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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Moving into a care home can be a frightening and intimidating experience – and it can be easy to become withdrawn.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’.

Alpacas visit care home

Alpacas visit care homeResidents at Weymouth Care Home were treated to a visit from two Alpacas named Ollie and Hurry.  The happy pair visited some residents at their bedside and merrily trotted around making new friends.

Weymouth Care Home currently has 33 residents and provides residential care for those with dementia.  It is part of Altogether Care, a Dorset and Somerset care provider.

Owl is a hoot at Weymouth Care Home

Owl is a hoot at Weymouth Care HomeA barn owl proved to be popular at Weymouth Care Home when he dropped in to visit residents.  The visit was one of many planned activities at the care home which is owned by Altogether Care.

Manager, Paula Hartley said, ‘We like to organise lots of interesting events and visits for our residents and birds and animals are always very popular. We have an Alpaca coming to visit soon. We’d like to thank The Owl Academy for allowing our residents the pleasure of seeing such a beautiful bird’.

Care Home Open Day

Care Home Open DayTo celebrate Care Home Open Day, Sherborne House had a garden party on Wednesday 15th June. Unfortunately due to weather it became a lounge party instead but it was enjoyed by all who attended.

We proudly raised £190.45 altogether throughout the afternoon. The residents enjoyed many activities which included, guess the weight of the cake (made and decorated by our chef Julie and residents), match the baby picture of the staff member and forget me not badges on sale in the name of the Alzheimer’s Society.


Respite care for you and your carer

Respite care is for people who need to stay in a care home temporarily. It might be because you need extra care for a period of time or to give your regular carer a break from their responsibilities.

It’s different from residential or nursing care, which is for people who need a more permanent arrangement, or require more in depth nursing care.Respite care for you and your carer

Respite – or replacement care as it’s sometimes known – might be planned or used to help you through a difficult time.

For instance, if you’re recovering from an injury or illness and it’s not safe for you to stay at home, a short stay in a care home might be the answer. You’ll get the specialist, around-the-clock care you need whilst you recover, and can then move back home when you feel ready.

Or if you’ve recently become disabled, you might need temporary support while you adjust to your new lifestyle. It would also provide some time away from your home while special adaptations and aids are fitted.

It can also be an opportunity to experience a home. So that should you need residential care in the future it can help you choose somewhere you feel comfortable, adjust to life in care and get to know the staff.

Caring for someone – whether it’s a family member or loved one – is a big responsibility and can be stressful. So taking a break is important for you and the person caring for. Respite care allows you to go on holiday, catch up on sleep or simply have some time alone  with peace of mind that your loved one is being well looked after.

Which home you choose for respite care will depend on the person’s needs. For instance, you may need somewhere that provides specialist nursing or dementia care.

Some residential homes provide places for people who need to stay temporarily, while others are specialist respite facilities. They’re set up to provide a balance between independent living and professional care; offering activities and events to give residents an enjoyable and refreshing break.

If you are considering respite care for a loved one, Altogether Care provide a range of services to cater for individual needs, from care at home services to care homes such as Steepleton Manor. A stay at Steepleton Manor provides an individual with the finest accommodation, alongside professional care and a wealth of activities to ensure it is an enjoyable break.

To find out more about how Altogether Care can help you and your loved one you can visit the website or contact us directly on 01305 300 161.


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