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Sherborne House tastes the world

pudsey-photo-2Residents at Sherborne House Care Home in Yeovil, showed their support for Children in Need by participating in a fun-filled, adventurous eating challenge. All the residents involved enjoyed a wide variety of dishes from around the world.

The residents tasted nine different international dishes and enjoyed bobbing along to music by staff member, Tasha King.

Caroline Sharp, Manager at Sherborne House said, “We always like to find new ways of raising funds for charity and it’s important that residents get the most from each of these activities. Food is always popular and it’s been interesting for everyone to try new dishes that are not normally served on our menu.”

Sherborne House currently has 24 residents and will soon celebrate completion of an additional nine bedrooms to provide residential and nursing care for local people with dementia.

Caring for patients with Dementia at Sherborne House

dependent-826332_1280-1It has been said many times that Dementia is one of the most heart breaking diseases for a person and their family to go through.  The disease is progressive meaning that that the structure and chemistry of the brain become increasingly damaged over time. So a person’s ability to remember, understand, communicate and reason gradually declines. Which means in many cases you lose the person you knew long before you actually lose the person you love.

The statistics that surround Dementia are both staggering and frightful, it is estimated that there are around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. And sadly although many charities are working hard to find preventions, prolonging medications and cures – we simply aren’t there yet.

But this does not mean a person should be defined by the disease they are suffering, individual’s progress at different speeds, and should be treated exactly like that, as individuals. At the stage when more regular or more involved care is required there are many considerations needed to choosing the right care home to ensure a smooth move. Dementia sufferers can become confused more easily and when they are confused this can lead to anxiety or outbursts of unintentional aggression.  So communication, reassurance and person-centred care throughout the whole process is key.

At Altogether Care we see the person first not the illness.

Our Sherborne House has been furnished and decorated with dementia in mind, incorporating sensory touches and memory triggers that research has shown really benefits the cognitive process. Person-centred care is principle in our philosophy, believing that those living with Dementia who are well supported by a professional team giving them their time and energy are more likely to lead fulfilling lives for longer. Clinical care is supported with a healthy diet, using fresh ingredients and menus to suit all tastes and requirements and at times we will also call upon various alternative therapies such as; physiotherapy, reflexology Reiki and aroma-therapy to complement clients care needs.

To find out more on how Sherborne House could help you or your loved one visit our website or contact us directly on 01305 300 161/

Royal visit is special for Mara

Mara McGregor, a resident at Steepleton Manor Care Home took a trip to see the Queen in Dorchester yesterday which bought back special memories as Mara was once a familiar face within the Royal household.

Mara, 89, has been privileged to paint three portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and two of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as well as HRH Princess Anne and other members of the Royal family.

One of her pictures, a full size portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was commissioned to hang in the Houses of Parliament in Sydney.

Mara McGregor was born in Malaysia in 1927, the only daughter of a rubber planter, and moved to South Africa when she was three, where she grew up under the influence of her father’s commercial art studios. Mara excelled at Art while at school but never thought of making it a career as she was interested in acting and singing. She later moved to East Africa to join her parents and while there, she met her husband Alan, an ex-Battle of Britain pilot. They came to England in 1950 and Alan re-joined the RAF in 1952. Sadly, Alan passed away in 1997.

Trying to establish herself as an artist was not an easy task being a serving Officer’s wife as she was continually on the move. However, when stationed in Scotland, she painted a picture of Kenneth McKellar which was displayed in a House of Fraser store. As a result of this, Mara was asked to paint two grand-daughters of Lady Fraser of Allander and she was so delighted with them that it resulted in an introduction to Harrods who held a large exhibition for her from which several commissions resulted.

She was then commissioned to paint Black Rod for RAF Cranwell which led to her being commissioned to paint her first Royal portrait of HRH the Prince of Wales in 1970 while he was a student at the RAF College.  Her portrait of the Queen Mother took place in 1981. Her last royal portrait took place in 1997, which was of the Duchess of Kent.

Mara has lived at Steepleton Manor Care home for the last four years and has two daughters and a son. She lived in Hampshire for a large part of her life before coming to Dorset.

She has also painted various equine portraits including one of the 1981 Grand National winner ‘Aldaniti’ which she donated to an auction in aid of The Bob Champion Cancer Charity.  In 2004 Mara visited Kenya and produced two paintings, one of a cheetah with her cub and one of a lion cub.

Rachel Lewis from Steepleton Manor said, ‘Mara is a wonderful lady with a remarkable talent which has led her to meet many members of the Royal family. She was so happy to see the Queen visiting Dorchester yesterday even though she did not get chance to speak to her. All of her portraits are amazing’.




Sherborne House creates Spooky Pumpkin Carvings!

Sherborne HouseResidents at Sherborne House Care Home in Yeovil celebrated Hallows’ Eve on 31st October, by carving pumpkins into a range scary faces and spooky creatures. All the pumpkins looked fantastic lit up outside the home, getting everyone in the mood for autumn.

june-with-pumpkins-smallCaroline Sharp, Manager at Sherborne House said, ‘Our residents love to celebrate each special event of the year by taking part in activities including art and craft. They have made a grand job of their pumpkin carving’.

Sherborne House specialises in Dementia care and is currently home to 25 residents. It is owned
by Altogether Care.

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.


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