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Imagine Retirement With More Time To Do The Things You Love

Our entire life seems to be made up of things we love doing and other ‘necessary’ stuff that isn’t much fun – like housework, shopping, mowing the lawn and house maintenance.

As you get older, time becomes more significant and precious. How good would it feel to get rid of all the chores and tedious features of everyday life? What would it be like to spend that time on something more enjoyable and worthwhile?

This is what assisted living is all about; keep the bits of life that give you the most pleasure and satisfaction – and get rid of the rest.

The ‘best bits’ are different for everyone. It might be a walk in the country, a day out, learning a new skill such as drawing or painting, trying out new activities, or just time spent in good company. 

The first step is to find a way to make time. You’ll then have little problem finding ways to use it.

Assisted Living at Steepleton Manor

Assisted living and time well spent are very much the themes of life at Steepleton Manor – our Grade II listed retirement home in Dorset. We take care of all the routine tasks while our clients concentrate on how to take advantage of the wealth of leisure facilities and varied activities available.

There are impressive and extensive grounds, a croquet lawn and kitchen garden offering opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle. There’s also a library, shop, conservatory and spacious communal areas where people socialise and relax. We also have regular bus trips out in our modern mini bus to local beauty spots or to local tea rooms.

Assisted living is also about keeping your independence. We have en-suite rooms and suites with a separate living room and kitchenette. There’s plenty of choice over how you prefer to live.

So, if you’re thinking seriously about how you want to spend your time after retirement, it’s worth considering assisted living. And at Steepleton Manor, you’ll be able to spend your days in luxurious surroundings in a stunning country manor house.

If this sounds appealing, you can find out more and take a glimpse inside Steepleton Manor by watching our video. You’re also more than welcome to spend a day with us. Just follow this link for more information and to arrange a visit.

Considering A Career In Care? Who Will You Work For?

The social care sector has plenty of opportunities for anyone searching for a new career. And if you’re new to the sector you might think that one care company is much like another. The truth is, they’re not.

Some care companies specialise in specific types of care – such as residential, nursing or care at home services. Some are small or medium sized family-run businesses and some are corporate entities owned by investment companies.

What should matter most is what each company will be like to work for. How will you be treated and what opportunities will you have to learn new skills and develop your career?

Care is both a demanding and rewarding career. It comes with lots of responsibility and the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives. There are plenty of opportunities to develop your career in different directions. This could be into specialist areas of care such as dementia, or into supervision and management.

If you have the aptitude and enthusiasm, the chances are that you’ll have a choice of care organisations you could work for. So choose carefully.

Questions You Should Ask

Take a close look at the care provider’s track record – Do staff tend to stay with them for long periods of time? 

You should also investigate their training and development policy; Do they look to do the bare minimum to comply with regulations or does every staff member have a training and development plan that helps them build new skills and progress their career?

The Indeed company rating will tell you a lot about how people find the experience of working there. The rating for Altogether Care is 4.3, which is exceptionally high and something we’re really proud of.

You should also ask about opportunities for career progression. Over 75% of our management team has been promoted from within the company. This is largely down to the fact that Altogether Care is a family owned and run business that treats the team as an extended family.

We are currently recruiting for care assistants across Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. If you think a career in care is for you, check out our current opportunities at https://altogethercare.co.uk/careers/ or contact us on 01305 230 488 and let’s talk about your future in care.

Care At Home, Coronavirus and the Future

A woman in 1971 would have expected to live to the age of around 77. For a man, life expectancy was a little over 71. By 2017, the life expectancy for women had risen to over 83 and for men it was just under 80.

The increase in life expectancy has been driven by better healthcare, a reduction in smoking, improved health and safety in workplaces, more plentiful and varied food and improved amenities. And as, on average, we are all getting a few more years post-retirement, it’s important to make the most of them.

Maintaining independence is an important feature of the quality of life for many people in their later years. Usually, this means that individuals will want to remain in their own homes wherever possible. In many cases, people living in the own homes during their later years are fully mentally capable and can, for the most part, take care of themselves. If, in your case, you’re not as mobile as you used to be, a few things may become a bit more difficult. But that’s no reason to give up your independence.

Care at home is increasingly popular because it gives people choice and flexibility. They agree with their care provider what type of help they need and how often. They have a care plan that is their care plan, not something that somebody decides for them. And most of all, they are in familiar surroundings in a community they know.

How Has Covid-19 Changed Things?

The pandemic increased the demand for care at home services. This is partly because care homes were sometimes unable to admit new residents and partly because some people recovering from the virus face a long process of recuperation. It was also harder in many cases for family members and informal caregivers to help out because of guidance about isolating and social distancing.

A great deal of the burden of coping with Covid-19 fell on the care sector and we’re proud of the way our team rose to the challenge. The value and benefits that care at home services deliver became much more obvious to the general population.

It was a difficult time but we pulled through. We’re now focused firmly on the future and how we can bring independence and quality of life to even more people in their later years.

Contact 01305 206 140 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk for more information.

Could Live-In Care Be Right For You?

For many people, the first type of care they need is care at home. In a lot of cases it’s all they’ll ever need as they are able to carry on living independently with a bit of help.

In other cases, the amount of care and support a person needs increases. Eventually it reaches the point where once or twice daily visits from a carer are not enough. It’s then time to make a decision about the next step.

There are several signs that the type of care needs to be reviewed. These could include an increasing number of memory lapses and near misses such as cookers or electrical appliances being left on, or increasing frailty and finding daily living too much of a struggle.

The first thing that probably comes to mind is residential care; but it’s far from your only option. For some people who receive later-life care the overriding priority is to stay in their own home for as long as possible. That’s where friends, family social activities and memories are.

Live-in care makes it possible to continue living in your own home even when you have significant care needs. Often, it’s less of an upheaval than moving into a care home.

What Does Live-In Care Mean?

In simple terms, it means being able to stay in your home (a place you feel emotionally attached to) without being alone or having to fend for yourself. Your carer lives with you so they are always on hand to help you look after yourself, deliver personal or medical care and keep an eye out for your wellbeing and safety.

They can help you with domestic chores, shopping and trips out when you need them. But as well as the practical help you have companionship and security, and the peace of mind that you are not on your own. If you would like to know more about our live-in care service call us and arrange an appointment. We’ll be happy to talk you through your options and find the care service that works best for you.

Contact 01202 894 925 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk for more information.

We’ve Just Seen Why Effective Healthcare Relies on Effective Social Care

The last few months have highlighted a few facts about our social care system. First, just how essential it is. Unless they are users of the care system or have a relative in care, most people probably don’t give social care much of a thought (other than as a service they might need sometime in the future).

Care workers and care providers haven’t been given the same recognition and credibility as staff working in the NHS. But COVID-19 threw a spotlight on the work the care system does. It highlighted just how interconnected health and care services are when it comes to meeting the needs of an ageing population.

Users want the care system and the provision they receive to be seamless. It’s pretty irrelevant to them whether they are in a health or a care setting. They just want to be reassured that their needs are being looked after.

Shared Goals

The NHS and the care sector have the same goals: caring for those in need in the best way possible. Completely integrated care allows people to move between settings without feeling that they are being transferred from one service to another. To achieve this, the status of the care sector and care workers has to be addressed.

During the peak of the pandemic, the care sector kept going in very difficult circumstances. The fact that hospitals weren’t overwhelmed owed much to the contribution of care providers. We have worked closely with local authorities and CCG’s throughout and continue to do so, in responding to the rapidly increasing demand for care as people went back home.

Many providers invested significantly in training, procedures and equipment – ensuring that infection control measures were in place and to make the risks as minimal as possible. Altogether Care made sure that any new residents coming into the care home were tested negative for COVID-19 from the beginning of the crisis and are continuing to ensure that new residents take tests, only accepting individuals who test negative.

The future will bring further challenges. There’s a very real risk of a second wave of COVID-19 infections this winter. We also have an ageing population and a service that is still underfunded and suffering from severe staff shortages. Brexit will not make the situation any easier.

The vital work carried out by the care sector is now prominent in the media and in the minds of politicians and the public. This is the time to address long-standing issues around integration of health and care services, funding, and the esteem of care workers compared to NHS staff. Ultimately, we are all working towards the same goals.

For more information, contact us today on 01305 300161 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk

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.

Some Important Questions About Your Job

How was work today?

Was it interesting and a bit challenging, or dull and routine, just like every other day?

Did you feel like you did anything worthwhile or something that made you feel valuable, proud or happy?

Are you looking forward to work tomorrow or are you desperate for the weekend to come around?

And what about the future? Is there a long-term demand for your skills, or could the work you do be swallowed by artificial intelligence or robotics?

In the Right Job?

How you answered those questions may say something important about whether or not you’re in the right job. If your answers made you reflect on the fact that your work is dull, unfulfilling and insecure, the good news is that you have an alternative.

It can’t have escaped your notice that we have an ageing population. And as people live longer, more of them will have care needs. Care workers do worthwhile and fulfilling jobs, they are much in demand and that situation isn’t going to change any time soon.

What Do We Mean by Care?

Care needs cover a wide variety of situations. For the majority of people, it’s help with everyday tasks so that they can continue living active and fulfilling lives; doing more of the things they enjoy and less of what they find hard to manage.

Others need more specialist care because of illness, dementia or disabilities. Care workers make an enormous difference to the quality of life for these people. Carers may feel challenged, occasionally exasperated, but they never go home thinking that they’ve been wasting their time doing something that doesn’t make a difference.

Is it for Me?

There are plenty of opportunities to join the care sector and do something worthwhile. Employers are more interested in the values and enthusiasm you bring than any prior care experience.

There are different directions you can take your career. With the right training and support you can specialise in different types of care. There are also pathways into supervision and management for those with the ambition to climb the career ladder. The Skills for Care website has plenty of information.

If you’d like to find out more, or maybe see for yourself what our care teams do, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us here or look at our current openings here.

Some recent day to day activities