In this section you’ll find News on MHL activities; a blog with good practice stories from care homes across the UK (don’t forget to share your own stories!); info for press and our library of resources and videos.
News and Media
My Home Life have developed a bespoke Leadership & Professional Support Programme for care home managers. 1000 managers from across the UK have already joined the Programme and are using it to help drive forward evidence-based, relationship-centred care in their homes.
This 9-month programme is now being offered for FREE to care home managers working with older people in: Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster. (This programme has been commissioned by North West (NW) London Clinical Commissioning Groups with funding from Health Education NW London.)
To find out more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you details or complete the attached form.
Kimberley Court Care Home in Cornwall, has been working on a project that looks at what to do with redundant spaces in care homes. Manager of the service Michelle, was inspired after reading about Rempods in The Express: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/674112/Scarlet-House-care-home-vintage-train-carriage-dementia-patients-RemPods
With encouragement from an area manager, and a successful application to the care home’s legacy fund, Michelle was able to start work in the redundant spaces in her care home on what effectively has become a reminiscence zone.
Initially, the project involved meeting with residents to discuss what they’d like to see from the reminiscence zone. From there staff were involved in the consultation of the space, clearing-out the area, painting and the creation of the zone. As the project developed Michelle started reaching out to the wider community in Newquay via social media. Soon people, supplies, ideas and skills came flooding in. Many got involved by donating such as a local carpenter who donated furniture, a local brewery who generously gave drinks for the launch event and many individuals from the surrounding community who gave vintage items to support the theme of the zone. The home even secured a local celebrity in to open the zone, Josh Curnow, as seen on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.
Now the zone is used daily as a venue for reminiscing; it provides talking points for visiting relatives residents; it is an area for recreational activities such as pool and darts, and for more vocational activities such as cooking and washing up in the vintage kitchen.
Michelle proudly shared her experience of the homes transformation, ‘All our activities are meaningful and the street enables the staff to engage on another level with residents.’
Michelle regards this as the best thing she has done in her 25 years working in the social care sector. A supportive area manager and a company happy and able to provide funds were instrumental in enabling Michelle to realise her ambition. Michelle feels however that with only a little thought and imagination the lives of people with dementia can be drastically improved.
“Everyone has been so supportive and I’d like to thank my organisation for their continued support and the local companies who have been fantastic: Sharps Brewery, Wax Newquay, Sharon Rogers, The Little Bakery, and the Newquay community Facebook page have supported our vision for the street.”
My Home Life extends its thanks to Michelle and her team at Kimberly Court for sharing their story with us. Well done!
For more information on the fantastic work being done at Kimberley court please contact them Phone 0800 731 2020.
you’ve no doubt recently seen our new bulletin which focuses on the practical delivery of the Optimal research study. Optimal tells health colleagues that care homes are an integral part of the ‘landscape of care’ and that care homes should be seen as partners not problems. The study shows how care homes and NHS colleagues can work better together to improve the lives of older people living in care.
There are several ways to learn more about the study. Download the MHL Bulletin for free and receive top tips on improving relationships with your NHS colleagues, read about best practice example from care home managers who have created strong relationships with health and finally, learn more about the positive impacts of improved relationships with health services through Optimal’s key findings.
The policy briefing of the Optimal Study has recently been published by the University of Hertfordshire and is available on their website to download for free https://medium.com/policyherts-reports/towards-better-healthcare-in-care-homes-2cf383dd7e4d
Lastly Optimal created a short film to showcase its key findings of the research https://youtu.be/bxgp8W-aPb8 . This short film is a fantastic resource to use with health colleagues when forging new relationships in your area.
www.achoirineverycarehome.co.uk. Please help us spread the word!
Listen up My Home Lifers, ‘Live Music Now’ have created more fantastic resources for you to use in your care homes. New resources include videos, new research findings and toolkits to help both care homes and musicians perform more, higher quality singing.
‘Live music now’ through its research has found that regular live music can significantly enhance quality of life for older people living in care homes, as well as staff, carers and family members.
“Creativity and innovation are key ingredients in outstanding care homes, and regular singing and live music activities can help care homes positively address all five key questions our inspectors ask of care homes.” – Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
“A Choir in Every Care Home” is a new set of free resources to inspire and support care homes to engage with music. The project is a unique collaboration between 35 leading national organisations from adult social care, music and academic research. It is led by Live Music Now, Sound Sense and Canterbury Christ Church University, and funded by the Baring Foundation.
During the past two years, these organisations have worked together to investigate the growing evidence that singing and music benefits the elderly, and find examples of best practice. It includes surveys of over 400 care home staff and musicians, the largest ever review of academic research about music for older people, and its findings on quality assessments have been supported by the CQC itself.
“I know that the arts are really important to me in my life. I love going to the theatre, cinema and music. I don’t see why that should be any different when I’m old, or if I’m living in a care home.” – Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC
The latest resources from the project are being launched simultaneously on 20 September 2017 at the “Best Practice in Care” conference in Birmingham, and at the “Campaign to End Loneliness” event in London.
Consortium leader Evan Dawson of Live Music Now says: “We are all living longer lives, which should be celebrated, rather than feared. Later life should still be a time of exploration, creativity and happiness, even whilst living with dementia. The evidence we have seen demonstrates that music is an incredibly effective tool to achieve this, if it is done well. It needn’t be expensive, and everyone can benefit, including care staff and families. There’s nothing else like it!”
Of the research, Professor Stephen Clift says: “Taken as a whole, research on group singing for older people shows convincingly that singing can be beneficial for psychological and social wellbeing, and that it may be helpful in helping people to manage a wide range of health issues, including mental health challenges and physical health problems associated with chronic respiratory illness and Parkinson’s. It is clear also that singing activity can positively engage people across a spectrum of severity with dementia.”
“This is only the beginning,” says consortium partner Åsa Malmsten of Sound Sense. “Music is essential to our lives, and proven to benefit our mental and physical health, regardless of age or background. If the care sector embraces this, the evidence and resources we have collected could improve the quality of life of millions of people for years to come.”
Details and photographs available from Live Music Now : 020 7014 2829 : email@example.com
Great news! A new piece of research – The Optimal Study – shows how the NHS and care homes can work better together to improve the lives of those who live in them. It recognises that care homes are playing an important role caring for older people with very complex needs, including high levels of dementia and suggests that, going forward, care homes need to be viewed by the NHS as equal partners. One of the most important findings is that it takes time and effort on all sides to improve relationships. You can now feel more confident in asking for this time from NHS colleagues, as there is evidence that this will benefit your residents and the shared care that you give. Why not be courageous and share a short film of the Optimal Study https://youtu.be/bxgp8W-aPb8 with your NHS colleagues to open up a dialogue about ‘What is working well now in your relationship with each other?’ and ‘What more could be done to make it even better?’
Dear My Home Life Friends
If you love opera, stately homes and great company, it’s a must. If you’re not an opera buff, it’s the best introduction I promise.
On behalf of Davina’s Fund and the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action, to show our appreciation of what you and your organisations do, I invite you to an extraordinary afternoon that will enhance your quality of life!
6 Characters in Search of an Opera is supported by a range of UK care organisations and Skills for Care has just agreed for us to have their official backing.
Supported by UK care organisations, the opera is designed to entertain, bring joy and challenge societal attitudes towards the world of care.
Click on the following link https://youtu.be/Xc-jcMljuW4 to find out more.
The event will be held on Saturday 1st July 100pm to 9pm at Stockton House, Stockton, Wiltshire.
Dress: Informal but colourful, no Jeans.
RSVP to Annie Stevenson firstname.lastname@example.org Or to find out more please email the My Home Life Team email@example.com
Part-time voluntary placement in a team promoting quality of life in care homes offering events organisation & communications experience
My Home Life has an exciting new volunteering opportunity. We are looking for someone interested in helping us to build and support the movement of people involved in taking forward our shared My Home Life vision of a world where all care homes for older people are great places to live, die, visit and work.
We carry out a broad range of activities that a volunteer could get involved in, but we’re particularly looking for support in communications and events. We can be quite flexible about time commitment, but it would be helpful if you were available for some hours on two days a week (based on feedback from our previous volunteers).
We are open to applications from people from all walks of life: from current students to retirees, and anyone in between. If you’re interested in some time developing your career plans and CV-building during your volunteering placement, we’d be happy to support that.
The placement is based in the School of Health Sciences at City University London. This is an unpaid voluntary position, though travel expenses from London Zones 1-6 can be covered on request.
This opportunity will assist you in gaining the following skills:
- Problem solving/Creativity
The organisation has indicated the following requirements from volunteers who want to take this opportunity:
- Good eye for detail; Excellent written and spoken English; Working knowledge of Office programs
If you’ve had a look around this website (www.myhomelife.org.uk), like what you see and want to arrange a chat about this volunteering opportunity, Please call Tom Owen 07910 198634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Care homes play a vital part in supporting families, especially at times of transition. Working with relatives can be rewarding, complex and at times challenging.
The latest My Home Life bulletin celebrates the great work that managers and staff do to support families when they visit and offers some examples of good practice from relatives and staff.
Thanks for reading and please keep sending in your great stories!
How to make the most of mealtimes in care homes.
In our new bulletin we talk about food – everyones favourite subject. But, it is not just the food that makes mealtimes enjoyable. We asked care homes around the UK for their best practice tips for when it comes to creating a social mealtime, increasing appetites and involving residents, relatives and staff in decision making.
ALIVE IN ME – By Tudor Evans, Hengoed Park
I can still hear her singing
in her high, clear voice
humming around our house
two streets from the colliery,
riddling the ashes
from the stove in the scullery.
I can still feel his strong arms around me,
carrying me to the mine
to lie by the huge fan, 28 feet tall,
the lungs of the pit,
to cure my whooping cough.
My Mother, my father,
They’re alive in me.
I see her young,
glossy hair marcel-waved,
in her yellow twin set with the nipped-in waist,
laughing, joy blazing out
like a firework flaring
I remember him at my bedside
His big hands placing the candles,
To drive my nightmares away.
Still keeping me safe, they’re alive in me.
Writing ‘Alive in Me.’
Deb Llewellyn, creative writer, told us about how she worked with Tudor to create the poem ‘Alive in me.’
“For the last two years I have worked as a Writer in Residence for Age Cymru, in two care homes in the Swansea Valley. I listen to the residents and work collaboratively with them to form their words into poems – sometimes based on stories and memories, sometimes in response to stimuli such as paintings, photographs and objects.
It was in Hengoed Court, Swansea that I met Tudor Evans, and it was a privilege to write this poem with him. We wrote it over the course of several individual sessions. Tudor shared his memories with me of growing up in the mining town of Grovesend near Pontarddulais. His father was a miner and we spoke at length about his work.
As a young boy, Tudor caught whooping cough and his parents feared for his life. One night Tudor was struggling for breath, and in desperation, his father carried him to the enormous fan which circulated air throughout the pit. He believed that being in this strong air current would allow Tudor to breathe. It worked, and Tudor recovered. The vivid childhood memories that Tudor has of his parents form the core of this poem. Writing it was his act of tribute to them.”