Awards at Sherborne House

Two members of staff at Sherborne House received an Altogether Care five year award badge this month.

Martin Middleton, a Carer, was given some Harry Potter memorabilia and Chelsie Spicer, a Senior Carer, some Addams Family items at a special presentation with their manager, Caroline Sharp.

Well done Martin and Chelsie.

Home Care Services in Southampton – Extending the Altogether Care Family

Care at home is a lifeline for many elderly people. Being able to receive help with tasks such as getting in and out of bed, washing, dressing and housework can make all the difference to people who need some assistive care but want to stay in their own home.

Knowing a trusted home care provider can make all the difference. Altogether Care has an established reputation for providing high quality residential and domiciliary care in Dorset and Somerset. We are driven by helping people to live as independently as possible. Building on this success, we are now able to offer the following care services in the Southampton area:

  • Personal Care,
  • Live-in Care,
  • Getting out and about,
  • Domestic support,
  • Sleeping/Waking night care,
  • Companionship and sitting service

We aim to help people continue to live life as independently as possible, with the reassurance that help is available through pre-arranged visits at times they choose. Just because everyday tasks are becoming a little more difficult, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your independence.

Extended Services

Staying in your own home might also mean that some help is needed with every day, non-care activities such as DIY, gardening and cleaning. To make life easier for our clients we’ve extended our services to include these tasks. Whatever support you need you can get it from one trusted organisation.

Being an established care provider means that we can carefully select and vet tradespeople who will understand your needs and be ideally suited to helping older people in their own homes.

In launching our Southampton office, we are bringing the same family-run, caring approach that has earned us an excellent reputation for in care for 30 years. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch with us on 02382 351 800 or visit our Southampton home care services page.

What do CQC Inspection Reports Really Tell You?

First of all, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections are a good thing. It is important that there is accountability so that people placing their trust in care services can have confidence that the system is properly regulated.

Accountability also helps providers with common performance benchmarks and guidance on where we can improve.

To make best use of CQC inspection reports when choosing a care home or home care provider, it can help to understand a bit of background and context. Inspectors report on whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. There are four possible ratings: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate. There is no category for ‘satisfactory.’

Some of the inspection rating is based on documentation such as procedures and record keeping and some of it is essentially a snapshot of what inspectors saw and who they spoke to. So, there could be some subjectivity in the findings- there’s also potentially some randomness based on exactly when the inspection happened.

There’s no doubt too, that some providers are better at the process of preparing for inspections than others. Although you could argue that this is what you’d expect from a well-managed organisation.

What do Ratings Mean?

Don’t dismiss homes simply if they are not Outstanding or Good. Care providers, and more importantly, care users are highly individual and other factors should also be considered.

For example, a home with a lower rating may be a better choice for an individual if the location makes it easier for relatives to visit and for the resident to maintain links with the community they come from. It may be that the facilities and activities on offer are more in line with what a particular person wants.

Similarly, you shouldn’t necessarily be put off a care home because its CQC rating at its last inspection was ‘Requires Improvement.’ There may not be that much practical difference between a provider that just got over the threshold to be rated ‘Good’ and one that didn’t quite make it.

If a home or provider is said to require improvement, it’s important to understand what this means. It could be that they provide essentially safe and effective care but need to tighten up some of their management processes. Even a provider with an ‘Inadequate’ rating shouldn’t be discounted out of hand if the management is taking urgent and purposeful action to correct the shortcomings found in the inspection.

The best way to identify the most suitable care home is to arrange a visit during a normal day to see for yourself whether residents look happy and well cared for. By all means, take along a copy of the most recent inspection report and talk through any concerns with the manager. More importantly, go with an open mind and ask: ‘is this a place where I or my loved one could live the life they want to live. To arrange a visit at any of our ‘Good’ care homes, contact us today on 01305 300 161.

Assisted Living – Help to Live Later Life the Way You Want to

As we get older, routine tasks such as cooking and housework or even bathing and dressing can get harder and more time-consuming. Getting to social events and activities can become a chore. All of which can start to get in the way of living the life you want to live.

At Steepleton Manor and all of our care homes, we see a vital part of our role as providing assisted living rather than just delivering care. We aim to make the basics as simple as possible so that our residents can spend more time doing what they like.

An extensive refurbishment programme at Steepleton Manor is providing residents with new high-quality modern accommodation. Here they can live independently with all the reassurance that assisted living support and care. Living in a luxurious Grade II country house, set in beautiful grounds and surrounded by friends is also a wish fulfilled for many.

Companionship, social activities, and trips are always close to hand. In addition to our activities programme, we can also provide chargeable custom events to meet resident’s needs- such as a trip to the pub for lunch, fishing, or a trip to the theatre, all of which can be arranged with or without support from care staff.

Care Homes Redefined

As people live longer and stay healthier, we are seeing a redefinition of old age as simply another phase of a fulfilling and enjoyable life. The role of the care home is changing to suit.

In the past, it may have been seen as somewhere you go when you can no longer cope. Now it is increasingly seen as a positive choice where people might opt to use some of the wealth they have earned to make later life easier, more fun, and less like hard work.

If there are specific medical or care needs it also helps when these are provided in the place people live, and that trained care staff are on hand to make sure that the care given is adapted as needs change.

If your picture of a care home is of an austere setting where people count off their remaining days, pay a visit to Steepleton Manor or any Altogether Care home – you’ll see a very different picture. Contact us today on 01305 300 161 or visit our website.

Altogether Rocks find their way around Dorset

Residents at Weymouth Care Home recently had great fun painting rocks and placing them at random locations around Dorset. ‘Altogether Rocks’ is a community event for local people to place and find decorated rocks around their local area.

First, residents paint the rocks and then put them in secret locations for other participants to find. When the rocks are found they can then take a photo of them and hide it in another location for the next person to find. The event has already bought lots of smiles to the faces of residents at Weymouth Care Home who have painted their rocks in a variety of colours and symbols.

Elaine Galliott, Activities Co-ordinator from Weymouth Care Home said, ‘It’s a fun event that appeals to those of all ages. Anyone interested can follow the event at #AltogetherRocks on Twitter.



Some recent day to day activities