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The future of elder care and assisted living


It is always interesting reflecting on trend reports from earlier in the year. We recently came across an assisted living trend report put together at the start of 2016 by The Senior List. It’s interesting to see that although the nine predicted trends have not necessary taken over the industry you can begin to see changes happening towards some of these

The most obvious advances in this industry and many others is the impact of technology on our lives. As listed in these trend predictions – the increase in using memory care therapy and technology automation in both care homes and elderly peoples own homes have been seen this year and will no doubt continue to be seen in the coming years.


Ever evolving and developing technology is allowing the older generations to stay at home independently with more ease and safety, for longer than ever before. With the introduction of technology such as the internet of things, older people are able to easily manage everything from re-stocking the fridge without leaving the house to health monitoring with wearable technology that can be monitored by family/friends or health professionals.

For those who are unfortunately no longer able to be independent due to deteriorating health conditions, technology is increasingly becoming a comforting therapy or even friend that can be available to them. In some cases it is simply the ability to Skype family/friends using a device to beat loneliness and encourage interaction. But increasingly the industry is developing new technologies to comfort health deterioration to improve mood and restore personality – especially for patients with Dementia.

New developments in therapy style technology are happening all the time – the industry and healthcare providers are increasing understanding the results of using this form of therapy and how this can help people suffering with this complex disease. Reminiscence therapy has been seen to improve mood, cognitive ability and wellbeing to those who are suffering from Dementia. This therapy is often in the form of digital life story books or memory boxes which include images, videos and music from their life. There is research going into this area all the time with recent research by Leeds Beckett University released showing that recording regular audio diaries can boost the confidence of people with dementia and help to reduce stigma.

With the most recent trend showing the divergence between need and resource, technology could also be the future to bridging that gap.

The future

This really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the technical ability that can be brought to our lives. What will the future bring? Assisted living may well become the norm for ageing generations.  And devastating diseases such as Dementia could be softened or even progression slowed down thanks to therapy developments. Ageing is inevitable but if we can implement technologies to make it more comfortable that has got to be a positive for the future.

Find a home where you can keep being you

Whatever our age or standard of health, we never lose the desire to be ourselves and to be respected.slide-3

That might involve projecting our personality, doing activities we enjoy, socialising, being treated with dignity, and having choice and control over the way we live.

These fundamental needs don’t suddenly stop because you move into a care home – or if you have special requirements, like dementia or nursing care.

In fact, when certain aspects of our health decline, maintaining what makes you ‘you’ is more important than ever. You might find it more difficult to move around, communicate, express yourself or, perhaps, make sense of certain situations, but that doesn’t mean your desire to do so is reduced.

In these circumstances, your choice of care home is particularly important. That’s because staff require a greater level of training and experience to provide the care, environment and opportunities you need to maintain your individuality.

So how do you find out if a home is right for you or your loved one?

Arguably, the most important aspect to check is how effectively it applies the principles of person-centred care.

Person-centred care is industry-speak for shaping care around your needs, rather than making you fit in with the care.

In practice, it involves providing care that takes into account your qualities, abilities, interests, preferences and circumstances – or learning about them from loved ones.

This is in contrast to a one-size-fits-all approach, like imposing a rigid schedule on someone, because it fits with staff rotas, for instance. After all, the right care for one person, might be unnecessary, or undesirable, to another. It may also change over time, as the individual’s needs change.

It’s vital to find a home that commits to person-centred care, because it gives you a say in your care and your life, as well as helping you maintain habits and preferences you’ve built up over your life.

Plus, an environment where you’re encouraged to project your personality and character also provides benefits to your physical health, not to mention boosting your general well-being, happiness and confidence.

Chloe sings songs for all ages

Weymouth Care Home singerWeymouth singer Chloe May struck a special note with care home residents recently when she sang a variety of well-known songs by artists such as Vera Lyn and Patsy Cline. Twenty five year old Chloe visited Weymouth Care Home in August to entertain the 35 residents.

Paula Hartley, Manager at Weymouth Care Home said, ‘Our residents enjoy a good sing-a-along and Chloe has a wonderful voice. She was able to sing songs that they remembered and enjoyed. It was great fun to see them all having such a good time’.

Chloe May understands the benefits of activity for older people as she has recently started training as an occupational therapist herself at Bournemouth University.

Chloe said, ‘I have just finished a dementia placement so I realise how important occupation is to older people. Regular therapy is a tonic for everyone and I feel privileged to be able to entertain such a lovely group of people’.

Chloe started singing professionally at the age of sixteen and works in and around Weymouth singing to small and large audiences. Her love of musical theatre was responsible for her wanting to sing. She hopes to sing at more care homes in the future and can be contacted on 07515 283196.

Weymouth Care Home has already booked Chloe for another event in the near future.

Weymouth Care home has a Bugfest!

Residents at Weymouth Care Home opened its doors to a selection of creepy Snake photocrawlies this month when Bugfest dropped in with a variety of creatures. From the small exotic bugs to an impressively large snake, the residents were able to get up close and learn all about the amazing animals. Bugfest, who are based in Dorset, provide educational visits for schools and care homes.

Paula Hartley, Manager at Weymouth Care Home said,

‘Our residents were eel photovery excited about our visitors, and I have to say, much braver than I was! Although they seemed a little nervous at first, they were soon put at ease by the handlers and it made a change seeing something that we all normally shy away from’.

Weymouth Care Home is owned by Altogether Care, a Dorset based care provider that encourages their residents to live life to the full.

Bug in hand

The importance of care home activities


If you’re choosing a care home for yourself or a loved one, your top priority will probably be finding somewhere which provides high-quality care.

But it’s also important to consider the activities that homes offer.

The physical benefits of staying active are obvious. But as you get older, being able to take part in activities and maintain interests can also help you retain independence, mental well-being and self-esteem.

Care home activities

An activity is anything that helps stimulate your body or mind. And as we’ve mentioned, many have a physical aspect, like ball games, walking or exercise classes.

But clearly, certain physical activities will not suit everyone. As we get older, eye sight and hearing can diminish, while conditions such as arthritis can also limit your movement.

If that’s the case, it’s important to choose somewhere which offers other ways to stay active – in the broader sense of the word. This might include sensory activities or mental stimulation, like a daily crossword, music, aromatherapy, arts, crafts, puzzles or even listening to a regular radio programmes.

It also makes sense to find out if a home organises trips and excursions because having a regular change of scenery provides variety and breaks up routine.

The benefits of activities

Staying physically active helps you feel more energetic and so provides a greater sense of well-being.

It helps strengthen bones and muscles – reducing the risk of falls & fractures and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Being active is also effective in managing high blood pressure and stimulating a poor appetite.

But it goes beyond physical fitness.

Being able to maintain activity helps boost your self-esteem and confidence as well as making you feel happier and more satisfied in your life.

Moving into a care home can be a frightening and intimidating experience – and it can be easy to become withdrawn. But by choosing somewhere which provides a broad range of activities you’ll be able to make new friends, as well as maintain the interests and hobbies you’ve enjoyed throughout your life.

And even though you’re moving into a residential home, it doesn’t mean you should be wholly reliant on others. Taking part in events and activities you enjoy means you have more choice in how your days are structured and maintain control of your life.

So when considering and looking around at your options of care homes, make sure to check out the activities that are available. If you’d like to find out more on the activities that we provide in our care homes please get in touch: & 01305 300 161.

Boccia fun at Sherborne House

Residents at Sherborne House care home in Yeovil are enjoying participating in friendly games of Boccia.

The game has a similar principle to boules with the aim of throwing coloured leather balls as close as possible to a white target ball, called a Jack. The game made its Paralympic debut in 1984 and is now practiced in over fifty countries worldwide. Boccia can be played by individuals, pairs or teams.

Sherborne House currently has 27 residents and is located in Sherborne, Yeovil.

Caroline Sharp, Manager at Sherborne House said, ‘Our residents enjoy a wide range of activities and Boccia is very popular and requires a great deal of concentration and patience. It also creates lots of laughter’.

Sherborne House is part of Altogether Care, a Dorset based family owned care provider offering a wide range of care services including dementia care, residential, respite, care at home and nursing care.


Care Homes join in the Zumba fun!

Residents at Weymouth Care took part in a lively Zumba class this month to help improve their fitness and wellbeing. Everyone in the home was encouraged to get involved, enjoy the upbeat music and appropriate exercises, which included moving beautifully coloured ribbons around in their chairs.

Paula Hartley, from Weymouth Care Home said, ‘Our residents enjoyed ‘Chair Zumba’ which is a more realistic version for older people. It’s still energetic and lots of fun so it creates lots of laughter which can
be a health tonic in itself.  Any kind of fitness is a good thing and they all had a great time’.

Weymouth Care Home currently has 30 residents and is part of Altogether Care, a Dorset and Somerset care provider.

What to consider before moving into a care home?

What to consider before moving into a care homeIf you think the time has come to move into a care home, choosing the right one is an important and often difficult decision.

But before making that choice, there are often other questions and considerations to take into account. And one of the most common, is whether to get any financial help?

Local authority support

Contrary to what many believe, care homes and in fact, all social care services – aren’t free. That said you may qualify for support from your local authority.

To find out, you first need to apply for a ‘care assessment’, to confirm the level of support your local authority believes you need. If you’re assessed as needing a care home place, you’ll then be means tested to find out if you can afford to pay or contribute towards the cost of your stay.

Means test

The means test looks at your regular income (pensions, benefits or earnings) and other capital (savings and investments, land and property and business assets).

As it stands, if you have capital of over £23,250, you have to pay the full cost of your care home stay. However, if you own your own home and your spouse still lives there, the property isn’t taken into account in the means test. If your capital is between £14,250 and £23,250, you’ll be expected to contribute some of the costs but if it’s below, you qualify for the maximum level of support.

Care home figures

Around 240,000 care home or nursing home residents qualify for financial help.

That’s out of a total of 426,000 elderly and disabled people in residential and nursing care according to a recent market survey by Laing and Buisson. Around 405,000 of them are aged 65 or over, although only 16% of people aged 85 or over in the UK live in care homes.

Interestingly, even though the number of people aged 65 rose 11% between 2001 and 2011, the care home resident population has increased by just 0.3% in that time. One explanation is the general improvement in people’s health as they age which therefore means they do not need to go into a care home as quickly or for as long compared to earlier years.

Choosing the right home

When it comes to making the decision about which home to choose the importance lies with the research that is done beforehand. A mixture of recommendations, reputation, the internet and actually visiting the home is likely to be used. But with 13685 care homes in England as reported by the CQC, it can be difficult knowing where to start.

It’s important to get the perfect balance between professional care and a personal approach. So that you feel at ease with your surroundings & the care workers and that you are getting the care that you need.

This is why Altogether Care are committed to providing the perfect fit care solution to meet your personal needs. Believing that care should always be person-centric, shaped around what is best for you and what you prefer.

If you or a loved one are considering what the best form of care may be for the future, contact Altogether Care who can discuss the range of care solutions available which can be tailored to your needs and requirements. Whether that is care at home, respite, specialist dementia or care homes – our commitment to your care is clear with every option.

To find out more visit the website or contact us directly on 01305 300 161.

It’s a hoot at Sherborne House

Sherborne House Care Home in Yeovil currently has 27 residents and this month they got up close and personal to a feathered friend who came for a visit.Owl at Sherborne House Photo

Ruby Hillman, a resident at Sherborne House enjoyed stroking ‘Brecan’ the owl and along with other residents was treated to a talk on owl behaviour by Sharandys Birds of Prey.

Thank you for your visit Sharandys Birds of Prey – we all very much enjoyed having you.



Ivy and Riley share special birthday

Ivy and Riley share special birthdaySherborne House Care Home in Yeovil enjoyed special celebrations on 24th June when one of their much loved residents celebrated her 101st birthday.

Ivy Platt, moved to Sherborne House Care Home in February of this year but was born in London. She has a daughter and two grandchildren. Now a widow, she once worked as a secretary and enjoys a glass of sherry and some milk chocolate. Ivy is a keen knitter and still wears cardigans she knitted herself.

On the same day Riley Marshall turned one and enjoyed meeting Ivy at Sherborne House Care Home. Riley’s Dad who works at the care home allowed him to come and join in the celebrations for Ivy’s big day. The two of them immediately hit it off.

Caroline Sharp, Manager at Sherborne House Care Home said, ‘It was a big day for both Ivy and Riley and they both enjoyed having some fun with their families and friends’.

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