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10 Year Service Award for Paula

Paula and LazloPaula House received a special 10-year service award this month and a heartfelt thank you from the Chief Executive at Altogether Care for her dedicated passion in each of the various roles she has carried out in her last ten years with the organisation.

Originally a chef at Cheverels Care Home in Maiden Newton, Paula transferred to Steepleton Manor and continues to work as a Senior Team Leader also covering the position of chef when required and working an additional day each week to transport residents on their mini bus outings.

In addition to her various skills, Paula is well known for her chocolate cake and quiche!

The occasion was marked with a buffet  for Paula and she was presented with flowers and a £100 voucher.

‘If you go down to the woods today…’


Residents recently enjoyed their own Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Sherborne House – the day was spent reminiscing about childhood with stories about their own teddies they had been given as children – and some as adults!

Everyone enjoyed singing Teddy related songs and tucked into Barney Bear Cakes. Despite rain forcing them to come indoors, they all had a great time and got to share laughter and stories relating to Teddy Bears.

How do we Meet Growing Care Needs Without Costing the Earth?

insightThe inconclusive result of the recent General Election does little to clarify how the future of social care will look. The delicate balance of power in the House of Commons could mean that difficult and emotive issues around how increasing care needs will be funded get sidelined.

Despite announcements of an additional £2bn over 3 years, the long term issue of how we pay for care is still unresolved. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services estimates that £20.8bn will be spent on care this year (including service user contributions), a cash rise of 5%. In spite of this they expect that £824m of savings will still be needed. At the same time there are hundreds of empty beds in care homes as commissioning bodies lack the funds to place people with the appropriate care.

Political uncertainty could also mean that it’s harder to make progress with practical challenges such as better integration of health and care services and digital transformation of the care sector.

On the other hand, it could be a golden opportunity to take party politics out of the equation, to build a consensus on the changes that are needed and how they will be delivered and funded. Definitive answers over how much people will be expected to pay for their own care, and in what circumstances, would be welcomed by all.

What do we know?

Whatever happens there are clear trends that will continue. Affordability, efficiency and productivity will be recurring themes as we attempt to deliver more with less.

Delivering more care in people’s own homes is generally seen as a good thing. It is a trend we expect to see continuing – whether that’s domiciliary care visits or live-in care. Domiciliary care is more cost effective and better for many service users if the appropriate support structures are in place.

More imaginative approaches to commissioning that focus not just on hours of care delivered, but also on the support needed to help people live more independently and avoid social isolation are emerging. Shaping services around local needs and commissioning for outcomes rather than activity are still important goals; these aren’t simple but are worth pursuing.

Reshaping services so that there is better integration between health and care professionals is essential. The new CQC inspection framework due to be implemented in the autumn is largely an effort to align inspection criteria and language with health services. This is one step on the route to better integration.

With better integration improved and coordinated discharge planning will reduce delayed transfers and ensure that elderly and vulnerable patients can be safely discharged earlier and at any point in the week, including weekends. Finding ways to include carers and family members more effectively into the care planning process will be critical if we want to make this work consistently.

Affordability will inevitably be a significant driver as local authorities and other commissioning bodies struggle to make the best use of their budgets. Demand may continue to grow faster than budgets and finding solutions won’t be easy.

Generally though, there seems to be a sense of greater realism in the air, particularly over funding. This will hopefully lead to a non-partisan and objective debate about the type of care services we want and how these will be paid for.

What we can say for sure is that the issue is not going to disappear so needs to be addressed to ensure that those reaching their older years have certainty there is a system to support them.


Music to the ears

ruby-tambourineResidents and staff at Sherborne House took part in National Music Day on the 21st June by singing, dancing and celebrating all things music! Ninety year old Ruby Hillman enjoyed playing a tambourine.

The residents regularly participate in music sessions with local entertainers who encourage as much singing and dancing as possible. Sherborne House Manager Caroline Sharp said, “Our residents love music and apart from being relaxing, it’s a great opportunity for everyone to sing, dance or simply and enjoy”.

June Birthday for June

juneJune Bailey celebrated her 95th birthday on 29th June with a scrumptious chocolate cake and a party with the other residents and staff at Sherborne House. An ice cream van also paid a special visit.

June has lived at Sherborne House for nine years. Born in Dorset, June was a WREN during the Second World War and became the first female stock broker in London.

She loves singing and dancing and has made many friends at Sherborne House.

Secret to a long life is dark chocolate!


Sherborne House resident Ivy Platt celebrated her 102nd birthday on Saturday (24th June). Family and friends joined in the fun with a birthday cake, flowers and balloons.  Originally from London, Ivy lived in Bridport before moving to Sherborne House in Yeovil 18 months ago.

Ivy has a daughter and two granddaughters. She loves to spend her time knitting and has created many of her own outfits.  When asked what her secret to a long life is she replied; ‘Chocolate, lots and lots of dark chocolate’.

Staff and residents were delighted to be part of Ivy’s big day.

Sherborne House Can Meet demand for Care


Sherborne House Care Home will celebrate the completion of its new extension with an open day on Friday 16th June at 2.30pm. Altogether Care, who own Sherborne House, a home that specialises in dementia care, are now delighted to offer a dedicated Nursing Care wing, with additional living spaces and refurbishment to the existing building.

Deputy Mayor of Yeovil, David Recardo will attend and cut a cake and assist in welcoming local people to see the new facilities. Bruce Trigger, Yeovil’s Town Crier will also attend.

Responding to the growing demand arising from an aging population, Altogether Care sees the Sherborne House extension as a chance to make the best use of the structures and open spaces already available on the Sherborne House site. The new extension has created nine additional bedrooms plus additional day space capacity that will improve the Home’s facilities.

Brian Westlake, Chair of Altogether Care said, ‘Most people with dementia move into a care home once their dementia progresses to a certain stage. Some people with dementia also have other illnesses or disabilities that make it difficult for them to remain at home. We are pleased to be able to increase local facilities for people suffering with dementia and or general nursing needs to improve their quality of life and give peace of mind to their families’. Sherborne House also offer Respite and Day Care provision.

Altogether Care is a family owned business offering a wide spectrum of care facilities in Somerset and Dorset. Sherborne House has been rated ‘GOOD’ by CQC in their last inspection published in May 2017.

Furry Friends at Weymouth Care Home

ponyAnimals are renown for haivng a therapeutic effect on people of all ages. But animal therapy can be particularly beneficial for the elderly, as they can provide those who do not normally receive animal contact with companionship, as well as enhancing their wellbeing.

Lofty the miniature therapy horse brought smiles to resident’s and staff’s faces at Weymouth Care Home recently when he visited every room and spent time with each resident. His size made it easy for him to ‘access all areas’ and he even gave certain residents a kiss!

A few days later, residents received a visit from two friendly Alpacas who paced around the lounge and enjoyed lots of fuss.

Baby Owl is a Hoot

valResidents at Weymouth Care Home were recently treated to a rare sight when a cute 10-week old baby owl called Crystal dropped in and got to meet every resident.  Local rescue centre Mike’s Owls ensured that everybody got to see the young owl up close.

Why choose Live-in Care?

slide5What is Live-in Care?

It’s not surprising that this modern solution to care is popular. Live-in Care provides a direct alternative to care homes. It combines high levels of care with the added independence and reassurance of living life in your own home. Whether you or your loved one requires personal one to one care assistance, domestic help or if companionship and independence is all that is desired, a tailored service can be created to suit your needs.

Your carer will move into your home with you, allowing you to stay in your own safe environment surrounded by your own possessions and community. This is also very advantageous if you have pets, where many care homes are unable to accommodate individuals pets, your carer will be able to assist in helping to keep your pet by your side. With the right encouragement and support, you or your loved one is able to continue living an independent, enriched life without the worry about receiving the right level of care.

Your one on one carer will learn what you need help with most and what you can ably do independently – so care is suited to your individual needs. Spending so much time one on one means they get to know you; sharing smiles, laughter, trips out, social activities and meaningful conversations together.

Live-in Care can also be provided for end of life care, so there is no need for uncomfortable upheaval to a different environment such as a hospice. Understanding that this is an extremely emotional and difficult process, your carer will offer the highest quality of care as adaptably as possible. Reassuring and supporting both you and your loved ones every step of the way.

Live-in Care Fees

The fees associated with Live-in Care vary depending on level of support required during the day and potentially the night to suit your needs, but may be more affordable than you think. Live-in Care is comparable in cost to residential homes and compared to some of the more elite homes, is a much more cost effective option. In many instances one live-in carer can provide care for a couple, which is a far more viable financial option compared to the cost of two beds in a residential care home.

For more information on funding care, we have put together a guidance document outlining the current Government arrangements which can be found here.

For more information on Live-in Care from Altogether Care or to discuss your requirements with us please contact us on 01202 894 925. Alternatively, visit our website or email  Or if you would like to speak to us in person why not pop into one of our local offices, to find an office local to you take a look at our map here.

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