Caring Times News


Perthshire care home residents learning French to help tackle dementia

Posted on June 27th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Perthshire care home residents learning French to help tackle dementia

Balhousie Ruthven Towers care home in Auchterader has been working with social enterprise Lingo Flamingo to offer French classes to residents in a bid to help delay the symptoms of dementia.

It is believed that speaking multiple languages can delay the onset of dementia by up to five years. The tailored sessions help residents with early forms of dementia to improve communication, cognitive development and inter-personal skills, as well as build their confidence.

Residents at the Perthshire care home have just finished a 10-week French workshop, taking part in a range of activities including music sessions, word association and learned memory techniques.

Ruthven Towers home manager Jozi Stables said the foreign language workshops had been very popular with residents and the benefits had been amazing to see.

“Residents that were quite disengaged at the beginning became fully engaged by the end of the 10-weeks,” … Read More »


Betrayers of self-funders’ trust?

Posted on June 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

That loud clucking noise you can hear is the sound of chickens coming home to roost. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has turned over a rock and found a mess of repellant practices that should have the care home sector hanging its collective head in shame. But the day of reckoning could be nigh.

Not least for providers that exploit self-funders – robbing Peter to pay for Paul, while keeping Peter in the dark, is just one example. If, like me, you have come across pathetic attempts to justify “cross-subsidies” by citing differential pricing for airline seats and hotel rooms, you too may have wondered how holiday jaunts can be compared with once in a lifetime decisions, typically taken at a time of crisis.

While the sector frets about the detrimental effects of unfavourable quality ratings, it … Read More »


Cambridge care home hosts fall prevention classes

Posted on June 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Cambridge care home hosts fall prevention classes

Staff at Home Close residential care home in Fulbourn near Cambridge are helping residents and local community members to stay physically strong in an effort to stop them coming to harm through falls.

Every Thursday morning for nearly two years, the home has hosted ‘Falls Prevention’ classes which are open to members of the community as well as the home’s residents.

Led by a local physiotherapist and exercise leader, the classes guide attendees through a series of exercises that help provide strength and conditioning to reduce the chance of them being likely to fall. The session involves seated and standing exercises to strengthen muscles that are known to weaken with old age.

81-year old Shirley French, who lives in the village, has been attending the classes regularly with her husband Don and speaks enthusiastically about the effects they have had on her.

“The classes … Read More »


Greensleeves Care acquires Glebelands care home in Wokingham

Posted on June 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Greensleeves Care acquires Glebelands care home in Wokingham

Glebelands, a 42-bed care home with nursing in Wokingham, Berkshire, has been acquired by not-for-profit provider Greensleeves Care, becoming the 21st member of the Greensleeves portfolio.

The sale of the home by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) is a key part of The CTBF’s change to its long-term strategy which involves a refocusing of its efforts to better support its members to meet their changing needs and lifestyles.


YOPEY founder to receive MBE

Posted on June 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on YOPEY founder to receive MBE

The former national newspaper journalist who runs ‘YOPEY Befriender’ – a scheme that recruits young people to volunteer in care homes – was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on June 17.

Tony Gearing used to work for the print media – at one point he was deputy editor on the Daily Telegraph – but left full-time journalism to set up YOPEY, which stands for Young People of the Year in the early noughties.

He started YOPEY Befriender in 2013 after becoming aware of the loneliness of many elderly people. After taking YOPEY Befriender into care homes he realised he needed to learn about dementia and pass these skills on to the young people who volunteer to become YOPEY Befrienders. He and his wife Jo, who also works of the organisation, are Dementia Champions with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Tony is currently … Read More »


Sanctuary buys 35 care homes from Embrace

Posted on June 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Sanctuary buys 35 care homes from Embrace

Housing and care provider Sanctuary Group has purchased 35 residential care homes and a supported living scheme from Embrace Group.

The homes are largely in Scotland and the North East, broadening Sanctuary’s geographical spread as the group’s 68 existing care homes are mostly in the Midlands and South. The purchase will bring the total number of bed spaces provided by Sanctuary Group to more than 5,300.

The 1,800 staff members in these homes will become part of Sanctuary Group which employs around 11,000 people at present.

Sanctuary’s Group chief executive David Bennett said the group’s existing portfolio had been assembled through a mixture of acquisition, development and self-build.

“As such, we have extensive experience of integrations of this nature,” said Mr Bennett.

“We believe that experience combined with a complete dedication to caring for older residents will ensure that these homes are seamlessly brought into … Read More »


Crisis, what crisis?

Posted on June 19th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

The news that there has been a drop in the numbers of nurses from the European Union registering to work in Britain caused consternation in mid-June when the Health Foundation published comparative figures for July 2016 and April 2017. On reflection though, there are three words in that sentence which need qualification – ‘news’, ‘drop’ and ‘consternation’.

Is this statistic really ‘news’, in the sense of being information which we didn’t have before, which is unexpected, which comes across as new? In reality it hardly fits any of those criteria. The UK has long depended on recruitment from overseas to make up for the shortfall of British candidates for the nursing profession, and since 2008 the majority of international nurses registering in the UK have come from other EU countries. So no-one should really be surprised that … Read More »


Care homes are looking more attractive to investors, says Savills

Posted on June 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care homes are looking more attractive to investors, says Savills

According to the latest market update from Savills Healthcare, strong fundamentals combined with an ageing demographic in the UK has made healthcare, and in particular, care homes, a very attractive asset class.

The international real estate advisor notes that the long indexed income with either RPI or fixed uplifts have made an appealing proposition for investors struggling to find similar opportunities in the mainstream markets. In addition, care home yields have moved in significantly over the last five years and now fall in line with many other traditional commercial asset classes.

Savills healthcare team director Chris Wishart said the last 18 months had seen care homes achieve unprecedented yields with those let to annuity grade tenants and in excess of 30 years unexpired attracting interest of levels below 4%

“We expect this trend to continue with the care home market being put under … Read More »


CMA’s interim report says some care homes may be breaking consumer law

Posted on June 15th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on CMA’s interim report says some care homes may be breaking consumer law

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published the initial findings of its care homes market study, and is investigating if some homes are breaking consumer law.

Launched in December last year, the market study has examined whether the residential care homes sector is working well for elderly people and their families. Having reached the halfway point of the study, the CMA has published emerging findings and announced that, as a result of information received during this work, it has opened a consumer protection case to investigate its concerns that some care homes may be breaking consumer law. This is focused on concerns about certain care homes charging families for extended periods after a resident has died, and homes charging large upfront fees.

The initial findings of the study highlight wider concerns about the sector, which will form the focus of the … Read More »


Care-free holidays

Posted on June 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care-free holidays

Research by provider representative body Care England has shown that almost half of Brits (47%) have a holiday fund as opposed to only 3% who have a care home fund. Furthermore almost three quarters of Brits (73%) have no idea how much the average weekly cost of a room in residential care is and 56% of Brits have no idea as to whether they would be entitled to state funding for a stay in a care home.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the findings came at a time when social care was high on the political agenda.

“It shows that we as a sector need to do more to inform the public and dispel the myths that have evolved,” said Prof. Green.

“We hope that communities will engage with Care Home Open Day on Friday 16 June as a means … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Betrayers of self-funders’ trust?

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

That loud clucking noise you can hear is the sound of chickens coming home to roost. The Competition and Markets...

Crisis, what crisis?

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

The news that there has been a drop in the numbers of nurses from the European Union registering to work...

No more fudges please

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A few blogs ago I opined that social care would not figure as a key issue in the general election....