Capel Grange Community Nursing Home in Newport and Penylan House Nursing Home in Cardiff have been named as two of only three nursing homes in Wales on the Eden Alternative UK Register of Homes for their commitment to improving the quality of life of its residents.
Capel Grange and Penylan House are owned by Linc Cymru Housing Association Ltd and operated by Linc Care, the health and social care division of Linc Cymru. The homes were inspected last month by a team of assessors from the Eden Alternative, with the report commending both homes for their warm, welcoming atmospheres and ability to demonstrate true companionship between staff and residents.
The Eden Alternative is a philosophy of care for older people, known as ‘elders’, based on 10 core principles around how ageing should be a continued stage of development, rather than a period of decline. It seeks to eliminate the negative emotions of loneliness, helplessness and boredom and to ensure that elders live in human habitats, not sterile medical environments.
Inspectors remarked on the close relationships between those living and working at both homes, with staff at Capel Grange visiting the home on days off to take residents on trips to the shops, the theatre or other places of interest and staff from Penylan House describing it as their second home and coming in to be with the residents even when they are not working. It was also noted how meaning had been put back into peoples’ lives, such as through activities organised at the home, including baking, gardening and making birthday cards. Staff were also praised for the way they have adapted activity plans to allow dementia sufferers to get involved and for residents to participate in their own rooms if that is what they would like.
Anne Thomas, executive director of Linc Care, said: “We couldn’t be prouder our two nursing homes have been named as two of only three care homes in Wales to be on the Eden UK Register.
“At Linc, we are committed to delivering person-centred care and adopted the Eden philosophy for the way it focuses on providing residents with a choice in their daily lives. Promoting wellbeing, dignity and choice are at the heart of Linc’s values and so it was a natural choice for us to strive to be on Eden’s register as its values are so closely aligned with our own.
“In addition, the Eden Alternative principles are very much in line with the aims of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act, which seeks to promote people’s independence and to give them a stronger voice and more control over how they are cared for, and the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales’ priorities of social participation and meaningful occupation to reinforce an individual’s identity. The philosophy of Eden also meets the specific requirements identified by the Older Persons Commissioner in her report on care homes in Wales – ‘A Place to Call Home.’ The key focus is understanding and respecting the individual.
“Providing care is not about just keeping a person safe or ensuring that their physical needs met, although these are clearly important. It is about ensuring that a person has the best possible quality of life. Having gone through the Eden accreditation process all of our staff have a greater understanding of how to practically put the person first, ensuring that we have an environment in which elders can thrive on close and continuing relationships, meaningful interactions, and a rich and diverse daily life.”
Implementing the Eden Alternative philosophy is led by certified Eden associates, a cross-section of staff, including managers, registered nurses and carers, who have completed a three day training programme during which time they were taught about how culture change starts with their own attitude to delivering care. The associates then cascade their knowledge down to all staff, residents and relatives to help establish a shared vision for the future where everyone is striving to create a vibrant atmosphere to achieve the optimum wellbeing of residents, staff and relatives.
Brogan Athay, a Care Team Leader at Capel Grange and one of Linc’s certified Eden associates, said: “Since adopting the Eden Alternative principles, I have seen elders with very little communication become more verbal, expressive and affectionate. The home feels more alive with activities taking place every day and everyone seems to be more confident and spontaneous.”
Stacey Sydenham, Senior Carer at Penylan House and one of Linc’s certified Eden associates, said: “Since attending Eden Alternative training, I have been involved with and seen a lot more going on at Penylan House. We have always had a programme of activities, but after the training we have realised we can do a lot more. This has made a difference, to the elders and to staff. We have created a wish tree for elders’ wishes and we are now trying to make these things happen, things that many people thought they wouldn’t be able to do any more.”
June Burgess, regional coordinator for Eden Alternative UK & Ireland, said: “Penylan House and Capel Grange are providing residents with care that enables them to retain control of their lives and to live in a place that feels like ‘home’. Staff develop meaningful relationships with the residents in order to gain insight into their individual needs so care can be appropriately planned with them and delivered as required. Testimony to the support given to relatives as well as residents is seen in relatives who continue to visit the home after their loved ones have passed away. Adopting the Eden Alternative philosophy has helped both homes to build a foundation of excellent care that gives all those involved a life worth living.”
Capel Grange is Linc’s first purpose built nursing home which opened in 2009. Its second, Penylan House, is located in Cardiff and underwent a £4.7m redevelopment last year. Linc Care offers high quality care for the elderly, including residential, nursing, dementia and convalescence care.