Christmas Cheer at Steepleton Manor

Staff at Steepleton Manor enjoyed a festive meal and scooped some special awards.

Congratulations to Debbie Stanford and Christopher Taylor for their long service contribution and to Hayley Trew for being nominated Employee of the Month.

All I want for Christmas is…

Santa has been busy asking residents and staff what they most would like for Christmas.  It may be no surprise that high up on the list is the wish to see more of family members.

Here is a selection of Christmas wishes from both Steepleton Manor and Sherborne House.

A chocolate cake, a drum, a dog, a new football. A trip to the pub, a trip to see the Christmas decorations at Poundbury Garden Centre, a trip to see a classical musician, a box of Thornton’s chocolates and one resident would simply love a surprise.

Staff also have a wish list which includes a new car, a new iPad, a million pounds and quality time with family at Christmas with everyone having a good time.

Here’s hoping there is a big chimney!

Christmas Crafts at Steepleton Manor

Residents at Steepleton Manor have been feeling extra festive this month whilst making a variety of seasonal crafts.  Making decorations has been a favourite Christmas tradition for many years at Steepleton Manor.

Wreaths, paper chains, Santa hats and beards are just a few of the handmade goodies which will no doubt bring extra joy and cheer this Christmas.

Christmas Traditions at Sherborne House

Carols by candlelight on Christmas Eve is a favourite Christmas tradition at Sherborne House. On Christmas Day, residents tuck into a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and open gifts. They then watch the Queen’s speech.

Staff put on their Christmas outfits and hats each year to create some additional festive fun.

Assisted Living with Style and Luxury

At Steepleton Manor, we have recently completed the refurbishment of luxury living accommodation. The resulting suites are almost unrecognisable from the staff quarters that took up the top floor of the house when it was originally built in Victorian times.

The top floor has been completely remodelled. It now contains self-contained suites, some with their own separate lounge area, kitchenette and en-suite bathroom. What would still be recognisable are the original beams, eaves windows and high ceilings that have been retained in this historic building. These maintain the character of the original rooms and add charm and style to the luxury accommodation.

The suites overlook the garden and arguably offer the best views in the house. The impressive landscaped grounds stretch out before you and there’s always something to see, whether that’s the beautiful trees, shrubs and flower borders, the countryside beyond, or the wealth of birds and wildlife.

Natural Light and Wellbeing

The attention to detail has been extended to every element, including the lighting. Many studies show the importance of good light quality in maintaining wellbeing, good health and natural sleep patterns for people of all ages. The specialist lighting in the refurbished suites was carefully chosen to replicate natural daylight to provide a comfortable, restful environment.

The remodelled suites reflect the choices that many older people make about how they want to live their lives. They are ideal for those who want to live independently and in style, while having the comfort that help is on hand if required and that their care needs are fully looked after.

The aim behind the refurbishment was to make Steepleton Manor the perfect ‘home from home’ with all daily tasks taken care of. It’s not how many people would imagine life in a care home to be, but we know the accommodation reflects how many people would like it to be.

Why not come and see for yourself? Contact us today on 01305 300 161.

Ferret Fun at Steepleton Manor

Residents at Steepleton Manor Care Home enjoyed some fun and games when two friendly ferrets visited.  Blossom and Bear live at the Animal Park at Kingston Maurward College.

Their favourite games are playing in ball pits and little swimming pools.

Ferrets are a domesticated species related to the wild polecat.  They are very playful and love to chase toys. Whilst they can be friendly, it is important to remember they are carnivorous predators which would normally hunt rabbits in the wild so they have a nasty bite!

Part of the Mustelid family alongside badgers, they have special glands under their tails which give off a musty smell.

Ferrets are happiest living in pairs or small groups.  They do not make ideal pets as they are best living outside and require specialist care including vaccinations and neutering.

The ferret was originally domesticated to be used for hunting, and are still often used, sometimes alongside hawks to chase rabbits out of their warrens.

Blossom and Bear are used solely for education and had a great time meeting residents and staff at Steepleton Manor Care Home, near Dorchester.

Laslzo Bartus, Manager at Steepleton Manor said, “Our residents love to meet animals and the two ferrets were adorable and seemed to enjoy being handled and playing.  They bought lots of smiles to many faces”.

Christmas Traditions at Steepleton Manor

Each family and individual has special Christmas traditions – the same applies to care homes. Steepleton Manor has their very own tradition which allows every resident to add a bauble of their choice to the Christmas tree.  This year, the families of residents will be joining in with the tradition.  The tree was put up, as always, on the 1st December.

Whilst this may seem like a small thing to do, it’s important for residents to keep the traditions alive. Carol singers from the local primary school will be singing songs of joy to the residents and staff on the 23rd December.

On Christmas Eve, there is mince pies, sherry and more carol singing. Christmas Day will see families joining their loved ones to enjoy their Christmas meal and Santa visits in the afternoon with special gifts for the residents.

What Does a CQC Inspection Rating Really Mean?

Relax – this isn’t going to be a detailed explanation of how the Care Quality Commission conducts inspections or formulates a rating for a particular care provider. This is intended to be an overview that will help you put ratings into context. The best advice if you want to know about a particular care provider is often to go and look for yourself.

Inspections seek to answer five key questions:

  • Is the service safe?
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it caring?
  • Is it responsive to service user needs?
  • Is it well-led?

Each of these questions is rated according to a four-point scale: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, Inadequate. There is no category for ‘satisfactory.’

The ratings for each of these questions are then aggregated to form an overall rating. Each question has an equal weighting. So, for example, a provider rated Good in four categories and Requires Improvement in one will normally have an overall rating of Good.

However, there are a few complications. For example, no provider can be rated better than Requires Improvement if there has been a breach of the regulations. It may also be worth bearing in mind that inspection findings are based to a large extent on the presentation of evidence, rather than direct observation of the care service users receive.

What Does ‘Good’ Mean?

The overall rating will normally be Good if there are no key question ratings of Inadequate and no more than one key question rating of Requires Improvement. There are actually many combinations that could result in an overall rating of Good, so it might help to look at the rating and judgement for each question individually. If the ratings for safe, effective and caring are all good this may cover your main concerns.

An overall rating of Requires Improvement may also need interpretation. There may well be three aspects of the service that are rated good and two that require improvement. The service could be safe, effective and caring but was unable to show inspectors sufficient evidence that it should be rated Good for being well led or responsive.

Likewise, if two or more of the key questions are rated as inadequate, then the overall rating will normally be Inadequate, even if some aspects of the service are good.

At the other end of the scale, an overall rating of Outstanding doesn’t mean that a provider is outstanding in all areas. It can be outstanding in two areas and good in three. So, a provider rated outstanding for being caring may have a lower overall rating than one that is rated as good for the same question (we did say it wasn’t straightforward). Choosing a care home or home care provider is a big decision. There are many factors to consider and the CQC rating is useful guidance. But it often helps to dig a bit deeper to see the real story behind the rating.

You can find more about our Care Homes and Care at Home service ratings here.

Some recent day to day activities