Welcome to our September Newsletter – and a long one this time round.
Hopefully you were able to join us for our Family BBQ at the end of June. It was a wonderful day; weather, company, food and entertainment. Many of our residents’ families were able to join us for the afternoon, as were the children from the Divine Saviour School. As you may well have seen in the news, the mixing of the young with the older generation has some great benefits for both age groups and we are looking forward to having the School visit us on a regular basis. At the BBQ, the School sang some wonderful songs, many well known and a few new to us all. Most of the children were able to stay with us for the afternoon to enjoy the BBQ and of course, the magnificent raffle, which seems to get bigger every year! Prizes were everywhere and we hope that everyone was a winner.
You will also have seen the massive improvement in the garden and around the patio. Marcin has been working very hard to get the garden back in order and I hope you saw the stumpery that he built from the trees that were blown down (and into the Home!) in February. We are planning to plant this area with ferns and similar woodland plants and this will take place in the autumn. But it looks so much better and brighter already!
The Veg Trug has been tidied and is producing for us. Strawberries have been eaten, herbs added to meals and the beetroot is still growing for later in the year. Our potatoes will also soon be ready to be harvested.
The lounge is still decorated for summer but you will see the autumn changes starting to appear and creep round the walls in September. Adrienne has some great ideas for the residents to work on over the coming months and of course we will also be preparing ourselves for Halloween and Bonfire night.
We are also still developing and enjoying our Royal Wall, so we are always looking for pictures from any of your magazines of the Royal Family. Please either drop the magazine or the pictures off with Adrienne, or any of the other staff.
As with all commercial kitchens, Arden House is inspected regularly and our time for inspection came round again. As with all such inspections, there is no warning and so one morning in July, it was our turn to get that knock on the door and the inspector calls! Why they always arrive just before lunch, I don’t fully understand, but I suppose at least that way, they experience the full workings of the kitchen. Angela spent over an hour with the inspector who was full of praise for everything that she and all the team involved in the kitchen were doing. Of course, there are always a few points to be changed, but these were all very minor and once again we were awarded with our 5* Quality award. Well done to everyone.
In the last newsletter we talked about Arden House joining the “Red Bag Scheme” to help residents making planned or unplanned visits to hospital, less stressful for everyone. The aim of the red bag is that everything that a resident might need is in one place and that it travels with them at all times. It will include all necessary medical and care documents, any medication that may be required, personal belongings such as glasses, hearing aids etc and an appropriate selection/change of clothes. As this is a new project, I am sure there may be a few hiccups along the way, but it is a great idea and we have provided more information around the Home.
We have finally completed the new carpet all along the downstairs corridors towards the back of the house. It feels as though we have been threatening to do this for months – which we have – but it has finally been completed and done with very little impact on the smooth running of the Home. And though I say it myself, it does look very good.
We have also replaced the bath hoist in the upstairs bathroom and added to our array of equipment with a new stand-aid hoist. Both of these additions should help to assist our residents in increased comfort and safety.
Another piece of work that we talked about in the last newsletter was some additional levels of security to both the front door and our side entrances. We said that we hoped that this would not cause too many delays or complications to accessing the Home, and hopefully this has been the case. Please do remember that we also ask all visitors to sign in and out of Arden House. This is a very important part of our Fire Policy, as in the event of a fire, it is the only way we have of knowing who is in the building, other than staff and residents. Please take a moment to sign the book in the main entrance Hall when you visit – and when you leave.
Theresa and Mark held the Relatives Meeting at the end of August, but as always at this time of year, attendance was slim! We do not worry about this as we know that many of you prefer to pop into the office or ask questions of the staff as and when you visit and that this is often easier for you.
There are a few points, other than those discussed elsewhere in the Newsletter, that we would like to cover.
Clothes Labelling. PLEASE could all clothes be labelled. It is very difficult for our staff to work out whose blue blouse is whose and of course, we do not want to upset residents or for that matter families, by helping residents to dress in someone else’s clothes. If you are unable to label clothes, please do speak to Theresa as we can provide a simple labelling service at a very low cost.
Hairdresser. As you will be aware, our usual wonderful hairdresser Jane, has not been able to visit us due to ill health. We had organised a stand-in lady to cover Jane’s illness, but that does not appear to have worked out as we had hoped. Theresa has now found a new hairdresser who is very happy to work in the same way as Jane and once she has completed all of the statutory checks, she will be starting with us. We are also going to make a very small increase of £1 to all hairdressing services. All money charged goes directly to the hairdresser.
Care Plan Reviews. For our longer term residents, Theresa will be speaking with each family to organise an individual full care plan review in September or October. If your family member is new to Arden House or has recently had a review, they will not be included in this set of meetings. However, as always, if you feel that a care plan does need a review or items tweaked, please do speak with Theresa or one of the RGNs.
Quality Questionnaires. We are always looking to improve the service for everyone at Arden House, so we will be sending out a brief questionnaire on all aspects of living at Arden House for residents, families and staff to complete. This will come out in October.
The few usual gentle reminders please. We ask that if visitors are requiring a meal that we are warned in advance. We can usually help, but obviously we will only cater for the people we know will be eating.
And finally, residents’ mail. There is a perspex box on the wall to the left of the double doors from the hall into the lounge. Residents’ mail is placed there for families to collect – please do look every week or so – it does sometime get hidden behind the curtain.
We have had a number of new residents and families join us over the last few months. A very warm welcome from everyone at Arden House to you all. As a home, we are small enough to get to know everyone, so please do feel free to come and join us at anytime. It may just be for a cup of coffee or tea in the lounge, to join in one of our daily activities or to help us out on one of our events. Whatever time you have, you will always be warmly welcomed.
As usual, there are lots of dates for your diaries. We will keep you informed of any changes or new plans. As you are aware, Adrienne runs many activities and events in our monthly schedule which is always pinned to the noticeboards. We continue with Adrienne’s exercise classes, our music and entertainment visit from Henry Webster and of course, our regular Church Service from St Paul’s.
Relatives’ Meetings – 6:30pm – The next meeting will be on Weds 29th November. These are held once per quarter, on the last Wednesday of the month. They are open to anyone and are a great opportunity to meet other families, ask questions or generally discuss plans and ideas for the Home.
Friday 29th September – Arden House International Day. Join us from 2pm to taste delights from all round the world. Having tried this a few years ago, this has become a firm favourite. Our staff, and some families, bring in local dishes from across the globe for everyone to try. A wonderful afternoon, but be warned, do not eat lunch before you arrive!
Saturday 4th November – Come and join us for our Fireworks Party at 5:00pm. The fireworks are let off from the patio so that everyone can enjoy them either outside or from the warmer environment of the lounge. Hot sausages and drinks will be served – we hope you can join us.
Saturday 11th November – Remembrance Day at 11:00am. We will take the opportunity for some quiet time and reflection.
Christmas is also round the corner and we will give you details of our plans nearer the time. However a date for your diary is Tuesday 19th December – Our Christmas Party from 3pm with, if we are lucky, a surprise visit from someone special!
All other dates will be published on the noticeboard as they are confirmed. Please keep an eye on the updates and we look forward to seeing you at as many of our events as possible.
Of course, the Home is always open, so please do drop in for a cup of tea and a chat at any time – we would love to see you.
Theresa, Judith & Mark