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Egg-citing afternoon for care home residents
Egg-citing afternoon for care home residents
RESIDENTS at a Somerset dementia care home have been getting in the mood for the Easter weekend with a range of egg-citing activities arranged by the activities team.  
Organiser Richard Dempslake and his team supported the people living with dementia at Camelot House and Lodge in Wellington to engage in a range of themed activities, including one that proved to have special appeal for those with sensory loss - applying feathery decorations to t-shirts.  
Residents were also supported to make and decorate Easter eggs and chick cut-outs, creating a colourful backdrop for their seasonal activities, as well as to design and create Easter trees using old wood found in Taunton's Vivary Park.  
Richard said: 'Our residents really liked the idea of recycling the branches and enjoyed creating something new out of them.  
'Making bird masks and chick headbands was also a great hit and we wore some of them while performing a selection of spring-themed songs together.  
'We sang old favourites such as The Birdie Song, The Ugly Duckling, Tulips from Amsterdam, as well as Who's That Chick by Rihanna, which they love.  
'Special chocolate bunnies were awarded to residents who sang the loudest or made up their own dance routines, and there were Easter treats for everybody.  
'We like to make the most of every excuse for a celebration.'

Residents have a crack at Easter crafts
Residents have a crack at Easter crafts
RESIDENTS of Dene Holm Residential Care Home in Northfleet embraced their creative side and crafted some handmade decorations. 
With Easter just around the corner, the residents decided to brighten up their home with some seasonal decorations. 
They spent a morning cutting, colouring, sticking, painting and hanging, as they made their own decorations while discussing Easter traditions.  
Carefully embellishing chicks with sequins, painting Easter eggs and sticking pom poms on bunnies, they hung the finished decorations around the home. 
General manager Christine Hutchinson said: 'Once again, the Easter holiday looks a bit different for us all this year but we are feeling positive and upbeat here at Dene Holm, so we wanted to brighten up our home ready for our Easter celebrations.'

Survey explores human rights in care homes
Survey explores human rights in care homes
AN ongoing University of Essex-led survey of care professionals will shed further light on concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission that Do Not Attempt CPR orders in care homes have breached the human rights of residents. 
The survey of care home professionals has so far surveyed more than 220 medical, social care, legal and advocacy staff working in or with care homes, and researchers in the School of Philosophy and Art History are hoping more will complete the survey before it closes on April 4. 
The survey, which launched at the start of the month, asks respondents questions relating to restrictions on movement and visits, access to services, the use of DNACPR orders, and the usefulness of guidance for practice. 
Dr Margot Kuylen, senior research officer (pictured), said: 'Throughout the pandemic, there have been reports that the pandemic has interfered with the human rights of care home residents in the UK.  
"This survey will help us understand better what has been happening on the frontline, and will provide some quantitative data to supplement the many anecdotal accounts that have appeared in the media.' 
The survey is part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project, Human Rights in Care Homes, led by professor Wayne Martin. 
It will be followed by a series of focus groups with selected care professionals, who will have an opportunity to explore the issues brought to light by the survey.

Need for vigilance as restrictions ease
Need for vigilance as restrictions ease
CARE providers fear an easing of lockdown restrictions could spark a rise in Covid-19 infections in care and nursing homes and are urging caution. 
Whilst welcoming a further fall in the Covid-19 death figures in care settings, the Independent Care Group urged continued vigilance. 
Figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 151 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to March 19, down from 249 the previous week.  
According to these figures, 31,685 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes between December 28 2019 and March 19. 
Chair Mike Padgham said: 'Seeing today's figures it is heartening to see the death rate coming down. That is good news and we pray that it continues. 
'But we must echo the Prime Minister's 'proceed with caution' message as restrictions are eased, people begin to mix more freely and more risks are taken. 
'The coming days will be critical, with good weather encouraging people to be out and about there is a real risk that infection rates will rise again and that is a real concern for care settings. 
'We saw last time restrictions eased that care and nursing homes suffered. We must be extremely cautious to prevent that happening again. We must keep encouraging staff to be vaccinated, particularly as visiting gathers pace. 
'The pandemic hasn't gone away and is still claiming the lives of loved ones we must take care.'

Students build visitors' pod to help residents stay connected
Students build visitors' pod to help residents stay connected
STUDENTS and staff at City College Plymouth built and painted a new visitor pod for residents of Abbeyfield House in Ivybridge to safely enjoy visits from loved ones.  
The college got in touch with the home in late October after they saw a similar project take place on social media.  
Carpentry students began building the pods for Abbeyfield House and other care homes in the local community, which took them six weeks.  
Shortly after it was built, the painting and decorating students offered to decorate it.  
'We are so very grateful to City College Plymouth for supplying, designing, creating and decorating this amazing visitor pod for us at Abbeyfield Ivybridge," said Rebecca Newton, senior house manager at Abbeyfield Ivybridge.  
'It surpassed all of our expectations and the entire team were wonderful from start to finish.'

Care group reflects over Covid-19 anniversary
Care group reflects over Covid-19 anniversary
A NORTH Yorkshire care group is marking the year's anniversary of lockdown on today with a day of reflection for the lost and of thanks for key workers. 
Saint Cecilia's Care Group is joining in Marie Curie's Day of Reflection to mark a year since the Covid-19 lockdown began. 
It has also put up signs at all its five care centres to thank the NHS, care workers and other keyworkers for risking their lives to care for others. 
Today a candle will be lit at Saint Cecilia's centres in Scarborough and Pickering at 12.01pm and staff will observe a minute's silence. 
From 8pm, the centres will be lit in colour to remember the lost. Across all its five centres the care group has added a thank you message to its own signs. 
It reads: 'To the doctors, nurses, carers and all keyworkers we say a huge Thank You!'. 
The signs are at Saint Cecilia's Nursing Home on Filey Road, Saint Cecilia's Care Home on Stepney Road, Normanby House on Belgrave Crescent and Saint Cecilia's Day Care Centre at Eastway, Eastfield, all in Scarborough and at Alba Rose Care Home on Middleton Road, Pickering.

Homes enjoy Comic Relief with fun, games and pie-throwing
Homes enjoy Comic Relief with fun, games and pie-throwing
RESIDENTS and staff at Colten Care homes marked Red Nose Day with games, quizzes, dressing up and lots of laughter. 
The fundraising marathon, in aid of vulnerable people in the UK and overseas, even featured a custard pie-throwing challenge. 
At Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, Companionship Team colleagues Brian Knight and Sharon Surgeon consented to 'pie' each other in return for donations. 
Dressed as superheroes for the day, they also made masks for residents and held a Red Nose Day quiz. 
And residents were invited to suggest 'silly' music requests for the pair to attempt to sing, such as Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud and The Laughing Policemen. 
Companionship colleague Rebecca Osborne posed as her own 'Rainbow Woman' superhero and gave out rainbow-designed cards to residents with messages of hope and positivity. 
At Outstanding-rated Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, team members organised a 'Red Nose Hunt', encouraging residents to take time in the garden, enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise.  
The hidden 'noses' had a variety of jokes on them for the residents to read out when they found them.

Pensioners give St Patrick's Day activities the green light
Pensioners give St Patrick's Day activities the green light
A CARE home has pulled out all the stops to celebrate St Patrick's Day this year with a full themed week of activities for residents to enjoy. 
Thanks to the hard work and creativity of its lifestyle and kitchen team, Edinburgh's Cramond Residence has dedicated a full week to St Patrick's Day, creating a series of themed activities and events for residents. 
From learning about the history of St Patrick's Day to enjoying Irish music and crafts, there are a variety of activities taking place and something planned for everyone to get involved in.  
To top the celebrations off, the home will resume group socialising events from today, which will see friends reunite for the first time in months, while adhering to social distance guidelines.  
A special menu has been prepared for today's celebrations, with themed snacks and refreshments available for every resident to enjoy. 

Mum's the word at Rogers House
Mum's the word at Rogers House
STAFF at Rogers House in Wigmore honoured the ladies of the care home and celebrated Mother's Day with a fun filled day.  
Unable to join their families for a celebration, staff made sure the mums of the home could still enjoy a spot of pampering. 
Their celebration began with a special lunch; tables were set in spring colours and adorned with yellow flowers, as the residents enjoyed a restaurant experience and a special lunch.  
Later that afternoon the ladies got together in the activity room for a celebratory afternoon tea and a natter. With the finest china set out, the ladies were invited to sample homemade pink cupcakes alongside a cuppa, of course, as they chatted about their families and what being a mum means to them.

Call for care sector help as funding ends
Call for care sector help as funding ends
CARE providers have urged the Government not to turn its back on care providers and to keep providing support at a crucial time in the fight against Covid-19. 
The Independent Care Group is worried because key financial support for the social care sector comes to an end this month. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham: 'Today's fall in the Covid-19 death rate in care and nursing homes is excellent news and we hope and pray that it continues. 
'But we are reaching a crucial time and now is not the moment for the Government to turn its back on the care sector. 
'The pandemic hasn't gone away and is still claiming the lives of loved ones. 
'Many key elements of Government financial support for care settings against Covid-19 stop at the end of March but the reality is, coronavirus won't stop then. 
'If social care providers are to keep protecting their clients, staff and the wider community, we will continue to need that support and the Government must extend it.' 
Funds coming to an end include: 
· Infection Control Fund. 
· Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund. 
· Workforce Capacity Fund. 
Today's figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 383 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to March 5, down from 510 the previous week.

Housing provider hosts Big Night In for 50th anniversary celebrations
Housing provider hosts Big Night In for 50th anniversary celebrations
ONE of Scotland's largest housing providers is hosting a 'Big Night In' to mark its 50th anniversary operating in the sector, with guest appearances from well-known personalities. 
Bield Housing and Care will mark its golden anniversary with a trip down memory lane where staff and customers will revisit fond memories and stories on an online video. 
Staff and customers will be able to view the celebration event on Bield's website and YouTube from the comfort (and safety) of their own homes. 
A host of famous faces have sent messages of congratulations to the housing provider including national clinical director Jason Leitch, actors Sanjeev Kohli and Mark Cox, and Hibernian FC captain David Gray. 
Lesley Holdsworth, chair of the Bield Board (pictured), said: 'We are incredibly excited to celebrate our 50th anniversary with staff and customers in what is a true milestone for the business. 
'With the current lockdown restricting events or small gatherings, Bield was unable to stage the kind of major celebration event it would like to organise. 
'Instead, we are looking to bring everyone together virtually through our 'Big Night In' event. 
'We hope the Big Night In will capture the very essence of our fun loving community as we look back through key parts of our history and ahead to an exciting future. 
'In the not too distant future we hope to bring customers and staff together to celebrate this milestone in person, renewing old acquaintances and making new ones.' 
The Big Night In will take place on March 17 at 5pm. It is just one of a number of celebratory events which will take place throughout the year.

Care group inundated with Mother's Day messages during virtual classical concert
Care group inundated with Mother's Day messages during virtual classical concert
A FAMILY-run South East care group was inundated with more than 100 Mother's Day video messages that were played out across its 13 homes during a virtual classical concert for residents.  
Family members of residents across Nellsar's homes in Kent, Surrey and Essex submitted 113 personalised messages of love and hope, which were enjoyed throughout a concert by The Bel Canto Sopranos.  
The classical crossover group performed much-loved classics such as the 'Sound of Music Melody', 'The Flower Duet' and 'I Could Have Danced All Night', before residents were surprised with the short, emotive messages from their families and loved ones.  
One Nellsar home, Sonya Lodge, in Dartford, Kent, received 27 videos for 16 residents.

Group celebrates International Women's Day
Group celebrates International Women's Day
ATHENA Healthcare Group celebrated International Women's Day across all of its Lodges. 
Residents enjoyed catching up over afternoon tea while listening to music from their favourite female artists, as well as writing down all their proudest achievements and learning about inspirational women who have paved the way over the years. 
To get to know each other even better, residents interviewed one another in person and over the telephone. The ladies of Lighthouse Lodge in New Brighton enjoyed a video call with those living at Birkdale Tower Lodge, Southport, sharing their journeys and what empowers them, leading to many new friendships forming across the Mersey. 
There was also a special interview between one of Athena's resident ambassadors and Councillor June Burns, Mayor of Sefton.  
They spoke about their experiences and some of the challenges the Mayor has faced during her career in a male dominated environment.  

Guide sees record entries and recognises award winners  
A GLOBAL property adviser has launched the fifth edition of its prestigious annual UK Luxury Care Home Guide. 
Knight Frank's 2021 Luxury Care Home Guide comprises the UK's top 100 luxury care homes and three overall winners of the Luxury Care Home Guide Awards who are each judged on numerous criteria including architecture, interior design and care quality. 
Julian Evans, head of healthcare at Knight Frank, said: 'We are pleased to have launched our 2021 edition of The Luxury Care Home Guide, which has cemented itself as the ultimate recognition for luxury care homes in the UK as evidenced by the record number of submissions totalling an extraordinary £5billion of assets that we received this year.  
'This year's top 100 luxury care homes showcases the top-of-the-range facilities, the vast majority of which are able to efficiently manage Covid-19 due to their future proof design, throughout the UK with the three award winners embodying the very best of the sector.' 
This year's winners were: 
· Luxury Care Home Award 2021, which recognises the highest quality hospitality and care services in a prestigious setting: Graysford Hall (Sanders Senior Living). 
· Care Home Design Award 2021, which recognises innovation, design, sustainability and the environment: Cavendish Park (Majesticare). 
· Refurbishment and Renovation Award 2021 which recognises heritage, redesign and repositioning: The Chocolate Works Care Village (Springfield Healthcare) 
This year, owing to Covid-19, the Knight Frank 2021 Luxury Care Home Guide award winners were selected via virtual inspections of each of the finalist's facilities by the judging panel. 

Liverpool care home residents reconnect with their grandchildren
Liverpool care home residents reconnect with their grandchildren
RESIDENTS have been reaching out to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren as part of National Intergenerational Week at HC-One's Moss View care home in Huyton, Merseyside. 
During the coronavirus, relationships between the older and younger members of families have been directly affected by lockdown and some grandparents haven't yet had the chance to meet new members of the family. 
Colleagues used National Intergenerational Week as an ideal opportunity for residents to reconnect with the younger members of the family and have their own special time with them via Zoom. 
Moss View wellbeing coordinator Lesley Nolan said: 'Zoom calls have really helped to bring families together during the pandemic, with some families joining us from different parts of the country and even the world. 
'Zoom calls with residents and their grandchildren and great grandchildren have helped them to reconnect with one another.' 
National Intergenerational Week runs until Sunday and is aimed at celebrating the moments where different age groups can come together and form new intergenerational friendships.  
Resident Eva Brittnel is pictured on her Zoom call.

Society champions diversity on International Women's Day
Society champions diversity on International Women's Day
SURREY-based maritime charity The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society and its care home, Belvedere House, recognised the contribution of its team on International Women's Day by marking the diversity of its predominantly female workforce. 
Women make up almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the Society's 100-strong workforce, with female staff far outweighing the male staff.  
Women also make up 66 per cent of the heads of department team and 66 per cent of the senior management team, with the Society priding itself on providing strong progression opportunities for staff and nurturing female leaders. 
The Society's CEO, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, added: 'The Royal Alfred is proud to offer people of all ages and backgrounds a supportive workplace and career opportunities and in return we know having a diverse workforce brings new ideas, innovation and creative solutions to the Society.  
'We know this is partly why so many of our team choose to dedicate so many years of their lives to the Royal Alfred, and we are proud of our strong staff retention rate, compared to the industry average.  
'This International Women's Day we thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the sector.' 
Staff at the Royal Alfred originate from 17 nationalities in total, bringing a wealth of different experiences and cultures to the home.

Yardley care home celebrates World Book Day
Yardley care home celebrates World Book Day
STAFF and residents at Heartlands Care & Nursing Home in Yardley celebrated World Book Day. 
Residents had a fun day seeing the staff team dressed up as characters from classic and much-loved books. They enjoyed listening to them reading in character from their favourite books and reading poems. 
'We had a great day reading out stories and poems,' said wellbeing coordinator Tracy Davies. 'The residents loved seeing us all dressed up and had a fantastic time reminiscing about books they'd read and enjoyed as children.  
'It was wonderful to see some of the residents who live with dementia joining in with the poems and stories from their childhood, it obviously sparked some lovely memories for people.' 
Residents selected books to read from the book trolley and spent the day revisiting old favourites from their childhood, as well as exploring some new titles.  
From Alice in Wonderland to The Cat in the Hat, there was a great variety of books and characters to discover. The day enabled some great talking points with residents and lots of conversations about books and reading.

Delight as residents see families again
Delight as residents see families again
CARE providers said yesterday was a special day as many were able to reunite care and nursing home residents with their families again after months apart. 
But as they opened their doors to one visitor per residen, those providers were also quick to urge caution because Covid-19 remains a risk. 
ICG chair Mike Padgham said: 'Residents and relatives have been apart for too long and it has been very damaging for both sides not to have vital human contact. 
'It is lovely to see them reunited and to know that more and more people are going to see their loved ones properly for the first time in weeks and months. 
'But we must also be cautious and careful as we reintroduce visiting. We have worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council in preparing for the visits and we are all following their guidance. 
'The message to get across is one of taking extra care, adhering to the rules - visitor testing, full PPE, hand holding only - and keeping everyone as safe as possible. 
'We also respect those homes who have decided not to reintroduce visiting - for whatever reason. It has to be an individual choice, based on circumstances. 
'Covid-19 hasn't gone away and we are caring for the most vulnerable and most susceptible to it.  
"Care and nursing homes have lost more than 30,000 people in the past year, each of them a treasured loved one - a wife, a husband, a mother or father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend.'

Resident launches community art gallery exhibition
Resident launches community art gallery exhibition
RESIDENT Joan Peel is on the hunt to find Rothley's best artists as she launches Mountview care home's first community art gallery exhibition. 
Joan is a talented artist herself with a passion for using watercolour paints to create landscape paintings. Most recently, she has been creating a series of woodland themed paintings including scenic countryside landscapes, woodland animals such as owls and even a farmhouse cottage.   
Joan is the head judge for the exhibition, which will be open to Mountview residents and streamed on their Facebook page to allow the local community the opportunity to enjoy the artwork. 
Mountview care home is offering local artists the opportunity to be part of the exhibition which has a unique 'At One With Nature' theme, paying homage to Joan's signature painting style.  
The exhibition welcomes artists of any age and skill level to submit their work, using their preferred artistic medium such as painting, crafting, sketching, acrylic or water paint. 
Each artist is also encouraged to send a small note with their artwork about themselves and what the piece means to them. 
Mountview is accepting postal and doorstep drop-offs, which are being facilitated in a Covid-19 secure way until March 12.

Veterans mark St David's Day with daffodils, traditional food and poetry
Veterans mark St David's Day with daffodils, traditional food and poetry
St David's Day has been marked at Royal Star & Garter's three homes. 
Arts and crafts, daffodil flower-arranging, quizzes and poetry readings were part of the series of activities arranged at the homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe, to celebrate the patron saint of Wales on March 1. 
In High Wycombe, residents picked daffodils in the Home's luxurious gardens, which they later arranged. There was also arts and poetry readings. 
Veterans in Surbiton tucked into Welsh cakes, took part in quizzes and also read poetry. 
Solihull residents enjoyed craft activities and quizzes, and watched footage of the Welsh National Opera. 
All three homes also put on a St David's Day lunch, with food on the menu including a leg of Welsh lamb, Glamorgan sausages, cawl, leek and chicken pie, minted lamb chops, leek soup, traditional Welsh pancakes and Snowdon pudding.

Budget must help care sector
Budget must help care sector
TOMORROW'S Budget must include a once in a lifetime moment for the care of older and vulnerable people, care providers have said. 
They are urging the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to take the bold step of tackling social care in his speech. 
Provider organisation The Independent Care Group says extra funding for the sector would tackle the crisis in care which has left 1.4m people without the care they need. 
Chair Mike Padgham said: 'The Budget offers Rishi Sunak the opportunity to be bold and to go down in history as the Chancellor who finally began to tackle the crisis in social care. 
'Covid-19 exposed a care sector in crisis and a terrible price was paid. Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, the social care sector must be the first to get the reform and help it needs to recover.' 
The ICG says the Chancellor could begin by getting more funds to local authorities to help them fund social care.  
And he could make social care zero-rated for VAT, helping hard-pressed care providers, who are struggling for financial survival during the pandemic. 
'We are seeing suggestions that Mr Sunak plans a giveaway Budget,' Mike added.  
'We would argue that the country doesn't need giveaways, it needs positive action on the care of our most vulnerable and it needs it now. 
'After the Second World War, Nye Bevan set about establishing proper healthcare for the country, as part of our recovery from conflict.  
"This Government must give social care its Nye Bevan moment and make the full, root and branch reform and better funding of social care part of its recovery from Covid-19 and that can and must start tomorrow.' 
The ICG is calling on the Government to carry out total root and branch reform of the social care sector to bring it and the staff who work in it parity with NHS care. 
Amongst other things, the ICG wants to see NHS health care and social care merged and managed either locally or nationally; extra funding for social care, funded by taxation or National Insurance; a properly costed national rate for care fees and a proper salary and career pathway to recognise and reward social care staff.

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