Robotic therapy pets, which respond to touch and sound and provide stimulation and companionship, are also growing in popularity in care homes, with one in 10 care home staff (11%), saying their care homes have them. Robotic therapy pets mimic real animals and include life-like dogs which bark and furry cats which miaow and purr.
Doll therapy and robotic pet therapy are becoming more recognised as a way of calming and comforting people with dementia, although doll therapy in particular can be controversial as it can be challenging for relatives to see their family member cradling a doll and there have been suggestions it infantilises people with dementia.
Experts in the field have a number of tips for those considering the therapy. These include introducing the doll gradually, using the doll at appropriate times and ensuring people do not neglect their own needs in favour of the dolls.
Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care and Busy Bees have come together to develop an innovative and practical solution to help people fund their long term care. This initiative was developed from the successful salary sacrifice scheme for childcare which Busy Bees developed.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England says:
"Social care shouldn’t be seen in a vacuum. It is staggering how much common ground there is whether people are parents, carers, employees or employers. The salary sacrifice scheme invented by Busy Bees is an excellent means to make care more affordable alongside other ideas including those involving intergenerational aspects. We need to think global but act local and judge on outcomes and whether it delivers".
Parklands Group, one of the largest independent care home providers in the north of Scotland, has received a £5m investment from BGF, the UK’s most active investor in growing businesses, to further accelerate its growth.
Set up in 1993 in Buckie by Ron Taylor, Parklands provides high-quality residential care for older people at eight care homes across Moray and the Highlands, the most recent being its newly opened state-of-the-art Lynemore home in Grantown on Spey. Parklands was one of the first nursing care providers in Scotland to achieve Investors in People status and the group has won a series of awards for the quality of its care and its commitment to staff development and training.
Bluebird Care Edinburgh is celebrating after achieving ratings of Grade 6 across the board from the Care Inspectorate, the independent regulator of care services in Scotland.
The grades were received after a comprehensive inspection in December 2018 which deemed the care provider’s quality of care and support and quality of staffing both ‘Excellent,’ in its Quality Framework, the highest rating possible.
The news follows a great 2018 for Bluebird Care in Scotland. Earlier on in the year, Bluebird Care Glasgow South was inspected and maintained its ‘Excellent’ Grade 6s for the fifth year in a row.
Bluebird Care Edinburgh provides home care across Edinburgh, including a range of services that aim to ensure people have the freedom to live as safely and comfortably as possible in their own homes for as long as they are able to. It currently provides care to 129 individuals.
Thomas Timson was one of the first residents to arrive at the luxury Abbotswood Court care home when the purpose-built facility opened in Romsey in 2015. He made the decision to move following the passing of his beloved wife after 65 years of marriage. Having shared many cherished years together, her absence had a huge impact on Tom’s life and his love for singing became a neglected pastime. Even though his son lives nearby, living alone without someone to share his music with, was too big an adjustment.
The pair married in 1953 and were both proud to share their anniversary year with the Queen’s Coronation. A devoted husband, Tom nursed and tended to his wife for over two years before her passing. During this time Tom lost many opportunities to engage in his favourite passion, singing. A Hampshire man through and through, Tom was born in Compton, a small town just south of Winchester. He worked on the local railways as a Signalman for over 40 years.
Borough Care, the largest not for profit provider of care for older people in Stockport, has signed up to the EDUCATE Music and Laughter project. EDUCATE is a Stockport based group of people living with dementia, who raise awareness and help deliver training programmes. EDUCATE inspires others to live well with dementia. The Music and Laughter project is also being promoted by Fabulous Forgetful Friends, an involvement group for people living with dementia in Manchester.
Borough Care has over 20 years of experience supporting people with dementia. The company offers dementia support through a range of services, including residential care, active recovery and day care provision. Borough Care has partnered with EDUCATE to put on a range of musical performances and events for residents.
Theraposture, a respected leader in adjustable beds, chairs and care cots, has appointed Craig Ward as its new Trusted Assessor for Northern England, North Wales and Scotland.
Before joining Theraposture, Craig was a key representative at Leckey for 21 years with multiple responsibilities including client assessment, product life-time support and corporate education. Craig first developed a passion for assisting children and adults with disabilities whilst completing his Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. He gained memorable experiences volunteering within the long term care sector and at special schools. Craig's time at the John Jamieson School in Leeds, one of the largest inclusive learning centres in the UK, inspired him to seek a career in the mobility and healthcare market. Now with vast knowledge particularly in paediatrics and postural support, Craig joins Theraposture to strengthen its specialist services and enhance value to customers.
The CQC has published its findings following a review of health and social care services in Staffordshire.
The report is one of 23 targeted local system reviews looking specifically at how older people move through the health and social care system, with a focus on how services work together. The reviews look at how hospitals, community health services, GP practices, care homes and home care agencies work together to provide seamless care for people aged 65 and over living in a local area.
During the review CQC sought feedback from a range of people involved in shaping and leading the system, those responsible for directly delivering care, as well as people who use services, their families and carers.
Sunrise of Eastbourne has received a rating of ‘Outstanding’ from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care services in England – a rating which only around 1% of care homes receive.
The rating was awarded following a comprehensive inspection in July 2018 and makes Sunrise of Eastbourne one of the country’s top care homes.
The community, which provides high-quality, personalised nursing, dementia care and assisted living to up to 107 people, was praised by inspectors for ensuring its residents receive “exceptionally effective care, based on best practice by staff with an in-depth knowledge of their care and treatment needs.”
A programme of fundraising activities led by staff at plumbing, heating and bathrooms wholesaler Primaflow F&P has resulted in cumulative donations of £30,000 to the company’s current charity partner, Alzheimer’s Society.
Spanning the past three years, the fundraising drive encompassed a range of physical activities including marathons, walks, mountain treks and cycle rides – with many of the initiatives seeing colleagues join up to tackle the challenges in teams. Additional funds were raised via a staff shop and through the company’s website, www.primaflowfandp.co.uk.
A CARE home Christmas fayre has raised hundreds of pounds for residents.
Sycamore Hall Care Home’s annual festive celebration was attended by dignitaries from Ripon City Council alongside staff, residents and their family members.
Mayor Cllr Pauline McHardy, her consort Cllr Eamon Parkin and Deputy Mayor Cllr Charlie Powell were among the guests.
Craft stalls selling Christmas gifts, handmade soaps, knitted goods and jigsaws, among other items, helped raised £639.47 for the home’s residents’ fund.
There was also a cake stall and tombola with prizes donated by staff, relatives and friends.
In December 2018, I had the honour of bringing some festive cheer to a group of people living with dementia, and also their carers.
I began volunteering for Alzheimer’s Society back in May 2018. I didn’t really know what to expect but I had a very open mind, so I was accepting of anything that I would have to face. Ever since I began volunteering, I have been so thankful for the happiness and joy that it has brought into my life. Unfortunately I am unable to volunteer currently due to work commitments, but I really hope to be back in the near future.
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Volunteers in hospitals play a vital role in improving the experience of patients and relieving pressure on frontline staff, according to a new report from The King’s Fund.
The report, commissioned by Royal Voluntary Service and Helpforce, is based on a survey of nearly 300 hospital staff in England including nurses, doctors and support staff – the first time that NHS frontline staff have been surveyed for their views about volunteers.