Highland Care Home wins best traditional Shortbread competition

In a heartwarming victory for tradition and taste, David Macdonald, head chef at Crossreach Oversteps Care Home in Dornoch, clinched first place in the best traditional shortbread category at the recent Highland Shortbread Showdown. What makes this win even sweeter is that David achieved this feat using his grandmother’s cherished 80-year-old heirloom recipe.

Oversteps Care Home, represented by David, was the only care home in the competition,  making the win all the more remarkable.

The Manager from Oversteps said “we’re all really pleased with how well David did in the competition.  Oversteps was the only care home represented there, so it was a real boost”

Congratulations to David and the entire team at Oversteps Care Home for this well-deserved recognition!

Find out more about the Highland Showdown here: Businesses Triumph in Highland Shortbread Showdown | The Highland Times

Oakbridge Care Home – Afternoon Tea with Horses

Oakbridge Bridge Care Home in Glasgow recently had a truly memorable experience—they enjoyed tea with a special guest, a horse, courtesy of the remarkable charity, RDA Glasgow Group. It was an immersive afternoon that left a lasting impression on everyone present.

The gentlemen at Oakbridge fully embraced this unique sensory experience with Jake, the gentle and intuitive horse. They expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated volunteers for their kindness and hospitality. The participants left feeling elated, calm, and truly in awe of big Jake.

Visiting Angelz earns accolade as Scotland’s First Living Hours Accredited Care at Home Service

In a groundbreaking achievement for Scotland’s social care sector, Visiting Angelz, a Renfrewshire-based nurse-led care at home service, has secured Living Hours accreditation, marking a significant milestone in fair employment practices. They are the first social care employer in Scotland to achieve this accolade.

Established in 2012, Visiting Angelz specialises in delivering personal and domestic care services throughout Renfrewshire. By meeting the rigourous criteria for Living Hours accreditation, including the payment of the real Living Wage, providing advanced notice for shifts, and ensuring minimum weekly working hours, the company has demonstrated its commitment to fair compensation and secure working conditions for its employees.

Angela Magee, the Service Manager and Owner of Visiting Angelz, said:

“In these times of hardship in our communities, it is important to not only pay people fairly, but to provide them with stability and security at work and the opportunities that come with that through secure working terms. “Hard-working, dedicated people should have the opportunities to realise their full potential in all areas of their lives.”

Rachel Morrison-McCormick, Projects Coordinator at Living Wage Scotland, commended Visiting Angelz for their dedication to fair work practices, saying:

“We are delighted to welcome Visiting Angelz as our first social care Living Hours employer.

“There are over 3400 Living Wage employers in Scotland and it is great to see Visiting Angelz take further steps to protect their workers from low pay and insecure work.

“The values that led them to commit to the real Living Wage are the same values that have led to their expanded commitment to fair work at a time when workers need it most.”

According to research by the Living Wage Foundation, over 9 per cent of Scottish workers are in insecure work and earn below the Living Wage, accounting for approximately 250,000 workers.

As Scotland grapples with a significant portion of workers facing insecure employment and earning below the Living Wage, initiatives like Living Hours are crucial in promoting stable incomes and predictable working arrangements. Through Living Hours accreditation, Visiting Angelz exemplifies the values of fair employment and strives to provide its workforce with the means to lead fulfilling lives.

This story was featured on the Gazette, have a read here.

Deeside Care Home Charity Walk

Deeside Care Home in Aberdeen is taking part in the ‘Walk 100K in March Challenge 2024’ for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.

Staff from the care home will be walking this March for a good cause and to help raise much needed funds to keep our air ambulance crews saving lives in Scotland! We wish them all the best of luck for this challenge!

Hawkhill Cinderella Pantomime

Once upon a chilly December evening in the cosy town of Hawkhill, the community gathered in anticipation for a magical event as the staff prepared for a Cinderella Pantomime on December 22, 2023.

This enchanting production wasn’t just about dazzling costumes and lively performances; it was a heartfelt initiative to support a local charity, Aberdeen Foyer, a charitable organisation supporting young people in the North East of Scotland towards independent living, learning and work.

The stage was adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, creating an atmosphere of holiday cheer.  As the curtains rose, the magic of Cinderella unfolded on the stage, transporting the audience into a world of fairy godmothers, glass slippers, and charming princes. The energy and passion of the performers, all staff members of Hawkhill House, shone through, making it a truly memorable experience for everyone present.

As the final curtain fell and the performers took their bows, the sense of accomplishment was palpable. Our residents, their families, our staff, and guests expressed their joy, stating that they thoroughly enjoyed the show and the fundraising efforts had not been in vain.   The Cinderella Pantomime had successfully generated a total of £230 for Aberdeen Foyer, funds that would go towards providing second chances, learning, and development opportunities for the young people of the North East.

The spirit of giving and community solidarity lingered in the air, turning this Cinderella Pantomime into a heart-warming tale of generosity and goodwill.

Aberdeen Foyer will visit Hawkhill on the 8th January along with some of the young people they support to meet us and discuss how we can work closer together.

And so, as the town of Hawkhill bid farewell to this magical night, they did so with the knowledge that their support had help create a brighter future for the youth in their community, proving that the magic of Cinderella went far beyond the confines of the stage.

Chief Nursing Officer visits Oakminister Healthcare Homes

Professor Alex McMahon, Chief Nursing Officer for the Scottish Government, recently paid a visit to two Oakminster Healthcare care homes for a ‘meet and greet’ with their team and residents.

Oakminster were able to share their vision for Social Care and explored the amazing outcomes that they continue to achieve for both their team members and those residing in the communities, alongside the post COVID-19 impact on the social care sector.

They also spoke about the requirement for greater collaboration in the funding process of acute and the social care sector and the development and the recruitment and retention of Registered nurses, and the importance of upskilling of Senior support worker/Senior Carers.

The visit provided an invaluable platform for Oakminster Healthcare to voice their perspectives on critical matters within the social care sector.

Westerfield Care Home Orchestra Joy

The Neilston Sting Orchestra had a everlasting performance at the Westerfield Care Home last month.  Leaving an indelible mark of joy and reminiscence among residents, families, and dedicated care staff.

The orchestra’s visit was a resounding success, residents and their families thoroughly enjoyed the performance.  The lively and energetic tunes brought back cherished memories, evoking smiles and heartfelt sing-alongs. The resounding applause and beaming faces were a testament to the profound impact of the music, leaving a lasting impression that lingered in conversations for days.

For many residents and their families, the performance served as a reminiscent journey, bringing back memories and eliciting emotional connections through the power of music.  The event not only uplifted spirits but also highlighted the profound joy and fulfilment that comes with creating meaningful experiences for those in care.

Staff were delighted to see their residents so engaged and happy, saying that it’s moments like these that makes their work fulfilling. The anticipation for the orchestra’s return and their next performance is real among everyone at Westerfield, eager to create more unforgettable moments with the Neilston Sting Orchestra.

Carrondale Residents Celebrate 21st Anniversary of Falkirk Wheel in Style

In a heartwarming tribute to the 21st Anniversary of the Falkirk Wheel, residents of Carrondale Care Home experienced a day filled with joy, camaraderie, and unexpected delights. The event, organised in collaboration with Cycling Without Age Scotland SCIO (a charity that works closely with Carrondale), was not only a celebration of this iconic landmark but also a meaningful culmination of a sponsored cycle in memory of the late ‘Stormin Norman’ Ridley.

The outing provided Carrondale residents with more than just a scenic day at the Falkirk Wheel; it became an opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones. The atmosphere was filled with laughter, shared stories, and a sense of community spirit as everyone came together to mark this special occasion.

While the Falkirk Wheel’s 21st Anniversary was a significant milestone in itself, the day’s true highlight was the adorable presence of Tony, a 13-week-old Billy goat. Residents, team members, and volunteers alike found immense joy in interacting with this charming addition to the celebration.

The event demonstrated the power of community, remembrance, and the simple joys of unexpected encounters. Carrondale residents not only celebrated a historic landmark but also created lasting memories, proving that sometimes, it’s the small, delightful moments that make an outing truly special.

Collisdene Care Centre’s Rosie Brennan Conquers 60-Mile Cycling Challenge

In a heartwarming display of generosity and determination, Rosie Brennan, Activity Coordinator at Collisdene Care Centre, embarked on an extraordinary 60-mile cycling adventure around the captivating island of Arran. The journey, marked by a challenging ascent of 3236 feet, unfolded over a span of 5 hours. Rosie, accompanied by her camera-shy husband Craig who captured her journey, faced a forecast of adverse weather conditions, braving the cold, wind, and rain, with gusts forecasted to reach up to 37 mph.

Originally scheduled for Friday 20 October, the event faced an unforeseen delay due to a red weather warning. Undeterred by this setback, Rosie rescheduled and commenced her journey on Saturday 21 October, taking the ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick in Arran. Despite the unfavorable conditions, Rosie maintained a positive outlook, driven by her unwavering dedication to infuse the spirit of Christmas into the lives of the residents at Collisdene.

This remarkable journey, extending beyond personal achievement, unfolded as a selfless endeavour to create a magical Christmas experience for the residents. Rosie set a fundraising goal of £1000, but her efforts surpassed expectations, securing an incredible total of £1505.

The residents at Collisdene, filled with pride for Rosie’s remarkable achievement, expressed their admiration by creating beautiful posters to welcome her back to the home. This story encapsulates resilience, generosity, and community spirit, truly exemplifying the core values of the holiday season. Congratulations to Rosie on this outstanding accomplishment and we hope the residents at Collisdene has a truly magical Christmas!

Trailblazing AI Technology Enhances Care for Elder Homes

In a groundbreaking move, Elder Homes Ltd, a family-run care home group in Edinburgh, has embraced cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology to revolutionise the way they care for their residents. Utilising PainChek’s innovative AI-powered facial recognition system, the care homes have implemented a pain monitoring app that interprets subtle facial expressions, ensuring residents’ comfort and well-being.

The PainChek app, employed across both of Elder Homes’ facilities – Cluny Lodge and Chamberlain Care Home since July 2022, uses AI to analyse facial cues through smart devices’ cameras, detecting pain indicators like grimaces and winces. This innovative approach has empowered caregivers to assess pain levels more accurately, especially for residents dealing with cognitive challenges such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. This groundbreaking technology fills a crucial communication gap, allowing residents to express their discomfort effectively.

STV News recently did a piece on this at Cluny Lodge which you can access here.

Cheryl Henderson, Education and Dementia Coordinator at Elder Homes, has spearheaded the implementation of PainChek, ensuring staff members are proficient in caring for residents diagnosed with dementia. Henderson emphasised, “Using this technology, and other technologies across our homes has been extremely rewarding. We’re excited to see how the use of technology continues to develop and the benefits it can bring to care home residents across Scotland.”

Elder Homes Team, Cheryl Henderson is second left

The app’s success has resulted in enhanced pain detection and treatment, leading to reduced reliance on pain medication and more precise treatment plans. Additionally, Elder Homes employs various other cutting-edge technologies, including electronic medication systems and electronic charting, to provide comprehensive and efficient care to their residents.

PainChek, which is currently used in 18 care homes across Scotland, has proven instrumental in the Care Inspectorate’s Quality Improvement Plan. Fifteen more care homes are set to trial this transformative technology. Tandeep Gill, PainChek’s Head of Business Development UK&I, expressed their enthusiasm, stating, “Reaching over three million pain assessments is a real milestone for us – each one brings more objectivity and consistency to evaluating pain, whilst making a difference to care home residents and enhancing their quality of life.

“We’re delighted to see staff at Elder Homes leading the way in adopting PainChek and embracing innovation to improve pain assessment and deliver person-centered care.

“By achieving positive outcomes for care home residents and the care staff involved in the Care Inspectorate trial, we hope to gain the opportunity for a broader government-funded rollout across Scotland.”

Founded in Australia in 2016, PainChek stands as the world’s first regulatory cleared medical device for pain assessment. Elder Homes’ proactive adoption of this technology exemplifies their commitment to providing the best possible care to their residents. The Elder Homes group, including Cluny Lodge and two Morningside care homes, continues to set an exemplary standard in the field, ensuring that the elderly receive the care they deserve.