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Father’s Day

Father’s Day falls on 20 June this year. It is an opportunity to thank all Dads, grandfathers, great grandfathers and step-Dads and to make them feel special.

The origins of Father’s Day reveal it as a fairly recent occasion, introduced in the USA in 1907. It followed a tragic mining accident which killed more than 360 men and deprived around 1,000 children of their fathers.

The celebration waxed and waned for several decades until President Lyndon Johnson formally recognised it in 1966 and Richard Nixon signed it into official law six years later so that it became a public holiday in the US.

Dates and traditions of Father’s Day vary around the world. In Thailand, it takes place in December to honour a past king who is thought of as the Father of the Nation. Celebrants wear yellow and canna flowers are exchanged.

In France, it is the custom to give red roses. In Germany, fathers often group together to off on hiking trips, many pulling wagons of food and drink.

Mexico City celebrates with a 13-mile race called Carrera Dia del Padre. Children and their fathers often run alongside each other.

In the UK, Father’s Day always takes place on the third Sunday in June and is a much more relaxed affair. There may well be gifts given and it is often celebrated with a family lunch or tea. We are certainly expecting a few family reunions here at the CNC. Tea will definitely be available and doubtless, some cake too.

Jubilee Celebrations

There is excitement in the air as we prepare for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

We are delighted to be able to share the occasion with relatives and friends who will join their loved ones for the party. Decorations are already being produced to hang around the building  – expect a flourish of red, white and blue. No doubt, residents and staff will add some special touches to their outfits to reflect the celebratory mood. To celebrate the special bank holiday celebrations there will be a Platinum Jubilee event in the garden, weather permitting. Lots of flag waving and singing with a special performance from a member of the activities music team.

Many of our residents will have personal recollections of that historic day in June 1952 when Her Majesty officially became our Queen. Some may have travelled to central London the following year to watch the coronation procession. There will surely be many memories to revisit and stories to be re-told on 2 June.

We wish Her Majesty and everyone at The Chiswick a wonderful and memorable day. 

International Nurses Day

May 12 is International Nurses Day, which commemorates the birth of Florence Nightingale and the contribution of nurses worldwide. The theme of this year’s event is ‘A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.’

With the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us, it remains important that we acknowledge the vital role that nurses and healthcare staff play, not just at times of acute need, but supporting us in our everyday lives.

Post-pandemic, stories abound about the shortage of nursing and care staff in the health and social care sector. Indeed, the theme of this year’s International Nurses Day calls for an investment in nursing and to strengthen healthcare services around the world.

 At The Chiswick, we know that our residents respect and treasure the staff we have and, as employers, we cannot speak highly enough of their importance and the contribution they make here. A nursing home is not just about bricks and mortar, nor the people who live here – it is about the constituent parts that go to make up our little community. 

Our staff are a key element in this, not merely employees, but invaluable members of our ‘family’ who help to make The Chiswick community the special entity that it is. We try never to take them for granted and hope that they remain with us for many years to come.

On May 12th we will be celebrating our nursing team and recognising their contribution with a special gift for each of them. We hope you will join us in thanking them for their continuing dedication.

Reception refurbishment

Dear Friends / Families and Relatives

Starting on 4 May 2022 there will be some major refurbishment works to our main reception area. The works are expected to run through to the end of May 2022

During this time

South Entrance – all large delivery access to CNC will be by the South Fire Doors (This means all large deliveries / ambulance arrivals and departures and those requiring wheelchair access).

Entry to this door will be managed by a video door bell system, the entry and opening function will controlled by the reception team during the day and Buckingham Suite staff team at night. Please bear with us during this time – as we anticipate some minor delays in providing access and exit from the building.

The North Entrance (Near to the rubbish skip area) will be for all pedestrian/ able bodied persons/staff/ agency staff/ visitors/ contractors and professional health care visitors. PPE /disposal will be available at this point of entry and all persons are reminded that PPE rules have NOT been relaxed at this time. 

Persons will be admitted through this entrance by remote access operated by the Reception team.

Entrants will be advised/directed to reception via signage in the basement in order that they can report to reception and to sign in and use the Gateway sanitiser fog tunnel prior to accessing the lifts to upper floor nursing suites. 

Small postal items /parcels can be dropped off at this point, if signatures are required however – delivery persons will need to access reception as above.

External signage and fencing will be put in place on Wednesday 4th May 2022 at the main entry to reception, fire escape signage will divert internal occupants to the basement fire exit routes/wheelchair users will need to access the Buckingham Suite fire exit routes at ground floor level.

If you have any questions or queries regards these temporary arrangements – please email Enquiries@Chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk

Time to go ‘A-mothering’

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 27 March and although, in modern times, it has become more of a commercial enterprise, largely driven from the USA, its roots lie in the distant past.

The exact origins, like many of our festivals, are lost in the mists of time but the ancient Greeks held celebrations in Spring to honour Rhea, mother of the gods. The Romans too had a festival for Mother Goddess Cybele, as early as 250 BC.

Perhaps the most realistic link dates to the 16th century when Christian services were held in honour of the Virgin Mary and it was permitted to break the Lenten fast with cake. Worshippers moved from the smaller ‘daughter’ churches to the ‘mother’ church for this special service.

Indeed, Mother’s Day in the UK always takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent. 

Another theory is that of Laetare Sunday, when people, including domestic servants, were granted a day’s holiday to return to their families. They were known to have gone ‘a-mothering’. Treats and gifts were taken home and this often included a Simnel Cake.

Simnel Cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste and covered in a layer of marzipan. It was traditionally decorated with 11 balls of marzipan to signify the disciples (minus Judas) and finished with sugar violets.

This year, we are delighted that we are able, once again, to welcome relatives to visit their mothers and other family members. We can’t promise that Simnel Cake will be on the menu but cake will definitely make an appearance alongside copious cups of tea and, probably, a few other treats too.

Nutrition and Hydration Week

Nutrition and Hydration Week runs from 14-20 March and aims to bring people together to highlight and educate the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing in the health and social care sector.

Good nutrition and hydration is taken very seriously at the Chiswick. As we get older, our appetites diminish so great care is taken to provide balanced and tempting meals to nourish and sustain. Menus are carefully planned and balanced to be visually appealing as well as tasty, and there is always a choice of dishes to meet dietary or cultural needs and preferences. 

Fluids are just as important. In later years, our bodies retain less water and the signs of dehydration are more difficult to spot or sense. As a result, we may not feel thirsty until hydration levels have dropped significantly. 

Those with dementia need extra special care or prompting to ensure they consume sufficient amounts of food and drink.

This guidance is also useful for those who may be looking after an elderly relative at home. Eating and drinking well helps our cognitive ability, endurance levels, mood levels and all-round health, so a balanced diet is important for us all, not just those of senior years.

Nutrition and Hydration Week will be showcasing and sharing tips so that we can all improve our eating habits. 

We all know of a fussy child who refuses to eat anything remotely like a vegetable. Canny Mums can ‘hide’ some grated carrot or courgette in a pasta sauce or casserole. Fruit can be used to make smoothies, ice lollies or even ice cream if you go easy on the sugar.

Why not get the children involved in cooking from scratch? They are more likely to try something they have made themselves. Or why not have a contest to try a new, healthy, ingredient in a meal with a reward for the person who has tried the most new foods by the end of the week?

Try replacing less healthy foods with more wholesome options: bulgur wheat instead of white rice, sweet potato in place of ordinary potato, prawns or seafood in pasta sauce instead of meat or home-made oven chips to replace the fried variety?

Make mealtimes special. A family meal seated at a nicely laid table can work wonders. Eat slowly and ensure no distractions, such as mobile phones, books or laptops at the table. Just a few, small changes can make a big difference.

Unpaid careers forum at The Chiswick Nursing Centre

As an experienced nursing sister at King Edward VII for over 14 years, specialising in discharge I would encounter and support elderly frail people caring for their equally elderly partners often living with dementia, on a daily basis. 

It was very challenging for them as there was minimal, if any support from the government, NHS or local authorities and they would struggle until a crisis point was reached and one or the other would eventually be admitted to hospital. 

As my career progressed into adult social care, I faced the same scenarios with heartbreaking outcomes. After reading a report outlining the challenges and difficulties faced by unpaid carers it was evident that the situation had not improved and with funding constraints from local authorities, indeed it had got worse. 

The Pandemic increased the number of unpaid carers as people had to give up their lives and move into their relatives homes  to care for their elderly relatives. They were afraid to have carers coming into their houses, a lack of carers from the community and other such reasons all contributed. This added to isolation both for the carers and their relatives and resulted in carers feeling overwhelmed.

Those unpaid carers needed support and so I have set up an unpaid carer’s forum, in partnership with the Chiswick Nursing Centre. It is set up to address some of the challenges faced by unpaid carers and provides a space every second Monday in the month whereby they can come and enjoy a coffee, get guidance, and support and meet other people in a similar situation.

 Attendance is free of charge and there is no obligation to attend regularly. It is hoped that in the future the forum will become a vibrant community of unpaid carers who can benefit from all of the resources that are offered at the Chiswick Nursing Centre. 

SABINA KELLY

Specialist Nurse Consultant

Ba(Hons) Bsc(Hons)

Budgeting for care home fees when you are a self-funding resident

When you are choosing a care home and have to pay your own fees (without assistance from social services or the NHS) you won’t want to be surprised by extra costs added on top of the base fee.

The Chiswick Nursing Centre understand this and do their best to keep charges transparent. Care home fees do tend to increase year on year.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau estimates that the average price increase is around 9.5% a year. You will be notified of these changes, but how much notice is given varies greatly between homes. At The Chiswick we promise to give you at least 28 days notice of any increase – to be transparent in describing why an increase is necessary and we only raise our fees once per year – usually in April.

Whether or not care home fees are all inclusive depends on the care home. At The Chiswick we offer our self-funding residents an all-inclusive service, with a fixed weekly fee.

What is usually included in your fixed fee at The Chiswick? 

Staff who deliver care

Staff in care homes provide personal care, administer and track medication, keep residents safe, provide companionship, cook their meals, wash their laundry, clean the home and plan and provide activities.

Homes such as The Chiswick that offer more specialist care need to employ and pay staff with specialist skills, such as registered nurses or staff highly skilled in supporting people who live with dementia.

While many care homes do have some volunteers for support, employed staff need to be paid at least minimum wage and usually contributions towards their pensions. At The Chiswick – we do both – because we believe that investing in our staff helps us to provide you with better care.

Residents who require more specialist care may be charged a higher fee than those who need less care, but all this will be pre-agreed in their contract.

Accommodation

Care home residents live in the home full-time, so their fees contribute to the usual costs of running a household. This includes upkeep of the building, heating, electricity and other utility bills.

Food

Residents are provided with three meals a day plus snacks and extras such as tea/coffee,  cake/biscuits, an afternoon tea service and cheese and wine events. The occasional glass of wine and evening alcoholic night caps are all included in your weekly fees at The Chiswick.

Laundry

This is included in fees, with your laundry being collected, washed, and ironed and returned to your wardrobe. There will be additional charges for items that need to be sent to the dry cleaner.

Sanitary items

The Chiswick will have a supply of items such as incontinence pads, but you can supply your own if you’d prefer a branded product.

Hairdressing 

The Chiswick has an excellent hairdresser, costs are in addition to your weekly fee. 

Outings

Outings can accrue extra costs, such as tickets and meals out. This is usually organised in advance.

You may also pay extra for a carer to accompany a resident to appointments or other outings that require one-to-one support outside of the home.

Shopping

Residents can be supported to buy new clothes or any other knickknacks in shops and online, but they’ll need to pay for these things themselves.

Newspapers

If a resident would like to have a newspaper each day, the care home can arrange a subscription this is included within the costs each week.

Visiting medics

At The Chiswick we have a visiting chiropodist, optician, audiologist and even a dentist. It is the care home’s responsibility to organise these and any trips to medical appointments. Those that cost money, such as dental treatment, will usually be added to the bill.

Phones

Residents will need to pay for their own mobile phone and contract, if they want one. All of our bedrooms have phone handsets in place and local UK costs are included in your weekly fees.

Cigarettes

Residents who smoke or vape will need to fund this themselves. Staff may support them to buy tobacco, papers, filters, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, liquids and cartridges, or a friend or family member could supply these for them.

WiFi

Our fast speed WiFi service is included in your weekly fee. This allows you to support a SMART TV to access internet streaming services if you wish. All of our bedrooms have a TV set included which accessed terrestrial TV and Freeview services. SMART TV sets are provide at a recharge to the resident. 

How can I be sure exactly what care home fees I’ll be charged?

How much a care home resident pays depends on the care they need and the funding they are eligible for.

We will be happy to talk through costs and the contract with you.

Care needs are reviewed regularly. If somebody’s care needs have increased, they may be charged more for their care but they may also now qualify for more funding to support them financially.

At The Chiswick we are all about being transparent and up front on the topic of costs. 

Our Centre Director – Steve Winter (Steve.winter@chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk) will be happy to talk you through any questions or queries that you may have.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Chiswick soon.

The art of caring

There really is an art to caring and there are many bodies in the care sector that are trying to raise it’s profile at local and government levels in order to change public perceptions and government recognition. 

Our specialist Nurse Assessor – Sabina Kelly recently wrote an article which was published in the magazine Carpe Diem (see page 30) to highlight these issues.

As the article notes – a good carer can make such a difference to people’s lives whether in a care home or in people’s own homes. 

In order to maximise independence, good care is the driving force that starts the ball rolling.

At The Chiswick Nursing Centre – a job in care can also lead to excellent career opportunities opening up for you, such as Nurse Associate training, Qualified Nurse registration, or simple progression from Care Assistant to Senior Carer – leading a team of others who all care for our residents.

At The Chiswick Nursing Centre we value our carers and encourage them to undertake further training. If you feel you would like an opportunity to join the Chiswick Nursing Centre healthcare team read the article and it will guide you to the many opportunities that are available to you. Then you can apply by sending an email to: Enquiries@chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk or completing the form on our jobs page.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 17 is Random Acts of Kindnesss (RAK) Day – a day when we can all take just a little time to do something for someone else. It can be as simple as a smile and a ‘thank you’ to the person that serves your tea or coffee, running an errand for a neighbour, taking the time to sit and talk with an elderly family member, neighbour or friend, buying a surprise gift for someone you wouldn’t normally …the list is almost endless.

The American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that ‘the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. It is not the length of life, but the depth.’

So, by being useful to someone, you are being kind to them and, by being kind to them, you are also being kind to yourself. Try it and see. Bringing a smile to someone’s face will make them feel better and have a marked effect on your own sense of self-worth and wellbeing.

In a residential care setting, the opportunities are almost endless. By the very nature of their work, our staff carry out dozens of acts of random kindness every day. Without such an approach, they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, but some will be going that extra step to on RAK Day to make it a bit more special for a resident or a colleague. 

Conversely, our residents are deeply appreciative of the help and service they receive from our team but we are sure an additional thank you, note or small gesture will not go unnoticed. It will make someone’s day that extra bit special.

Relatives and friends too might like to take a moment to think what they could do – a bunch of flowers, an extra five minutes at visiting time, a cheery hello or a quick socially distanced chat with a resident who doesn’t have a visitor, a child’s drawing or a photo of a much loved pet to help decorate a room….

Any gesture of kindness will be magnified given the reduced opportunities we have had to interact with one another during this long, Covid epidemic.

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Celebrating St Valentine                

Love was in the air on St Valentine’s Day as residents at The Chiswick gathered to toast one another, sing some favourite romantic songs and reminisce about sweethearts past and present.

Of course, we all know that February 14 is St Valentine’s Day…but what do we really know about the history of the day and why it became a celebration of love?

The true answer is ‘not much’ as there is scant historical evidence. The roots are thought to lie in a pagan fertility festival called ‘Lupercalia’ which was celebrated on 13-15 February in ancient Rome. 

In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared 14 February as St. Valentine’s Day to honour the saint of that name as he believed ‘Lupercalia’ to be ‘un-Christian’. Exactly which St Valentine he meant is uncertain as there was more than one.  A likely possibility is a priest who was martyred about 270 by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, Valentine signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, had cured of blindness.

St. Valentine’s Day did not generally become a celebration of love until the Middle Ages. Indeed, Geoffrey Chaucer, author of ‘The Canterbury Tales’ makes reference to a special day for love in one of his poems, in which he also mentions St Valentine. 

Formal love messages began to be exchanged in the 1500s and by the late 1700s commercial cards were in production. 

St. Valentine’s Day is now celebrated in many countries of the world and several have their own special traditions. Did you know that in Norfolk, especially around Norwich, the mysterious Jack Valentine visits houses on 13 February, the eve of St Valentine’s and, under cover of dark, leaves gifts on doorsteps? These are not just for lovers but for people of all generations. So if you woke up on 14 February to find a present outside the door, it might just have come from Jack.

Let’s Get Reading

The benefits of reading are well documented: it stimulates the brain, reduces stress, informs us, excites us, helps us relax and provides a platform for discussion.

How many of us have got lost in a good book that can transport us to another world or time?

At CNC we encourage our residents to read and always have a good selection of material for people to choose from. Even traditional children’s stories such as ‘Winnie the Pooh’ go down well and re-create the magic of that time of innocence.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) - our guidance to service users and families. We are using this link to keep all service users and families as up to date as possible on this fast developing and rapidly changing situation.Please click here for our latest guidance.
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