at the Oundle care home by helping staff at meal times, playing board games with residents and providing entertainment using their own musical instruments. Three pupils have also been painting murals on the bathroom walls, while others have given talks on their varied backgrounds, sharing experiences with residents. The volunteering doubles up for some pupils as a contribution towards the service element of their silver or gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.

How HealthUnlocked is changing how people care for their loved ones


Every single day an extra 6,000 people take on the responsibility of being a carer. Back in December 2016, a completely new type of online support was set up on the social network HealthUnlocked.

This regular, ongoing support of another person can change people’s lives. In fact for many, life will never be the same again.

It’s not all a struggle though, and many people report finding it a rewarding and positive experience. One of the biggest factors in how people experience being a carer is dependent on the support they are getting, knowing where to turn, understanding when to get extra help and when to ask for or turn to professional support.

Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare Top National CQC Rankings


Residents and team members at Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare are celebrating after the care home providers were named the best in the country by Market Analysts Laing & Buisson based on inspection ratings undertaken by the CQC.

100% of all inspected Gracewell homes, and 96% of all Sunrise communities, have been rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, demonstrating the exceptional standard of care offered by the providers across the country.

Sunrise has been ranked top for residential care, and Gracewell has come first for nursing care. Sunrise has also come second for nursing care.

The CQC is the independent regulator of all health and care services in the UK.

Scottish dance visits Sees care home

Scottish dance

94-year-old Lilly Tideswell was transported back to her childhood in Scotland when care home, MHA Homewood, invited the Leamington Spa branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society to the home for a Scottish dance night.

Lilly, who has lived at Homewood since July last year, learned to dance when she was 8 years’ old. Mrs Tideswell grew up in Greenock on the west coast of Scotland, where she paid “two shillings and threepence” for dance lessons each week, often donning the McGregor tartan.

How to encourage more young people to become professional carers

young carers

In the UK, we have nearly seven million carers, both paid and unpaid, but with an aging population and government cuts, we are in dire need of more young carers. We need new talent to bolster the professional care industry.

Care work is still one of the most underpaid jobs in the country - but also one of the most important. One of the biggest barriers for young people who are considering a career in this sector is the salary - and the industry has repeatedly come under fire because of this.

As a society we have moved away from looking after our senior citizens, turning our backs on carers.  

CCTV could cut the cost of insurance for Care Sector


The cost of insurance for care home operators could be slashed by installing CCTV, according to Philip Scott of pioneering safety organisation Care Protect.

Mr Scott is calling on insurers to take the reduced risk to patients in homes with CCTV systems installed, and subsequent reduction in financial and reputational risk to homes, into account when calculating premiums.

The operator of a care home with 70 beds can currently expect to pay up to £10,000 a year for insurance, while the premium for nursing homes and those offering specialised services can be significantly more.

New furry friends sought for residents of Bridgewater care home

furry friends

Care staff at a Bridgewater nursing home are asking local pet-owners to consider getting their furry friends certified as a therapy animal, and sharing their attentions with local people living with dementia.
Activities co-ordinator Lisa Priddice who works at Avalon Nursing Home, a specialist dementia care home run by Camelot Care, said: “Petting or playing with an animal can provide a real therapeutic boost for the people we support because it increases certain hormone levels.
“It’s lovely to see how happy it makes our residents when they are able to pet an animal, and research says the benefits it brings them include an improved sense of well-being on many levels.”

Improving quality of life with dance

Improving quality of life with dance

Recent studies reveal an increasing number of health benefits from dance – particularly for dementia sufferers.

Clifden House, a leading dementia care centre in Seaford, advocates dance as a therapy. Dance, in any form, not only requires physical movement but also involves important cognitive stimulation. The mental and physical coordination required to dance stimulates several regions of the brain.

Nial Joyce of Clifden House said, “Life doesn’t have to stop with a dementia diagnosis. Finding fun and active activities liked dancing is proven to improve well-being and is a great way to take part in light exercise, provide cognitive stimulation and promote social interaction with others.

Couple Celebrates 62nd Valentine’s Day

Couple Celebrates 62nd Valentine’s Day

An Aberdeen couple are perfectly placed to give lessons in love this Valentine’s Day – as the couple celebrates their 62nd valentine's day

And Jimmy Mathers, 93, and wife Betty, 84, believe they can give couples of all ages some simple tips for a long and happy marriage: it’s all about give and take.

The doting pair celebrates this Valentine’s at Meallmore’s Sunnybank care home in Cruden Bay, where Jim has lived since 2016, with Betty joining him in April of last year.

Jessica Bland-Jennings - Becoming a healthcare assistant

Jessica Bland-Jennings - Becoming a healthcare assistant
Becoming a healthcare assistant

At school Jessica Bland Jennings knew she wanted to work in healthcare. Her A Level choice comprised of PE, AS in Geography and a BTEC health and social care and her ambition was to become a paramedic.

When she left school, she worked as a life guard but she also completed an anatomy and physiology top up course to secure the qualifications needed to become a paramedic.