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News Archive
Wilf celebrates his 105th birthday
Wilf celebrates his 105th birthday
STAFF and residents at Parklands Lodge came together to celebrate resident Wilf's 105th birthday - socially distanced, of course. 
The Lodge was transformed with decorations, balloons, cake and friends to make the day as special as possible, especially during these trying times.  
Wilf was over the moon to receive his beautiful cards and gifts, including a letter from the Her Majesty the Queen.  
His day was made even more special as he was able to celebrate with family, who joined in the festivities from the other side of the window.

Veterans charity launches Share a Smile campaign
Veterans charity launches Share a Smile campaign
A NEW campaign aimed at bringing a smile to the faces of Royal Star & Garter residents is being launched ahead of Armed Forces Day (June 27).  
Share a Smile invites members of the public to send in homemade videos aimed at bringing cheer to veterans cared for by the charity. 
Submissions received so far include magic tricks, dancing dogs and musical performances. 
Share a Smile follows the success of Royal Star & Garter's Letters with Love campaign, which has brought much warmth and love to residents after the Homes paused visits from family members and entertainers in March.  
It is also inspired by school pupil Jemima, whose piano-playing videos entertain residents in the Surbiton Home. 
Pauline Shaw, director of care at the charity, said: 'These videos will mean so much to the residents, who have been unable to see loved ones for such a long time.  
'Letters with Love brought them an incredible amount of joy during a very difficult time, and I know Share a Smile will do the same.'

Hats off to residents celebrating Royal Ascot
Hats off to residents celebrating Royal Ascot
ALL bets were off as a Canterbury care home got crafty and made their own hats and fascinators for a Royal Ascot-themed fun day. 
Residents at Highfield had shared their stories about previous visits to horse and dog racing venues, and with the help of activities co-ordinator Claire Handcock, decided to recreate the annual event. 
A main staple of Royal Ascot is, of course, the eye-catching headwear, and not wanting to be left out, the residents spent an afternoon creating fantastic fascinators and terrific top hats. 
During the morning, residents played a horse racing game with 50 matchsticks each, and Rita Turner was the outright winner, claiming around 90 per cent of everyone else's matchsticks. 
In the afternoon, everyone at Highfield sat down to watch the actual racing from Ascot on television, without making any bets, but picking prospective winners between them.

Party celebrates residents' birthdays
Party celebrates residents' birthdays
EVERYBODY came together at Woodlands Lodge in Formby recently for a socially distanced party to celebrate all those who have had their birthday in lockdown. 
The week was also very special as resident Dot turned 96 and her close friend Letty 83. 
Woodlands Lodge was transformed into a lilac and pink paradise; with balloons, cake and friends all round. Laughter, singing and dancing filled the home throughout the day. 
The residents were also joined by some special guests, with Dot's family joining in the festivities from the other side of the window. 
New team member Danny also performed some beautiful songs throughout the day from 'Happy Birthday' to 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.  
 

Joy as residents and relatives reunite
Joy as residents and relatives reunite
RESIDENTS at Royal Star & Garter's three homes have enjoyed emotional reunions with loved ones. 
It was the first time they were able to meet face-to-face in three months, after visits to the homes were stopped as part of the charity's Covid-19 infection management protocol. 
The meetings took place outside in the grounds of the Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe facilities, with social distancing strictly adhered to and PPE worn by all relatives and staff involved. 
Visitors also had their temperatures taken on arrival and used hand sanitiser before meeting their relatives. The reunions lasted 30 minutes, and the area was cleaned with disinfectant wipes after each meeting. 
There were also decorations to mark the special occasion, with bunting and ribbons adorning the outside of the homes. 
During lockdown the charity has invested heavily in new technology, allowing residents and relatives to keep in touch via WhatsApp and Skype video calls.

Home surprises staff with personalised cakes
Home surprises staff with personalised cakes
TEAM members at Sunrise of Sonning were surprised with personalised cakes to celebrate Carers Week.  
The care home usually celebrates the annual awareness week through holding a raffle draw where every member of staff has the opportunity to win gifts.  
But this year, Sunrise of Sonning made 140 personalised cakes for them instead.  
The care home also made cakes for those team members who have been unable to come to work.  
General manager Carmela Magbitang then personally delivered these cakes to the much-missed staff.

Residents reunited with their families
Residents reunited with their families
STAFF at Nottingham care home Fairway View have helped to reunite families for the first time in 13 weeks thanks to lifestyle manager Rebecca Bussey's 'Relative Drive-thru' idea. 
Residents at the Bulwell care home received a visit from their loved ones which was carefully planned by Rebecca, as she ensured that families maintained a safe social distance and complied with government guidelines throughout. 
Rebecca said: 'It was a pleasure to put this event together for our residents and their families.  
'I am so pleased with how much we have been able to help our residents stay in contact with their loved ones throughout and the 'Relative Drive-thru' has been such a hit.' 
As relatives drove up to the home they saw their loved ones excitedly waiting for them outside and were able to chat, laugh, sing and play music from their cars.

Louisa celebrates her 100th birthday
Louisa celebrates her 100th birthday
JUNE 7 was a special day at Lighthouse Lodge as resident Louisa celebrated her 100th birthday. 
She spent the day catching up with family and friends from around the world, who called to send their best wishes and love. 
Louisa's children thanked all the staff on duty for making her 100th birthday such a memorable occasion during difficult circumstances, noting that 'staff rose to the challenge in brilliant style'. 
Lighthouse Lodge was transformed into a place fit for a Queen, complete with a throne. The theme continued with Louisa taking a socially distanced, royal procession down the corridor as everybody sang, cheered and gave well wishes from their rooms. Louisa was also proud to show off her telegram from the Queen to all her friends. 
As a gift, the team put together a sentimental scrapbook filled with pictures of all her happy memories at Lighthouse Lodge, along with heartfelt messages from all the staff and residents.  
Activities voordinator, Erin, who has a special bond with Louisa, as they are both artists, made a beautiful hand-drawn picture of the Scottish Highlands for her, as this was where Louisa spent the summers with her husband and had many happy memories together.  
The afternoon continued with a delicious meal and karaoke party on her floor, with many residents and staff members dedicating their songs to the birthday girl. The kitchen team made a fabulous cake that was shared with everyone in 'Louisa's 100th birthday' party bags for friends and family to have as a keepsake.

No excuse for complacency over coronavirus
No excuse for complacency over coronavirus
CARE providers are warning there is no excuse for complacency, after another fall in the number of people who have died from coronavirus in social care settings was announced. 
The Independent Care Group says it is vital that the country keeps up the pressure on the virus. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: 'Today's figures are again welcome in that the total is falling. But overall, the number of people who have died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in England is approaching 13,000. We must not become complacent - this thing isn't beaten yet. 
'We have all worked so extremely hard to get Covid-19 under control, it would be a tragedy if we took our foot off the gas now and let a second spike happen.' 
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 705 people in England and Wales died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to May 29. That is down from 1,090 the previous week. The weeks before recorded 1,660, 1,666, 2,423 and 2,800 deaths respectively.  
The ONS says the number of deaths involving Covid-19 in care and nursing homes registered up to May 29 was 12,828 in England and 626 in Wales. 
'We have to remember that each death is a tragedy - someone's mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend and for that reason we cannot let up,' Mike added. 
The ICG has welcomed the announcement of a social care task force to help the sector protect older and vulnerable people through coronavirus. 
It said it hoped the task force would go beyond coronavirus and help shape the future of the sector.

Game time at Birkdale Tower Lodge
Game time at Birkdale Tower Lodge
BIRKDALE Tower Lodge has been dedicating at least one day a week to 'Staying Connected'.  
This has involved Skype, FaceTime, emails and telephone calls to family and friends which are held in the 'snug' at the Athena Healthcare Group home to avoid family isolation.  
The home is now going a step further with its 'Interactive Family Games' evenings.  
The most recent saw them host an Italian themed evening, with traditional fine dining followed by an interactive 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' game. 
Home manager Maxine Nichol was the perfect host and called upon Athena's CEO Steven Wylie for help via her phone a friend lifeline. 
Residents' families and friends were also invited to join in the fun, staying by their phones at home to help their loved ones reach the next level should their assistance be required for those trickier questions.  
There were prizes for the winners, although perhaps not quite a million pounds. 

Time for sport at Gravesend care home
Time for sport at Gravesend care home
FRIDAY'S fancy dress theme at Watling Court was Sports Day, bringing a bit of athletic cheer and a spot of leisurewear to lockdown.  
Football players, swimmers, sailors and runners were just a few of the ideas the staff and residents at the Gravesend extra care housing scheme came up with for their themed Fancy Dress Friday. 
As lockdown continues, each Friday the staff will dress, based around a different and unusual theme. We've already seen wacky outfits, pyjamas and glamour day, so who knows what they'll do next? 
Keen to get involved and spread a bit of joy, a lot of the residents have started to join the fun too, lifting everyone's spirits during what can be quite a challenging time. 
Helen Goulding, housing officer at Watling Court said: 'Our fancy dress day seems to be growing every week, with more staff and residents wanting to get involved, which is great to see. 
'It started as a silly idea to bring a smile to our residents' faces during lockdown, so it's lovely to see that it certainly seems to be doing that. It's really fun to see what everyone will come up with each week and thankfully, we have lots of ideas to keep us going for a while.'

Don't take foot off the gas says care group
Don't take foot off the gas says care group
AS CARE and nursing home deaths drop by a third, the Independent Care Group says it is vital the country keeps up the pressure on the virus. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: "Today's figures are welcome but we must not become complacent and let coronavirus take hold again. 
"We have all worked so extremely hard to get Covid-19 under control, it would be a tragedy if we took our foot off the gas now and let a second spike happen." 
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 1,090 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to May 22.  
That is down from 1,660, the previous week, 1,666 the week before that, 2,423 the week before that and 2,800 the week before that. 
"We have to remember that each death is a tragedy - someone's mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend and for that reason we cannot let up," Mike added. 
"Lockdown measures are being relaxed and we understand why.  
"But coronavirus in care and nursing homes hasn't gone away and it is vital that we proceed safely and sensibly to keep protecting our most vulnerable."

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