Great Oaks, a specialist residential, nursing and dementia care home in Bournemouth hosted a festive family-friendly open day as part of its on-going strategy to strengthen its links with the local community.
Great Oaks’ care programme consists of daily activities and events which are carefully planned by the dedicated activities manager, who works hard to ensure that a variety of engaging activities are organised for residents to be involved with. Significant importance is put on the activities programme as it is a vital part of the care that residents receive to improve the mind and encourage socialisation and stimulation.
Entertainers and other local groups are also regularly invited into the home for dance and music sessions. A wide variety of animals also visit the care home on a regular basis as research shows that holding and petting animals can lower the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and boost your mood.
More recently, pupils from Kinson Primary School attended the festive open day and treated residents and guests to a selection of their favourite carols. Sue Goktas, activities manager of Great Oaks, said: ‘‘At Great Oaks we feel it is essential that all of our residents feel part of the local community and therefore many of our events encourage members of the public to come to the care home to meet the team and our residents. We were so pleased to have 20 little ones from The Orchard Nursery in Bournemouth to come and visit the home to sing songs from their Nativity play for residents.
“Feeling isolated has such a negative effect on people’s sense of belonging and self-esteem but we can see the joy that visits from local groups brings them just from the smile on our residents’ faces.”
Sue added: ‘‘I ensure that I cater our activities to each resident’s interests so that everyone is able to participate, which as a result boosts their health and mental wellbeing. Activities help to sustain both physical and mental health, so it is important that our residents are able to maintain interests and also have the opportunity to develop new ones. If a resident prefers to take part in activities on their own rather than as part of a group, then of course we will encourage this too. Our residents are individuals and therefore we believe that the care they receive should be catered to each individual‘s needs to provide a good quality of life.
“Right from the start we have involved our residents as far as possible with the daily activities of Great Oaks. Residents Derek and Jack helped cut the ribbon at our official opening back in September, alongside The Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, Cllr Lawrence Williams and Mrs Elaine Williams. The day was made even more special as it was Jack’s birthday and everyone joined in to sing Happy Birthday as he was presented with a birthday cake made by our head chef. Great Oaks is home for our residents and it is therefore imperative they are made to feel part of the day-to day running of it.”
Great Oaks is the latest addition of an established family of care homes managed by Encore Care Homes, with two other care homes in Dorset and Hampshire. The 80-bed care home is fitted with state-of-the-art facilities, which are designed to enable staff to provide the highest standard of twenty-four hour, personalised care and ensure residents are comfortable and happy in their surroundings.
At the heart of its care culture, Encore is committed to providing respect, dignity and wellbeing to all residents. As a reputable employer, only the kindest and most qualified healthcare professionals are employed. Regular in-depth training and development programmes are also provided to all staff.