Employees of the Month – March

We are delighted to reveal our Employees of the Month for March for each of our care homes. Each month, care home managers at Sherborne House, Steepleton Manor and Weymouth Care Home will hand pick team members who demonstrate a passion for their role and go above and beyond to provide excellent standard of care and support to residents.

Our Employees of the Month for March are:

Sherborne House

Linda Vitina

Linda always has a smile and a friendly greeting for everyone. She is liked by all and nobody brings up the whites as good as Linda!

Weymouth Care Home

Kayleigh Phillips





Kayleigh is a valuable asset to the team and tackles many challenges within her role.

Steepleton Manor

Adriana Panta

Adriana has great dedication to her job as a nurse, she is always happy and the residents enjoy her company.

Congratulations to all Employees of the Month!

Sweet Treats to Swallow

Residents at Weymouth Care Home held a special event to mark National Swallowing Day and to highlight how Dysphagia can affect people’s lives.

An ice cream flavour challenge took place with the winning team guessing the most flavours. Mocktails were also flavour of the day.

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties have potentially life-threatening consequences. They can result in choking, pneumonia, chest infections, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. They can also make taking medication more difficult and they can lead to a poorer quality of life for the individual and their family. Dysphagia can affect people at any stage of their lives and speech and language therapists support and enable them to eat and drink safely.

Easter Bunnies at Steepleton Manor

Residents at Steepleton Manor are looking forward to Easter and in preparation have been creating various art forms of rabbits.

Sarah Jane visits each month and assists everyone in using a variety of art materials such as water paints and chalks to create drawings and table decorations.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Altogether Care took part in Random Acts of Kindness Day last month on Saturday 17th February. We asked our staff to let us know if they have seen any examples of extraordinary acts of kindness- over and above what we would expect in our day to day roles as part of a caring company.

Taking inspiration from Matt Callanan – wemakegoodhappen.com – our Care Home and Care at Home departments received bright yellow envelopes containing £10 with simple instructions to be distributed around Dorset and Somerset. The rules are simple:

  • You can’t spend it on yourself
  • You have to do good with it

The envelopes encouraged the lucky strangers to be creative, do something lovely, or make someone smile. Below is just one example of how kindness was spread across the South West.

“We have a young homeless girl that we are supporting with our organisation, Second Chance Bournemouth, who desperately needed some new shoes. We doubled the money and bought her a new pair of trainers. We also treated her to some pampering and a set of new clothes with a cash donation from another beautiful soul. It was lovely to see such a smiling happy face on a cold sunny day!”

          – Shelley Morris


Owls, Pampering and Snow Days at Sherborne House

Residents at Sherborne House enjoyed being pampered earlier this month with facials and massages as part of a pamper session. Heavy snow allowed everyone to have a ‘pyjama day’ complete with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

A visit from Sharandy’s Birds of Prey meant residents got to stroke a beautiful owl.  Never a dull moment at Sherborne House!

Zumba gets residents moving!

Residents at Steepleton Manor made the most of the chance to be active this month at their monthly Zumba class with Becky.  With such motivational music the residents allowed the beat to guide their feet!

Could Live-in Care be the Best Option?

Once a person’s care needs become too extensive to be met by home care visits the next step is often residential care. But it doesn’t have to be. Live-in care offers many people a blend of independence and support that meets their needs better than a care home.

For some, moving into a care home might be too much of an upheaval – settling into a new environment might be disorientating and distressing. This is particularly true for people with dementia who find familiar surroundings and routines comforting. The care home option could mean becoming uprooted from a community and friends. It could mean having to rehome and leave behind a much-loved pet.

Sometimes it’s the perceived loss of independence that makes residential care unappealing; particularly if a person is mentally very active but physically impaired.

How Live-in Care Works

For many, live-in care is an option worth exploring. It involves a care worker living in the person’s home so that they are able to provide round-the-clock support. They can help with personal care, medication, cooking and cleaning or pet care. There’s also somebody on hand for companionship and to reduce the risk of trips and falls.

Live-in carers also support trips out, whether it’s to the doctor, the supermarket or the hairdresser.

For some people the need for more extensive care is temporary, perhaps when they are recovering from illness or an operation. Being able to receive round-the-clock care in their own home for a short period means they can leave hospital without having to wait for a residential place to become available. They can also get back to normality and regain greater independence quickly.

Obviously, the personal relationship is important. As a provider of live-in care we work hard to match the right carer to each service user so that they can meet the full range of needs and get along as people.

Decisions about the most appropriate form of care need a lot of consideration. At ATC we work closely with service users and families to explain the options and help everyone to make the choice that works best. Find out more about our Live-in Care service here, or contact us today on 01202 894 925.

Do People want Care Down to a Price, or up to a Standard for their Loved Ones?

Care home fees are an emotive issue. They can consume a large proportion of the wealth people have spent a lifetime building.  This can mean there is much less for relatives to inherit. And, of course, there’s the ‘random’ element that means some older people never need to go into care while others do.

It’s probably not surprising that people question whether the fees being charged are reasonable. In most parts of the country fees are over £651 per week of the 2017 national average. And that’s just for the residential element. Any specialist nursing care will be additional.

Over £33,000 per year may sound like a lot. But perhaps it isn’t if you compare it to the cost of even a fairly modest hotel. In a care home, on top of the accommodation there will be some element of personal care depending on individual needs. This could be help with washing and dressing or safe administration of medication. There will also be meals and laundry.

A care home is also much more than a warm and comfortable place to live. There are activities and outings to maintain physical and emotional wellbeing. There are also qualified staff who can keep an eye on the physical and mental health of residents. Companionship and round the clock help are part of the package.

Regulation and Training

Care homes are not free to deliver whatever standard of care they think appropriate. It is a highly regulated sector. Everything from the way homes are managed to the skills of staff is monitored alongside basic considerations such as hygiene and health and safety. Performance is evaluated by the Care Quality Commission and their judgements are very public.

The training costs to ensure that all staff are suitably skilled and qualified are significant and new regulations and requirements come along all the time.

Quite rightly, the CQC, relatives and society place very high expectations on the way that homes care for their residents. This is as it should be. But it cannot be done for a budget price.

For more information on funding care, take a look at our page here and our direct payments infographic

Little Horse is a Star!

A visit to a Care Home from a miniature horse provided an extra special treat at Sherborne House in Yeovil.

‘Star’ met each of the residents at the dementia home earlier this year, and made a big impression for a little horse.

April Kibby, from Lofty Therapy Horses said, “Each visit throws up new ‘experiences’ which they are ready to deal with and learn from. We bought our first American Miniature Horse called ‘Lofty’ as a companion for a larger horse and thought we would show him. That never happened as we took him to visit my father in law in a nursing home and the rest as they say, is history.

Star is the only female therapy horse and is an American Miniature Horse that was donated to us for therapy use. She came from a farm in Cheshire.  She originally came from Texas as a 6-month old foal. She is 8.5 years old and 32 inches high, our smallest therapy horse”.

Miniature horses can live up to 30 years and like regular sized horses enjoy a roam in a field and a warm stable at night.

Lofty has made several TV appearances and continues to visit nursing homes, hospices, nurseries, hospitals and schools.

Special little trainers are made for the horses which enable them to trot around indoors whilst on their visits. They are also trained to go in a lift making them easily accessible to all floors.

Employees of the Month – February

We are delighted to reveal our Employees of the Month for February for each of our care homes. Each month, care home managers at Sherborne House, Steepleton Manor and Weymouth Care Home will hand pick team members who demonstrate a passion for their role and go above and beyond to provide excellent standard of care and support to residents.

Our Employees of the Month for February are:

Sherborne House

Michelle Knight

Michelle’s colleagues describe her a breath of fresh air and residents are always come first where Michelle is concerned. She always has a smile and time to catch up with each and every resident.

Weymouth Care Home

Rachel Adams

Rachel is very efficient and has time for everyone. She is cheerful and takes on any challenge that comes her way. She is a great asset to the team and for the residents.

Steepleton Manor

Dawn Anderson

Dawn is always happy and full of enthusiasm. She is dedicated to working hard and makes a huge difference to the team and all the residents.

Congratulations to all Employees of the Month!


Some recent day to day activities