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Why family-run care homes are often the best choice

Why family-run care homes are often the best choiceMaking the decision to move into a care home – and choosing the right one – is never easy.

Usually, you’ll be saying goodbye to the house where you’ve spent many years of your life. And leaving familiar surroundings where you feel safe and secure.

That’s why it often makes sense to choose a family-run care home.

While they’re subject to the same quality standards as any organisation, family-owned care homes also have a personal stake in the businesses and its reputation.

As well as helping to drive up standards, this also makes them more accountable. After all, if there’s an issue over quality, they can be held to account straightaway. As opposed to a big company where the complaint would probably have to be passed through numerous members of staff.

Also, family care businesses are almost always smaller than those owned by corporate companies. And they’re not beholden to shareholders in the way large businesses are.

This means the owners have more freedom to create the kind of homely, close-knit environment they’d want their own relatives to live in.

It’s easier for them to focus on the small details, which often makes all the difference. Like the meals they cook, the outings they organise or entertainment they put on. Rather than stick rigidly to decisions made by corporate bosses hundreds of miles away.

They can run homes according to their own family values, and make the dignity and comfort of residents their highest priority.

And because they’re often smaller, staff and residents get to know each other better. As a result, residents often receive more personalised care and maintain more of their individuality and independence.

Family-run homes will often have been part of the community for many years. The owners will be locals themselves, know the area, and sometimes the residents’ families. This helps residents relate to the owners, and makes the move into a home as comfortable and stress-free as possible – for them and their families.

Yeovil Care Home is a finalist

Yeovil Care Home is a finalistSherborne House Care Home in Yeovil reached the finals of the Care Awards 2016 which was organised by Care Focus (South West).  An awards evening took place on 22nd April in Taunton with a total of twelve separate awards for those employed in the care sector. Sherborne House employs forty two staff and was short-listed for the Outstanding Care team Award.


Caroline Sharp, Manager at Sherborne House said, ‘Although we didn’t win we were delighted to be nominated and attend the event. My staff always work hard in everything that they do and they are all winners every day’.  Sherborne House specialises in Dementia Care and is part of the Altogether Care Group.


Ben McGrail from BBC Somerset hosted the awards evening and presented each category  winner with flowers.  Guests enjoyed a three course meal and a disco.


For more information please contact Ellie Phillips PR on 07834 752200

Birds of Wisdom mark Royal Birthday

Steepleton Manor Care Home marked the Queen’s 90th Birthday with a visit from two Owls.  Biscuit and Olly, a Barn Owl and a Tawny Owl popped iBarn Owlnto the residential nursing home on the 21st April with their handler Mike Savage from Woodlands Haven Wildlife Rescue, a Dorset based wildlife rescue centre.

Mike Savage said, ‘We really enjoyed visiting the residents as it’s always a pleasure to raise awareness of local wildlife. Owls require specialist care and should not be kept as pets’.

Steepleton Manor has twenty one residents who celebrated the Queen’s birthday with a special lunch complete with Union Jack flags. Alyson Mead, Manager at Steepleton Manor said, ‘The Queen has very much wisdom so we thought it very fitting to have two lovely owls visiting as they are often known for their wisdom. The residents love to see animals and wildlife so this is a real treat for them’.

Woodlands Haven Wildlife Rescue is not open to the public but regularly visits schools, hospitals and other establishments to raise awareness of British wildlife.



Steepleton Manor Care Home now looks forward to regular visits from Oscar, a local therapy dog who has stolen the hearts of the Residents and staff at the Nursing Home based in Winterbourne Steepleton.

Oscar has been a therapy dog for the last 5 years and his friendly and calm nature makes him ideal company for the twenty three residents.  Alyson

Mead, Manager at Steepleton Manor said, “Oscar has been coming a few months now and he’s as pleased to see the residents as they are to see him.

He mingles well and receives lots of fuss and attention from everyone. His presence is a joy to all who meet him. It makes such a difference to the residents, some of whom used to have dogs before coming to Steepleton Manor. We are very grateful to his owner for allowing him to spend special time here”.

Oscar is ten years old and lives with his owner Victoria Peel, close to the Nursing Home.

Personal care options and costs


Choosing the right type of care

family-515530_1280Most people need some type of long-term care when they get older.

When the time comes, the thought of changing the way you live is daunting enough. But with so much to take into account, it can be an even more frightening and confusing experience.

So, whether you’re at this stage of your life or you want to make plans for a loved one, it’s worth thinking about the options available, so you can make the right choice.

Probably the biggest decision to make is whether you’re cared for in a residential home, or in your own house.

Many people prefer to remain in their own home, particularly if they’ve lived there for many years. The surroundings are familiar, and it helps you feel safe and secure if family and friends are nearby. Plus, it allows you to stay more independent.

If that’s the case, you can get regular visits from a carer, who can help you with daily tasks like cooking meals, shopping and personal care. You can get fall alarms installed or special adaptations fitted, to give you peace of mind for times when you’re on your own. And if you still enjoy getting out and about, your care could include day centre visits with transport provided.

But if you need more round-the-clock help, or it’s not safe for you to stay in your house, you might have to think about moving into care home.

There are many types of care home. They employ trained staff and can offer a range services, so which you choose will probably depend on how much support you need.

For instance, you may only need help with certain tasks, like getting dressed and washed.

Or you may need more specialist help, which involves nursing care or support from an experienced carer. Many homes also provide support for people with dementia.

It’s also more of a social environment. So, if you enjoy company and always having someone to talk to, it could be the best choice for you. If your spouse is still with you, often they can move in as well.

Choosing the right type of care is never easy, but Altogether Care makes the process as stress-free as possible. Our Care Match options are designed to give you the care that best suits your needs. And if those needs ever change, we make it simple to switch to another option, so your care always fits around you.

Thinking about how to pay for your care can also be stressful.

While financial help is available, most people have to pay at least something towards the cost of their care. How much of your own money you’ll have to use will depend on what you can afford.

At the moment, if you have between £14,250 and £23,250 in property and savings (and qualify for help), the council will contribute towards the cost. If you have less, most local authorities will cover all your care costs. If you have more, you won’t get any help.

(In 2020, this threshold will increase and a cap on the cost of care is being introduced, so more people will be eligible for help sooner.)

It’s also important to know that, before you can apply for financial help, the council will assess you to find out how much care you need.

Why choose Altogether Care?

Why choose Altogether careAs they say, you work for the majority of your life and you are at your work more than you are at home. So it is vitally important to do a job that you love and are passionate about for an employer who appreciates what you do for them.

A career in care is hugely satisfying, having the ability to make a positive difference to an individual and their families’ life. Positions in care offer varied work and with everyday being different it gives you the chance to develop your skills and knowledge further. Working so closely with individuals receiving care gives you the opportunity to develop rewarding relationships whilst providing the company many crave.

Altogether Care, are an independent family owned business that has been running for over 25 years. We have strong family values which are embedded within all of our Care Homes and Care at Home services. But what are the advantages of choosing us?

We aim to be the employer of choice; being caring, honest, open, involving, creative and ethical. We recognise that every member of our staff are our biggest asset and are therefore always striving to develop rewards and benefit initiatives to demonstrate this. Our benefits include a Government recognised pension, training and development programme, mileage allowance plus more.

Altogether Care has recently introduced a staff benefit scheme which includes: retail discount vouchers, child care vouchers, discounted holidays and travel insurance, various leisure and restaurant vouchers, a hospital plan and much more.

We are committed to providing the very best in terms of quality care, the same we would want for our own family, ensuring our residents are treated as individuals and with respect and dignity.

If you’d like to find out more on pursuing a career in care with Altogether Care please get in touch.


See what some of our staff have to say about working for us:

Ami (Field Care Supervisor, Care at Home, Bournemouth)

I love my job with Altogether Care because I am able to interact with both carers and clients whilst developing my supervisory skills. Working as a Field Care Supervisor has been a big confidence booster, as I have to communicate with a wide range of people; health and social care professionals, family members and fellow colleagues. I am seen as the ‘face’ of Care at Home (Bournemouth) and I get great job satisfaction dealing successfully with any staff or client queries or concerns.

I particularly enjoy completing the initial assessment with a new client as you really get to know them and their past history – it’s both rewarding and fascinating.

Altogether Care has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I have completed the Level 5 in Health & Social Care & have attended various training courses to build my portfolio.

Above all, probably the best aspect of my job is that I am not just sitting in an office. I am out there, in the ‘field of care’ ensuring that our carers are delivering a consistently high standard of care to our service users, something which really enhances their comfort and day to day standard of living. It’s a great reason to get up in the morning!

Live-in Care – The modern solution to care

Live-in Care - The modern solution to care

It is predicted by a report from Age UK, that there are now 11.4 million people aged 65 or over in the UK, with more people aged 60 and above than there are under the age of 18. With an ageing population there is great importance placed on providing flexible care pathways to cater for individual’s needs where they feel most comfortable.

Age UK predicted last year that around 350,000 people were waiting for a place in either a residential or nursing home. With so many people waiting to receive a place for full time care, we have in turn seen an increase in care at home as a positive alternative. Home care is able to provide a flexible range of assistance dependant on how much or little you may require, tailored to suit your individual needs. This could be providing one-to-one live-in care to enable you to continue living in your home or perhaps popping in to provide companionship and occasional assistance with shopping or domestic tasks. With an arrangement that suits you and your needs, you can continue to enjoy life in your own home.

Spending time with your family and friends and engaging with the wider community is a priority for most people regardless of age and ability, to continue with your hobbies, interests and social activities is crucial in reducing the potential for social isolation and loneliness. A support package focussed not just on what’s important for you but also what is important to you, you can continue to live your life as fully as you’d like knowing that should you need us, we are there.

We understand the importance of providing a person focussed care service and have a range of flexible options available should your care needs change.

Talk to us now about how we can help you remain independent and get the most from life.

Taking a fresh approach

Fresh approach to age related care
As we live longer the question of how we will cope with the challenges of old age is becoming more and more pertinent to an ever increasing number of people in Britain.

Across Dorset and South Somerset, Altogether Care a leading provider of age related care is taking a fresh approach.

Offering a range of residential, nursing centres and community based Care at Home services reaching from Bournemouth to Yeovil, this family run organisation puts emphasis on recognising that as individuals we are all different and there should be no one size fits all approach to care and support.

Altogether Care is able to offer a broad range of outcome based care that is firmly focused and tailored to each person as an individual.

Altogether Care supports and enables individuals to be active participants in their support rather than simply passive recipients of care. For most people maintaining independence is of huge importance and Altogether Care’s flexible care routes are designed to support this.

Offering an integrated care pathway, from regular home visits which are fundamental in reducing social isolation for those who need a relatively low level of support and monitoring, progressing then to live-in care options for those who may be more dependent but very much want to stay at home, to specialist residential, nursing and dementia care for those who may ultimately need a higher level of support. In addition, Altogether Care is a well regarded provider of palliative and end of life care.

Prominent in Altogether Care’s portfolio of services are Sherborne House in Yeovil a specialist dementia and high dependency service, Weymouth Care Home providing residential and nursing services and Steepleton Manor.

Steepleton Manor must be almost unique in so far as this service it is able to offer; residential, nursing and end of life care in the setting of a late Victorian Manor house, in the idyllic Dorset countryside of Thomas Hardy.

Wherever the setting Altogether Care’s commitment is to delivering high quality care based on not only what is important for an individual but also what is important to an individual.

Expert care and support

Activities As you grow older, you may begin to discover you need a little support with the day to day tasks than you did when you were younger; this of course is a natural cycle of life. There may come a time when you would like to receive a more comprehensive level of support and begin to consider the options available; assisted living, residential care and nursing care. When considering what is right for you or someone close to you it is likely that the priorities will be ensuring it is within the location you’d prefer, with the facilities you require, that the staff team are experienced and qualified  to provide the support and that it feels  like somewhere you could call home.

When you are seeking support in later life, it’s important to find a home that will offer assistance and activities which keep you stimulated and that contributes positively towards a good quality of life. The importance for us is to always provide support that is person focussed, treating you as an individual and shaping the support provided around your care needs and those things which are important to you which make life fun and enjoyable. Altogether care’s residential and nursing home Steepleton Manor is an example of a service which meets both of these priorities admirably.

The Grade 2 listed Victorian manor house, benefits from a well-stocked library, fine food freshly prepared each day, hair dressing salon, kitchen garden, swimming pool and croquet lawn.

The in-house activities co-ordinator facilitates a variety of programmes designed to help you to stay active, alert and engaged. Our team of qualified experienced elder care nurses and support staff can support you with residential, respite and nursing care in a setting that has character and charm located in the heart of Thomas Hardy’s Dorset, worlds away from the feel that so many other services in the care sector offer.

For more details on Steepleton Manor or any of our other care options please contact us today. We welcome visitors and would be really happy for you to come by and meet the team to see the manor for yourself.  Over tea and homemade biscuits in the library our experienced and supportive team can explain how the care and support will work for you, they can offer you an assessment of your needs and clearly explain how much the support will cost and the options available for payments.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Balanced, personal and professional

Balanced, personal and professional
The nature of assistance with later life care has become one of the challenging issues within society; it is crucial for people to properly research all the options available to them.

A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Society found that of the people who did carry out research prior to choosing a support option; 74% of family members would recommend their loved one’s care home and 68% would rate the dementia care provided to their family member as good.

These figures very much reflect our experience of the delivering person centred elder care that enables individuals to maintain independence and enjoy a good quality of life.

It is extremely important to us that we achieve a positive balance between providing the personal, physical and emotional support needed whilst maintaining the highest level of professionalism.We remain a family business which allows us the freedom to continue to focus on the quality, integrity and personal nature of the care and support provided which places the personal wellbeing of our clients at the very heart of our business.

With a wide range of care and support options available you can be assured of the right level of care from either the comfort of your home or the comfort of one of ours. As your care needs change over time we can provide a service that fits around not only what is important for you but also what is important to you.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could help you or someone important to you, please get in touch.

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