Care Home Open Day 2019 at Altogether Care

Altogether Care will be taking part in National Care Home Open Day on 28th June.

The nationwide open day event is a chance to celebrate all the different people, cultures and relationships in local areas, and show the community that care homes are friendly, happy and exciting places to be.

All of our care homes – Sherborne House in Yeovil, Steepleton Manor near Dorchester, and Weymouth Care Home will open their doors on Friday 28th June with an array of activities, information and events available.

See below the itineraries for each of our care homes.

Weymouth Care Home

  • Live music will start at 12pm, followed by high tea in the garden from 1pm.
  • We will also have an Art Gallery which will showcase all of our residents work.
  • There will be garden games for all ages, from hook a duck to ring toss.
  • Refreshments will be available, we will have fresh candy floss and a small sweet selection.
  • Find out more here.

Sherborne House

  • Coffee morning & cake tasting with the Yeovil Ukulele ladies in attendance will start at 11am.
  • Elvis will be in the building from 2pm to 3pm! Which will raise the heart beat and the spirits and have staff dancing along.
  • Visiting birds of prey with afternoon tea from 3pm to 4pm. Everyone will be able to handle and stroke the gorgeous array of birds.
  • Find out more here.

Steepleton Manor

  • Join us for Gardening Club from 10:30am to 12pm.
  • Alpaca’s will visit Steepleton from 2pm to 3pm.
  • Alan Knott providing Dorset Folk music entertainment from 3pm to 4pm.
  • Art Club exhibition will be on throughout the day in the main hall.
  • Find out more here.

And much more – so, what are you waiting for? Come along and meet our residents and staff and to find out why we have been supporting the local community for over 30 years.

Employee of the Month – May 2019

Each month, care home and Care at Home managers hand-pick team members who demonstrate a passion for their role and go above and beyond to provide an excellent standard of care and support to residents.

We would like to congratulate our Employees of the Month for May…

Adriana Banceanu – Steepleton Manor

Adriana is an extremely capable nurse who proves time and time again that she is an asset to Steepleton Manor. She is able to leave her personal life at the door and concentrate on her residents and team, providing superlative care with a smile on her face.


What’s the Best Option for Stress Free Retirement Living?

During retirement it’s not unusual for people to decide that the home they’ve lived in for years no longer meets their needs. It might be too big or too costly to heat and maintain. Or maybe the stairs are becoming a challenge.

Moving to a retirement village or apartment block is a popular choice that many make without necessarily looking at alternatives such as assisted living in a residential home.

Retirement apartments offer the prospect of continued independent living without the hassle of maintaining a property. You will also be surrounded by people at a similar stage of life. However, there are some drawbacks that are not always well-publicised when you buy a leasehold on one of these properties.

Which published an article that describes the hidden costs of retirement homes in detail.

Here are some of the main costs to look out for:

  • Event Fees: an ‘event’ could be selling, subletting or a change of occupancy of your home. The fee for being allowed to do this could be a significant percentage of the market price.
  • Maintenance charges, service charges and ground rent: sometimes these are still payable after you die or move into other accommodation until your home is re-sold.
  • If you sell your home, you may have to do this through the company that owns the freehold. This will probably be more expensive that an estate agent.
  • Because properties are sold on a leasehold basis the amount of time left on the lease will affect the value. Extending the lease can be expensive.

Assisted living at Altogether Care’s luxury care home Steepleton Manor offers all of the convenience with as much independence as you want to enjoy. Unlike retirement villages, there are no hidden fees or maintenance charges. Should your care needs change, you can get the additional help you need without having to move home and incur the costs that you would if you were in a retirement apartment.

If this sounds like the perfect option for you or a loved one, then give us a call today on 01305 300 161 to find out more.

Employees of the Month – January

We are delighted to reveal our Employees of the Month for January for our care homes. Each month, care home managers hand pick team members who demonstrate a passion for their role and go above and beyond to provide an excellent standard of care and support to residents.

Our Employees of the Month for January are:

Sherborne House

Wei Ji Gao

Congratulations to Wei Ji Gao at Sherborne House Care Home who is January’s Employee of the Month. Wei is the chef and cooks a marvellous full English breakfast and is a firm favourite with all the residents and staff.

Steepleton Manor

Tahila Castro Osorio

Congratulations to Tahila Castro Osorio at Steepleton Manor who is January’s Employee of the Month. Tahila is a nursing assistant and is a very thoughtful person who enjoys helping others. She always has a smile and demonstrates great flexibility and commitment whilst working hard at all times.

Weymouth Care Home

Poppy Macnair

Congratulations to Poppy Macnair at Weymouth Care Home who is January’s Employee of the Month.  Poppy demonstrates great commitment to the residents and families alike, so much that a family member wanted her to be considered for Employee of the Month. She goes over and above what is expected of her and has a kind nature meaning nothing is too much trouble.

Congratulations to all employees of the month!

Altogether Care and Wiltshire Farm Foods spread Christmas cheer

Last Christmas Altogether Care teamed up with Wiltshire Farm Foods to spread some Christmas cheer. Over 100 Christmas dinners generously donated by Wiltshire Farm Foods were hand-delivered by our Care at Home carers on Christmas Day to elderly and vulnerable people across Dorset and South Somerset.

Our carers also spent a little time with each person to enjoy a mince pie and pull a cracker.

67-year-old Kathleen, who lives in Weymouth said: “It is a nice thing because I can’t do it myself anymore and I used to get my food from Wiltshire Farm Foods as well.”

Becky Lloyd-Jones, from Wiltshire Farm Foods, added: “I think it’s a fantastic idea for the people who are alone this time of year.”

Dawn McGill, from Care at Home, said: “Christmas can be a lonely time for many older people and not everyone can spend Christmas with family. We visit our clients all year round to support them with a variety of daily tasks and wanted to extend that visit to include Christmas Day.”

We would like to extend our thanks to Wiltshire Farm Foods for their generous donations. You have helped to make a real difference to those in our local communities.

It Doesn’t Have to be a Choice Between Independent Living and Residential Care

It used to be assumed that care in later life came down to two choices. On the one hand, you could continue to live independently, with support, in your own home. On the other, you could have residential care, where you are effectively looked after.

In fact, choice probably isn’t the right word. The assumption was that residential care was where you went when you could no longer manage to live independently in your own home.

Retirement living and later life care is much more complex than a simple either/or choice between care at home or residential care. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We are talking about individuals rather than stereotypes. And individuals have their own views on what they want and what should be on offer.

What People Want from Their Care

Steepleton Manor is a reflection of how many older people would choose to live their lives. They want a high standard of accommodation with a touch of luxury. Many want to get on with the things they enjoy doing without the bother of running their own home. They want to live in pleasant surroundings and an attractive environment. And most want the freedom to live as independently as possible.

Naturally, the need for care, help with tasks like washing, dressing or medication is a feature of later life for many. The residential setting means that the care they need is on hand and can easily be adapted as their needs change, which is highly reassuring.

Sometimes the best therapy of all in later life is the company, companionship and active lifestyle that comes with high-quality assisted living. If you’d like to see what this looks like in reality we’d be happy to show you around Steepleton Manor and our other care homes.

Supported Living: Why Care at Home isn’t just About Care

A lot of people still have an inaccurate picture of what care at home and supported living mean for many elderly people. While some elderly care does involve nursing support for complex health needs, in many cases help is needed for everyday tasks that people find difficult.

Some people choose care at home simply to have more time to do what they want rather than chores such as cleaning and shopping. They find that care at home leaves more time for doing what they want to do and takes away the worry of doing chores they find laborious or difficult.

Care at Home or supported living can also help people get out of the home more regularly, with assisted shopping trips or help to travel to and from social activities.

Companionship and Elderly Care

Another major benefit of supported living care is companionship. One reason many choose care at home, apart from keeping the familiarity of their own surroundings, is the flexibility. It can be easier for relatives and friends to fit visits around their lives without having fixed times or routines. At times, such as family holidays, when family visits aren’t possible there’s the reassurance that there will be a friendly and familiar face each day.

Family visits can also be richer when the basic chores have been taken care of and there’s more time to sit and talk. And for people without family living nearby, regular visits from their home care team can be a particularly welcome way to break up the day.

In many cases it may be more accurate to talk about elderly support rather than elderly care. The need isn’t for medical care but for a little help with some basic household tasks to make life easier and more enjoyable.

If you or an elderly relative are starting to find basic household tasks a bit challenging, a care at home service might be just what’s needed to brighten life up. Contact us today on 01305 300161 to find out more or click here.

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.

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”.

30 Years in Care Celebration at Steepleton Manor – a Great Success!

On Saturday 6th October, Steepleton Manor Care Home near Dorchester opened its doors to the local community to celebrate 30 Years in Care.

The event was a great success, providing a chance for guests to look around the newly refurbished luxury assisted living rooms and facilities and raise money for local charity Hangers Heroes.

The Dorchester Town Cryer opened the event, following a performance from traditional Highland piper Piper 2000. Live music was provided by Poole Borough Band with songs from the likes of Oklahoma, Singing in the Rain and The Beatles, and Wessex FM broadcasting live from the home. Dorchester Classic Vehicle Club’s display of classic cars took pride of place in front of the home.

Residents, staff and guests enjoyed a performance of ‘The Gold Old Days’ Pantomime from Party Time Productions, with younger guests being entertained with balloon modelling from Totally Twisted and face painting from About Face. Jester Patch provided two lively performances for everyone to enjoy – complete with audience participation! We even managed to fit some Alpacas and Owls into the main hall for everyone to meet.

Altogether Care CEO Steve Knell said: “It was a real pleasure to showcase Steepleton Manor at such a special event celebrating 30 years as a family run care provider. It was great to see so many faces from the past and present – staff, residents, clients and entertainers. It made for a really special day.”

A total of £486 was raised for Hangers Heroes – we would like to extend a huge thank you to all performers, guests and care home staff for making the day a huge success.

You can view the photos from the day from visiting our Facebook page.

Employee of the Month – September

We are delighted to reveal our Employees of the Month for September 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 September are:

Sherborne House

Paul Parker

Paul is an absolute Superstar who helps out at the drop of a hat covering day or night shifts. He sings and dances with the residents and has no trouble raising a few smiles!

Weymouth Care Home

Stacey Williams

Stacey has worked at Weymouth Care Home for five years and continues on a daily basis to make a difference to so many resident’s lives with her hard work and caring nature.

Steepleton Manor

Alan Mead

Alan joined the team in 2016 and is simply a great nurse. He demonstrates care, compassion, competence, courage commitment and great communication.

Congratulations to all Employees of the Month!

Forget Residential Care, think of it as Assisted Living Instead

Everyone has their own idea of what life in a residential care home would be like. That view isn’t always based on fact or experience and often isn’t accurate. To help get over some of the preconceptions we like to talk about assisted living rather than residential care.

Care sounds a bit passive. But for most of our residents, living is anything but a passive experience. Assisted living means that we see our role as helping our residents live the most active and fulfilling life possible, free from the day to day tasks and concerns of running their own home. Personal care needs, if any, are taken care of by skilled and qualified care staff, but that is far from the whole picture.

Easy Access to Activities

One of the biggest advantages for our residents is that it’s so much easier to take part in a wide range of activities and excursions. It’s possible to end up with a busier and more active social life than when you lived in your own home. There are always people to go with and somebody takes care of the arrangements and transport.

A glance at a monthly activity programme for Steepleton Manor reveals a wide range of excursions and events. Many of these are free and some have a small additional charge to cover entrance fees, transport and so on.

The programme includes theatre trips, pub lunches, a balloon festival, food festivals and trips out to museums and local attractions. This is in addition to the regular craft and exercise activities at the Manor. How many of these would have been available and accessible without assisted living?

Even if you don’t fancy a trip out, there is plenty on offer. If you just want a pleasant stroll, Steepleton Manor is set in beautiful grounds for you to take advantage of, with picturesque landscaped gardens right outside your door.

For an increasing number of people, assisted living is far from being the last resort. It’s the result of a positive choice to get some assistance with everyday life while getting on with things you really want to do.

Contact us today on 01305 300 161 to find out more or arrange a visit to Steepleton Manor.

Active and Socially Connected – Health and Wellbeing in Later Life

There is a wide body of evidence to show that being physically and socially active in our later years leads to fewer health problems and may well prolong life. Among the many advantages of assisted living is the fact that company is always easy to find, and that leisure and physical activities are easier to access than for many older people.

Activity programmes play an important part at all our Care Homes. And because we know about care so well from 30 years in the sector, it’s easier to provide activities that residents will enjoy and find the most beneficial.

The setting of the home can provide plenty of opportunities. A stroll around the beautiful grounds at Steepleton Manor, for example, is a delight in almost any weather- the Tuesday gardening club is a great time for socialising, as well as the opportunity to do something practical and meaningful. All our homes feature outside spaces for residents to enjoy the fresh air whenever they want.

Physical Activity

Further physical activity is provided through ball games and chair aerobics, with plans to extend the programme further.  Craft and art activities are proven to have emotional and cognitive benefits, and residents can take part in art classes, jewellery making and pottery decoration. There are also guided meditation sessions, which can be beneficial physically and emotionally.

We also have an active film club as well as regular visits from musicians and singers and regular trips out.

For too many older people ageing means increasing isolation and reduced participation, which inevitably impacts on physical and emotional wellbeing. Our aim is to ensure that our residents are able to enjoy and lead a full life in their later years.

We are also keen to ensure that our residents remain connected to the outside world. So we are currently working on increasing community involvement by liaising with the local school and church. This will be very beneficial to all.

At Steepleton Manor and our other care homes, physical and social activity is part of everyday life.

Why not visit us to see for yourself what life at the Manor is really like? Contact us on 01305 300 161.

Steepleton Manor: An Environment Designed Around Health and Wellbeing

The links between environment, wellbeing and good health are well established. We put a lot of thought into the physical environment and surroundings at all of our care homes for this reason. The right environment not only reduces stress and anxiety but also offers more opportunities for physical and leisure activities.

Steepleton Manor is probably the best example of this. It is a very attractive grade II Victorian manor house set in 6 acres of landscaped, parkland grounds. Residents never need to go far to experience a tranquil green space.

The grounds provide a perfect, safe, off-road area for walking and exercising, with a variety of features, including mature trees and landscaped gardens. The overall feeling is one of great open spaces and calm. The house is set well back from the road in the quiet village of Winterbourne Steepleton so there is hardly any noise to spoil the peace and quiet – apart maybe from birdsong.

The grounds also feature a kitchen garden where residents can grow their own vegetables to enjoy with their lunch or dinner. Again, gardening and growing vegetables is highly therapeutic. It’s an opportunity to take part in meaningful activity and to be more independent.

And there can be few better places to relax on a sunny day than the lovely patio area outside the house.

Healthier, Inside and Out

The importance of environment is brought into the interior of the home. Bright, spacious rooms continue the light and airy feeling as does the large open plan lounge area. For ultimate peace and quiet there is a smaller lounge and a well stocked library.

Good company is also important and the common rooms provide a great place for social activities and informal, relaxed interaction with fellow residents.

Private space matters too. So rooms feature en-suite facilities to provide a fully self contained living space for each resident – a space they can truly call their own.

We believe that Steepleton Manor provides an unrivalled life-enhancing environment for our residents in their later years. If you’d like to see it for yourself please arrange a visit, or call us on 01305 300 161.

Steepleton Manor: Perhaps not How you Imagined a Care Home Would be

As you stroll around the immaculately kept grounds set in 6 acres or pass through the impressive doorway of Steepleton Manor you could be forgiven for thinking that you are entering a top class country hotel, rather than a care home.

Dating from 1870 the Grade II listed Portland stone residence boasts a wealth of historical features including fine stucco ceilings. The rich history includes a series of owners and a spell when it was home to British and American servicemen in the run up to D-Day.

Despite the elegant surroundings, the atmosphere at Steepleton Manor couldn’t be more relaxed and a ‘home away from home.’

Facilities and Activities

The accommodation offers a choice of single or double ensuite rooms and private lounges and kitchenettes. Residents are able and encouraged to live as independently as they wish. To help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle there’s also an outdoor swimming pool, croquet lawn, kitchen garden and a range of outdoor activities.

Located near the picturesque Dorset village of Winterbourne Steepleton, the manor has a well-stocked library, shop, and hairdressing salon, and serves fine food with a focus on nutrition and balanced healthy diet.  There’s nearby public transport and the home has its own mini bus to ensure everyone can enjoy a varied programme of visits and leisure activities.

The standard of care provided at the home matches the quality of the surroundings with physio and other therapies offered to help residents continue living life to the full.

In addition to luxury long-term residential care, Steepleton Manor offers nursing care, day care and holiday care. Within the sumptuous surroundings residents also benefit from the support they need to live every day as they would wish.

If you are looking for either long or short-term residential care, we would be delighted to show you around. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time on 01305 300 161 or click here for more information.

Some recent day to day activities