Chinese New Year Celebrations in place at St John’s Court Care Home, Bromsgrove

Our residents are thrilled to have received their vaccination and also thrilled about celebrating Chinese New Year, and we are going to make sure we all have some fun during the preparations” Jacqui Harris, the Manager at St John’s Court

In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal, because of its role in agriculture and positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to the Ox.

Source National Care Forum: Chinese New Year Celebrations in place at St John’s Court Care Home, Bromsgrove | National Care Forum

The case of Standon Farm Approved School, 1947

The Therapeutic Care Journal

Standon Farm was opened in 1885 by the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society. It operated as a Certified Industrial School until 1926, and then as an Approved School from 1938. By the 1940s, Standon Farm was providing residential care and education for eighty boys aged ten to sixteen who were assigned to the School by the courts.

However, it was events on the afternoon of 15 February 1947 that would make Standon Farm infamous.

That afternoon, nine boys actioned a plot to murder the headmaster………………Read on

So much more than a tenancy with support

Realising the Potential of Extra Care Housing

Published on January 24, 2021 LinkedIn

Martin Routledge, Helen Sanderson and Sharon Wilton

Pete had a passion for dogs – he had them as pets throughout his childhood, had trained them during his time in the armed forces and had worked with them in sheepdog trials for many years. Many years passed and Pete came to live in an extra care housing tenancy, where to be honest, not much was going on until a new support provider took over and the council supported them to embed community circles. Sharon met him there and talked to him about the things he loved. Together they explored various ways for him to spend time with dogs. They looked at volunteering with a local animal shelter, made links to a national organisation where Pete could spend time with people’s dogs whist they were at work etc. While waiting for a match Sharon thought about the importance of “bringing your whole self to work”. She had a dog, Sam at home – could Pete borrow her dog?

Pete had found himself in real rut, frankly fed up, but now he was getting up in the morning, where previously he would stay in bed for most of the day. He was suddenly active spending time outdoors with Sam, where he would now sit chatting to others who lived in the same group of flats. Pete had a support worker who couldn’t believe the change in him noting that on his last few visits Pete had only spent about 5% of his time talking previous issues and the rest of the time talking about dogs. Staff members began to explore how they could build on this – maybe they could bring own their dogs to work so people living in the tenancies who wanted to spend time with dogs could do so? What else like this could they do?

Pete’s personality now really shone through – he had always been a sociable bloke with good memories of his time in the forces. He spoke fondly to others about those days and along with three other local veterans a Veteran’s Circle was formed. The four guys met regularly to chat, reminisce, have a laugh and support each other. The guys were then linked to the local Veterans hub who offered additional support and also invited them to join them for fishing tournaments and Veterans breakfasts.

To some this might not sound like that big a deal maybe? But for Pete it was really a life saver and it wasn’t happening before Sharon brought some approaches and ideas and supported the staff team to do this stuff. By keeping an absolute focus on what mattered to Pete as an individual, and by thinking about how we can “do what we can, with what we have, where we are”, Sharon showed individual and group Circles can not only get going but can flourish, grow and sustain. This brought all sorts of resources to bear that were left unused before.

Read the blog in full with an invitation at:

Five features to look for in a care home and why

Written by Jenny Kartupelis posted on: January 29, 2021

We have all become well aware of the terrible effects of Covid-19 on care homes for older people – not only the tragic loss of life, but also the way in which the necessary precautions have exacerbated the potential problems to be found in residential settings.  It is all too easy for older people, and indeed their carers, to feel forgotten, isolated, kept away from loved ones and from all the ordinary small pleasures of life.  My recent work has involved interviewing visitors, managers and residents, and all have the same story to tell. By talking up the vulnerability of older people, with the idea of encouraging others to protect them by changing their behaviour, politicians and advisers have unintentionally promoted the already prevalent view that most older people are decrepit, without agency, and need to be sheltered from mainstream life.  This is very unfortunate and needs to be addressed. Meanwhile, if you are considering residential care for yourself or a family member, you should still take a positive view: there are many good care homes, if you know what to look for.

Read the post in full Here

Get the book Here

The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home By Joanna Nell

At nearly ninety, retired nature writer Hattie Bloom prefers the company of birds to people, but when a fall lands her in a nursing home she struggles to cope with the loss of independence and privacy. From the confines of her ‘room with a view’ – of the car park! – she dreams of escape. […]

The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home By Joanna Nell

Care homes: averting market failure in a post-covid-19 world

Jill Manthorpe and Steve Iliffe, BMJ, 18 January 2021

We need public and political consensus about long term options

Our population is not ageing well. The proportion of older people affected by medium to high disability in England is increasing, but social care cannot meet their needs and seems curiously separate from the NHS. It took a global pandemic for data on care home capacity to be collected weekly and shared with England’s regulators and commissioners.

If we assume that half of older people with medium to high disability are cared for in their own homes, by 2025 an additional 71 000 care home places could be needed. Some 5500 organisations operate care homes; 90% of these are private providers, including some charities. The five largest chains in England provide only 15% of places. Around 70% of providers have three or fewer care homes. Most care homes are small enterprises run by owner managers.

Read in full at source in the BMJ:

Spark of Life Model of Care – Dementia Care International

The Spark of Life Model of Care is an innovative and high performing best practice model that humanises the culture of care.

It enables aged care homes and services to become vibrant and values based places to work and learn. The model infuses a heart-centred attitude to implement the essence of person-centred care. In addition, the model ensures that people with dementia have the opportunity to experience rehabilitation and care solutions to behaviours of concern with a non-pharmacological focus.

The three elements of the Spark of Life Model of Care are:

  1. The Spark of Life Philosophy that underpins the entire implementation
  2. The Spark of Life Whole System for structured implementation and evaluation
  3. The Spark of Life Master Practitioner as the pivotal implementer for sustained culture change

Source: Spark of Life Model of Care – Dementia Care International

Children in Care – a personal reflection

By Ed Nixon – The Therapeutic Care Journal, April 2018

A spiral of inter-generational failed attachments

I am not a therapist and have no expertise in that field but I do know, as a social worker and former manager of fostering and residential services that simply caring for children without a therapeutic base is both pointless and in my view shameful.

This piece is based on my experience of the ‘Care System’ as one of those employed in it for some forty-four years.

To be clear at the outset – The Care system is full of as many wonderful children as any other institution/group/sub culture/class or whatever cohort you select. It’s just that they are often expected to fail, labelled by others, blamed by yet others for things they didn’t do and frequently overlooked by our society which still tends to prefer not to know the truth when it hurts.

Let me offer an example of how Looked After Children can be demonised………………….

Read the full piece at Source: Children in Care – A Personal reflection. By Ed Nixon – The Therapeutic Care Journal