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Start a Career Where Your Work is Appreciated

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people came to appreciate how important key workers are to our society. Emergency services, health and care workers and the armed forces were all there to help when the nation needed it most.

Many organisations are keen to show their appreciation for key workers and have joined the Blue Light Card scheme to offer discounts on shopping, meals out and attractions.

One of the perks of a career with Altogether Care is that you qualify for a Blue Light Card. This gives you access to over 15,000 discounts, both locally and online.

With your card you can enjoy every day discounts when you: go to the cinema, eat out at numerous participating restaurants, buy a mobile phone, shop from famous brands, book a holiday, go to a theme park or just queue up for your coffee. The list of participating companies reads like Who’s Who of famous retail and leisure brands. 

Work With People Who Enjoy What They Do

Blue Light Card discounts come on top of many other advantages of working for Altogether Care. First of all, we’re a happy crew. You’ll get to work every day with a team of people who enjoy what they do and take great pride in their work. That has to be better than being surrounded by long faces waiting for the hands of the clock to tick round.

The clients you work with are also an incredible group of people. They all have a story to tell and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing what a difference you make to their lives every day.

Your work in the care sector will be appreciated in so many ways. The discounts offered through the Blue Light Card is just one of them.

If you’d like to have a discussion to find out more about working in the care sector, contact Altogether Care on 01305 230488 or email careers@altogethercare.co.uk, or check out our current vacancies.

Choosing A Care Home – What Do You Need To Think About?

A new year is often the time for taking stock and making plans. For older people it’s maybe an opportunity to think about whether they need extra help with everyday tasks or perhaps more extensive care. Depending on your needs there are plenty of options, ranging from personal care in your own home to full time nursing care.

The starting point is usually a care needs assessment carried out by your local council. The assessment is to identify and document your needs. It isn’t there to tell you what to do, it’s to help you choose the type of care that suits you best.

It might be that you can continue living in your own home with a few modifications, perhaps supported by a care at home service. For some, residential care will be the best option. Here too, there are choices.

The most suitable care home will depend partly on the type of care you need. This could be personal care such as help with washing and dressing, through to round the clock registered nursing or specialist care. Most importantly, the care home you choose should be somewhere that you will feel at home and well cared for.

How to Choose a Care Home

Choosing a care home is a big step. It’s important to do your research to be as sure as possible that you’re making the best choice. Points to consider include:

  1. Funding support. You may be eligible for some financial support, depending on your circumstances. Most people will need to pay for some or all of their care so financial planning is important.
  2. Recommendations and online reviews. It’s helpful to see what families of care home residents say about the home.
  3. Your own impressions. Does it feel like somewhere you’d be happy to live?
  4. The type of care you need.

All Altogether Care homes provide nursing care to meet most people’s needs. Sherborne House also has specialist nursing care for dementia, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, stroke victims and behavioural difficulties arising from a loss of mental awareness. Each home is friendly, welcoming and caring and makes it a priority for you to maintain as much independence as possible.

Find out more about our homes.

Alternatively, call 01305 300 161 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk for more information.

This Christmas, the Elderly Will Be Even More Affected by Loneliness

Even in normal times, winter can be a difficult time for the elderly. Colder weather and short days mean that there are fewer opportunities to get out and meet people. This winter, we have the added factor of Covid-19 restrictions. These make it harder for people to receive visitors or go out and socialise.

There is hope around the corner with the first vaccine being approved for use in the UK. Even so, the virus will be with us for many months. As we look forward hopefully to a return to normal living we can’t afford to forget life as it currently exists for many elderly people.

Loneliness and isolation are major concerns. The ongoing pandemic can only heighten these feelings with the added fear of possibly contracting the virus. Age UK estimates that around one third of elderly people are finding life particularly difficult.

What Can We Do To Help Combat Loneliness?

Probably the simplest thing we can all do is to be kind and considerate. Take a few moments to have a conversation, offer to help with collecting prescriptions or shopping. Don’t underestimate how powerful it is just to know that somebody cares enough to ask if you need help. According to Age UK a survey conducted for their No One Should Have No One campaign, two million people said they wouldn’t have got through the pandemic without ‘the kindness of strangers.’

Zoom, Skype and other video conferencing technology are helping people to feel less cut off. Having the technology available is one thing, taking the time to use it to contact an elderly relative is even more important. Altogether Care has worked hard to make sure our residents can use the latest technology to keep in touch with family and friends throughout what has been a difficult year for us all.

Maintaining physical visits, as far as we are able, is a priority. We recently updated our Visitation Policy to help us take care of the emotional wellbeing of our residents while also keeping them as safe as possible.

VISITATION POLICY

Hopefully, normality is around the corner. Until then, let’s do all we can to help prevent elderly people from feeling lonely and isolated.

For more information about anything mentioned in this article, email contact@altogethercare.co.uk.

Nothing Stops the Christmas Fun at Altogether Care

So this Christmas isn’t going to be quite like other years – but that doesn’t mean our residents can’t still have a great time. For staff and residents at our care homes the festive season is in full swing.

Trees and decorations also went up at the start of December (but this year with a bit more thought to allow our staff to still clean effectively), accompanied by mince pies and a tipple for our residents.

Throughout the month, we’ll be marking notable days with appropriate events. These include Elf Day on December 4, National Brownie Day (who doesn’t love a brownie?) and even National Gazpacho Day (who knew there was such a thing?).

Some of the December events have a more serious side, including International Animal Rights Day that remembers animal victims of human cruelty, including war horses.

Christmas apparel features in many of the festivities with Christmas jumpers being donned for December 11 and a colourful array of hats on the 18th. And let’s not forget National Sangria Day on the 20th and Eggnog Day on Christmas Eve.

Christmas at Sherborne House

December is a busy month at Sherborne House with plenty to keep residents occupied and in the festive spirit. As well as the annual Christmas party, residents have been making decorations and baubles for the ‘wish tree,’ baking Christmas biscuits and decorating some scrumptious gingerbread men. There’s a small festival of Christmas movies to watch and regular communal signing of seasonal songs.

The care at home team has also been joining in the fun with the Poole office sporting elf costumes and Christmas jumpers to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. Please contribute if you are able via our JustGiving page.

While 2020 may have been a difficult year for care homes and their residents, the Altogether Care team has been determined to make sure that the wellbeing and enjoyment of our residents has been affected as little as possible. And as the year draws to a close, Christmas remains a very special time and something to celebrate.

To find out more about Altogether Care, contact 01305 300 161 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk.

Care At Home – Here to Support You Now and in the Future

The coronavirus pandemic hit the care sector hard in many ways. The emotional cost of dealing with people who became infected and of staff putting themselves at risk to continue delivering care was huge.

Some care providers were already finding life hard before the pandemic and several are starting to worry about whether they will be able to stay in business.

Expanding at a time when others are contracting

But, despite what many papers print, it’s not all doom and gloom in the sector. Altogether Care remains in a strong position both in terms of performance and of the wellbeing of our teams. This is important, because we know that the thing that people who use care services value most of all is stability.

Choosing an organisation to look after your care needs is a big decision. The relationship with your home care provider is both important and personal. The last thing anybody wants is to keep changing care providers when their current one is no longer able to provide a service.

We have grown by over 50% in the last 3 years and are a preferred provider for numerous local authorities. We are continuing to develop our services and expand our network of Care at Home branches to meet the growing demand for care in the UK. The fundamentals of an ageing population with more disparate family units means that more people will continue to seek support in their lives to a lesser or greater degree. And we are ready with more staff, more local offices and more services to help with the house and garden as well as care.

Financial Stability Brings Reassurance

In a recent survey, three quarters of directors of adult social care said they were concerned about the financial stability of home care providers in their area. Some of these concerns were there before coronavirus came to the UK but they are now more acute. Enquiring about the financial stability of a care provider you are thinking of using is more important than ever.

For people living in Dorset, South Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire who are considering care there is the flexibility of using a care at home service where a carer visits on a regular basis to help, or Live-In Care for full time support. Altogether Care will be able to meet your needs now and in the future as a stable, family run provider with over 30 years experience. Call us to discuss your care needs in more detail and find out what type of support will suit you best.

For more information about Altogether Care and our care services, click here. Alternatively, speak to our team on 01305 206 140 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk.

Related article: https://www.homecareinsight.co.uk/cqc-report-reveals-impact-of-covid-19-on-domiciliary-care-providers/ 

Care Staff: Among the Most Valuable Employees in the Country

The value of somebody’s work can’t always be measured in money. A better measure might be the positive impact people have on society and the lives of others. And if that’s the case, care staff must come out pretty near the top of the list.

Day-in, day-out we see just how much the work of our care teams mean to the people we care for. It isn’t just the care tasks they perform that help people cope a little better and get more enjoyment from life, it’s also the way they work – bringing positive interactions to people’s lives, making so much difference to wellbeing and health.

Is Your Job Worthwhile?

Care work isn’t easy, but it’s rarely dull and always rewarding. Let’s be honest, how many people can truly say that the work they do is worthwhile and making a difference? For everyone working in care, that’s the daily reality. The rewards are about much more than money.

We understand the value of the work that our people do. So, we try to give back as much as we can with a competitive salary, flexible working hours and professional development. Everyone is supported to grow their skills and their career.

Altogether Care staff enjoy additional benefits that not all care companies offer, including staff discounts, a generous mileage allowance, childcare vouchers, free mobile insurance and free Nero coffee.

Family Values

Altogether Care is a family-run business and we aim to make our employees feel part of a wider family. We have shared values and support each other to do the best job possible for our clients. And that’s what Altogether Care staff say is one of their favourite things about working at Altogether Care – the family atmosphere among all the staff and residents.

So, if you’re looking for more from your job than a pay packet, or if you’re in a care occupation and feeling under-appreciated, we’d love to talk to you. We currently have vacancies in our care homes in Dorset and our growing care at home teams in Dorset, South Somerset and Hampshire. For more information, contact us today by calling 01305 206140.

Verwood Ladies sponsorship

Verwood Ladies Football Club would like to thank Altogether Care for sponsoring their training tops this season.

Additional new players and media coverage from The Echo has boosted the team morale. Next season is set to be an exciting one!

Steepleton Manor Open Day 6th October

On the 6th October 2018, between 12pm and 4pm we are opening our doors at Steepleton Manor care home to celebrate 30 years as a family business in care.

Steepleton Manor is our luxury care home, specialising in assisted living and residential care, set in the picturesque village of Winterbourne Steepleton near Dorchester. Surrounded by six acres of mature landscaped parkland, it features its own walled kitchen garden where residents can grow their own produce. At Steepleton Manor you will find a vibrant living environment with a range of social and exercise activities, a library, tailored nutritional food and therapies to support a healthy and high quality lifestyle.

We want to celebrate our commitment to providing quality care for 30 years and demonstrate what life at the Manor is really like by opening our doors for the day. The event will feature information on the events programme we run, a tethered hot air balloon, classic car display, nutrition information and catering, music sessions, and some freshly made cakes and cream teas to enjoy. Plus, there will be an opportunity to have a look around the manor and learn more about what we do to provide a family feel with our care environment.

For more information, please call us on 01305 300 161.

Steepleton Manor,
Winterbourne
Steepleton
DT2 9LG

Ivy and Riley share special birthday

Sherborne 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

Residents 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

A 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’.

Why family-run care homes are often the best choice

Making the decision to move into a care home – and choosing the right one – is never easy.

Usually, you’ll be saying goodbye to the house where you’ve spent many years of your life. And leaving familiar surroundings where you feel safe and secure.

That’s why it often makes sense to choose a family-run care home.

While they’re subject to the same quality standards as any organisation, family-owned care homes also have a personal stake in the businesses and its reputation.

As well as helping to drive up standards, this also makes them more accountable. After all, if there’s an issue over quality, they can be held to account straightaway. As opposed to a big company where the complaint would probably have to be passed through numerous members of staff.

Also, family care businesses are almost always smaller than those owned by corporate companies. And they’re not beholden to shareholders in the way large businesses are.

This means the owners have more freedom to create the kind of homely, close-knit environment they’d want their own relatives to live in.

It’s easier for them to focus on the small details, which often makes all the difference. Like the meals they cook, the outings they organise or entertainment they put on. Rather than stick rigidly to decisions made by corporate bosses hundreds of miles away.

They can run homes according to their own family values, and make the dignity and comfort of residents their highest priority.

And because they’re often smaller, staff and residents get to know each other better. As a result, residents often receive more personalised care and maintain more of their individuality and independence.

Family-run homes will often have been part of the community for many years. The owners will be locals themselves, know the area, and sometimes the residents’ families. This helps residents relate to the owners, and makes the move into a home as comfortable and stress-free as possible – for them and their families.

Yeovil Care Home is a finalist

Sherborne House Care Home in Yeovil reached the finals of the Care Awards 2016 which was organised by Care Focus (South West).  An awards evening took place on 22nd April in Taunton with a total of twelve separate awards for those employed in the care sector. Sherborne House employs forty two staff and was short-listed for the Outstanding Care team Award.

Caroline Sharp, Manager at Sherborne House said, ‘Although we didn’t win we were delighted to be nominated and attend the event. My staff always work hard in everything that they do and they are all winners every day’.  Sherborne House specialises in Dementia Care and is part of the Altogether Care Group.

Ben McGrail from BBC Somerset hosted the awards evening and presented each category  winner with flowers.  Guests enjoyed a three course meal and a disco.

For more information please contact Ellie Phillips PR on 07834 752200

Why choose Altogether Care?

As they say, you work for the majority of your life and you are at your work more than you are at home. So it is vitally important to do a job that you love and are passionate about for an employer who appreciates what you do for them.

A career in care is hugely satisfying, having the ability to make a positive difference to an individual and their families’ life. Positions in care offer varied work and with everyday being different it gives you the chance to develop your skills and knowledge further. Working so closely with individuals receiving care gives you the opportunity to develop rewarding relationships whilst providing the company many crave.

Altogether Care, are an independent family owned business that has been running for over 30 years. We have strong family values which are embedded within all of our Care Homes and Care at Home services. But what are the advantages of choosing us?

We aim to be the employer of choice; being caring, honest, open, involving, creative and ethical. We recognise that every member of our staff are our biggest asset and are therefore always striving to develop rewards and benefit initiatives to demonstrate this. Our benefits include a Government recognised pension, training and development programme, mileage allowance plus more.

Altogether Care has recently introduced a staff benefit scheme which includes: retail discount vouchers, child care vouchers, discounted holidays and travel insurance, various leisure and restaurant vouchers, a hospital plan and much more.

We are committed to providing the very best in terms of quality care, the same we would want for our own family, ensuring our residents are treated as individuals and with respect and dignity.

If you’d like to find out more on pursuing a career in care with Altogether Care please get in touch.

See what some of our staff have to say about working for us:

Ami (Field Care Supervisor, Care at Home, Bournemouth)

I love my job with Altogether Care because I am able to interact with both carers and clients whilst developing my supervisory skills. Working as a Field Care Supervisor has been a big confidence booster, as I have to communicate with a wide range of people; health and social care professionals, family members and fellow colleagues. I am seen as the ‘face’ of Care at Home (Bournemouth) and I get great job satisfaction dealing successfully with any staff or client queries or concerns.

I particularly enjoy completing the initial assessment with a new client as you really get to know them and their past history – it’s both rewarding and fascinating.

Altogether Care has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I have completed the Level 5 in Health & Social Care & have attended various training courses to build my portfolio.

Above all, probably the best aspect of my job is that I am not just sitting in an office. I am out there, in the ‘field of care’ ensuring that our carers are delivering a consistently high standard of care to our service users, something which really enhances their comfort and day to day standard of living. It’s a great reason to get up in the morning!

Some recent day to day activities