“Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour” William Cowper
A phrase written in the 18th century yet still so true and significant to today and for all people. At the Manor House we strive to offer a variety of activities every day for our residents to get involved in, if they wish.
Variety is crucial to ensure we meet the interests and varied needs of our residents, from parties offering social interaction and a chance to get up and sing or dance to mindful danceSing sessions.
DanceSing is an online health and well-being platform our activities team and carers use throughout the nursing home to help to improve the overall wellbeing of our residents by focusing on their movement through music and dance. Increasing physical movements are linked to improvements in someone’s sleep, appetite, and overall well-being.
Our digital touch screen table allows for an immersive learning experience for our residents. The table can be used individually or as a collaborate activity. A popular activity with our residents is the great quiz afternoon!
Baking is often a favourite as are crafts. We regularly use our craft sessions to create decorations for special occasions ranging from Chinese New Year to Christmas, Remembrance Day or a Royal occasion such as the King’s coronation or a Royal wedding. Seeing the fruits of their efforts adds a real sense of purpose to such an activity.
Bingo and quizzes are excellent mental and physical stimulation, and for some residents ignites a playful competitiveness which raises a cheerful atmosphere.
Every activity is carefully considered, for example our ‘pamper sessions’ which help someone to feel good and look in a way that ensures they recognise themselves.
Our outings are always a huge success, and we look forward to many more in 2024.
For some people the group activities are not appropriate, and here we tailor our activities to one-to-one time, a jigsaw, reminiscing over a photo album or engaging in a conversation – all of the things we would want to take part in at home, to make us feel happy, to make us smile.
Jayne Wood, Director of Nursing says, “At the Manor, we pride ourselves in our activities and the team create a calendar of group activities each month. Friends and family are welcome to join us at these events, we put posters around the home, send out a monthly newsletter and post the activities on social media to ensure relatives know what is happening.”
Christmas preparations and celebrations started early at the Manor House this year. With lots to do before our annual Christmas Market, residents and staff began making decorations in November.
We had lots of fun on Christmas Jumper Day, with residents and staff dancing to Christmas music. The staff made a great effort to celebrate this fun day with many unique and brilliant jumpers.
Our Christmas Market was a huge success, with many relatives and people from the wider community attending. The support from local businesses and our lovely families, with lots of tombola, raffle donations, and special treats, was greatly appreciated. Seeing so many new and familiar faces was lovely, helping make the day extra special.
Jayne, Director of Nursing and registered Manager at the Manor House, says, “We are so lucky at the Manor House to receive so much support from our lovely families and local businesses, helping make our events a great success. The Stafford community spirit is amazing, and we are truly grateful for that.”
Everyone had a great time at the residents’ party. The fabulous Becca Gee came along to perform and help get the party started. Both residents and staff loved listening to festive classics, bringing back many nostalgic memories of Christmas.
Santa’s little helpers visited on the 24th, delivering gifts to residents and staff. What a lovely surprise this was, helping spread Christmas cheer throughout the care home.
Our traditional Christmas Day lunch saw many of our resident’s loved ones joining the festivities. As always, the food was just delicious; we are very lucky to have such a talented kitchen team and appreciate all the hard work that goes into making Christmas so nice for everyone at the Manor House.
The annual Boxing Day disco at the Manor House got us all up on the dance floor, helping finish off the festivities in style!
Jayne added, “it’s been a brilliant Christmas this year, our team go above and beyond to ensure we have lots of activities to join in with and truly bring the feeling of togetherness and joy to the home throughout the festive season.”
Manor House welcomed the holiday season with open arms at its heartwarming Christmas Fayre on December 9th. Following the tremendous success of last year’s event, we once again created a festive atmosphere that resonated with residents, families, and the local community.
The highlight of the Christmas Fayre was undoubtedly the showcase of residents’ creativity. Charming stalls adorned with handcrafted Christmas cards, tree decorations, and other festive items displayed the artistic talents of our residents. The community gathered to appreciate and purchase these one-of-a-kind creations, contributing to the warm and festive atmosphere that filled the air.
Children experienced the magic of the season at Santa’s Grotto, where they received thoughtful presents, creating enchanting moments for all. The generosity of M&S added a delicious touch to the occasion with donations of mince pies and pretzels, enhancing the culinary delights of the Christmas Fayre.
Adding an element of excitement, raffle tickets were sold throughout the event, with winners eagerly anticipating the prize announcements on December 15th. The suspense surrounding the raffle prizes added an extra layer of enjoyment to the festivities. A lively tombola provided attendees with the chance to win an array of prizes, fostering engagement and participation from both residents and visitors.
The outdoor marquee hosted a variety of food vendors, treating attendees to seasonal delights such as mulled wine, Frankfurt sausages, and other festive delicacies. The cheerful ambiance created by these vendors complemented the holiday spirit, making the Christmas Fayre a memorable experience for all who attended.
Jayne, Director of Nursing and registered Manager at the Manor House, says, ” I extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the Christmas Fayre. From our Activities Team and dedicated team of qualified nurses and care professionals to the generous donors and enthusiastic participants, the event not only brought joy to Manor House residents but also fostered a beautiful sense of community spirit during this festive season.”
As we reflect on the heartwarming moments shared at the Christmas Fayre, we look forward to more celebrations that bring people together in the spirit of joy and community.
At the Manor House, we understand how big a step it is to move a loved one into a care home. We support our new residents and their families with this transition. It is a time of change for everyone involved, and we endeavour to help make the process as smooth as possible.
We constantly try to improve our families’ care, reflecting on how we could do better and be the best we can be in all areas, including transitions.
Two relatives who have firsthand experience with this are Chris and Geoff. Both their wives are residents at the Manor House, and they visit them daily. Over the past 12 months, Chris and Geoff have gotten to know one another, sharing their experiences and how it made them feel when their wives were admitted.
Chris said, “Knowing I wasn’t alone in how I felt helped; having Geoff to chat with made such a difference. We would like to provide this support to others, so they can ask questions or just talk.”
Through this common ground, a friendship has developed, allowing them to talk about their experience and how they felt. They now want to help support other families when their loved one moves into the Manor House.
Chris and Geoff are ready to be available for a comforting cup of tea, open to listening, hosting relatives’ meetings, and have generously volunteered to facilitate meet-and-greet sessions in the reception area over the weekend for those visiting their loved ones.
Jayne, Director of Nursing and registered Manager at the Manor House, says, “Creating a supportive, family environment at Manor House for our residents and their families has always been a top priority. We fully support this amazing initiative Chris and Geoff are introducing. It will make such a difference, by adding additional support for families at a time that can be difficult. We will work closely with them to help bring this idea to life.”
At the Manor House, we love any excuse for a party and to help celebrate special occasions. Recently, we have helped organise parties held at the Manor House to help families celebrate anniversaries and birthdays with their loved ones.
Living in a care home doesn’t mean family gatherings have to stop. Jayne, Director of Nursing and registered Manager at the Manor House, says, “We understand that depending on someone’s condition, they may be unable to go out or find it unsettling to leave the Manor House. We want to offer families the choice to host events at the Manor House to help them ensure their loved one is included in those special occasions. Our amazing Activities Team will do everything to make sure everyone has a lovely time and help make those magical memories.”
We want to offer room hire, party planning and catering to any relatives who would like to host a party at the Manor House so they can bring their celebration to the Manor House and involve their loved ones as much as possible. With a lovely, homely environment, everyone would be made to feel most welcome, with every detail taken care of.
In the first instance, please contact Sophie, our Facilities Manager, via 01785 250 600 and we can get the ball rolling. Let us help make your family events extra special and memorable!
Good mental health is essential to our overall health and well-being. There has been significant progress across broader society to support people, with it also being applied to residential settings, prioritising mental health alongside physical health. If a person’s mental health needs are unmet, it can affect their overall health.
Jayne, Director of Nursing and registered Manager at the Manor House, says, “The mental health of our residents is just as important as their physical health. By supporting residents to feel good, we will then be able to meet all their care needs, and the person will also be happy. The mental health of our residents must be supported, ensuring that the Manor House is a positive place to live. We also provide support to our resident’s families, helping with the transition when moving a family member into care.”
At the Manor House, we take a person-centred approach, recognising each resident as a unique individual with their own background and stories to tell. We focus on individual interests, beliefs and history to ensure residents know they are seen for who they are as an individual. Many of our residents are living with complex mental-health conditions therefore getting to understand their individual needs and triggers, what can form a sense of calm and ease to lead positive outcomes and an improved quality of life is core to our care.
Activities are central to what we do at the Manor House, with a full calendar of activities year-round. Our Activities Team are on hand seven days a week, offering a variety of group and one-to-one sessions to suit individuals’ interests and capabilities, ensuring residents can engage in something they enjoy. Scheduled activities also offer a sense of purpose, helping residents feel more productive.
Facilities Manager Sophie says, “I think offering meaningful activities is key to boosting residents’ mental wellbeing. The activities we offer cover our residents’ mental, social and physical needs, including baking, crafts, danceSing, bingo and social outings.”
Staff well-being is also very important to us at the Manor House. Throughout the year, we have team building events and nursing awards, facilitating continuous professional development and give access to our danceSing ‘on demand’ programme at work and home to all staff.
We invite friends and family to come along and join in with all our activities, encouraging residents to stay connected, maintaining their relationships and even building new ones with other residents and team members to help prevent social isolation.
One of the most popular activities at the Manor House is our pamper sessions, and we ensure they appear regularly on our busy activities calendar. We have found that these sessions are welcomed by our residents and enhances the quality of their lives.
We are lucky to have an in-house salon, with a hairdresser visiting regularly to care for our residents’ hair. The salon allows residents to be pampered in a small group setting, creating a therapeutic atmosphere where chat and reminiscing take place. Manicures, pedicures and face masks are all popular choices. Dimmed lighting, soft music and lovely scents help create a luxurious atmosphere.
Facilities Manager Sophie says, “Residents love participating in pamper sessions and feel the benefits long after. Helping them feel extra special and seeing how happy it makes them is wonderful.”
The benefits of pamper sessions are not just physical; it also helps increase self-esteem and self-confidence. Residents love the opportunity to make their own choices and decisions, something we encourage as much as possible at the Manor House. Some residents have enjoyed selecting new nail colours whilst on a shopping trip, again giving them independence to make their own choices.
These sessions help prioritise our resident’s wellbeing, as well as boosting their confidence. We have pamper sessions planned over the coming months and can’t wait for the next one!
We have been very fortunate to welcome some Health & Social Care students from Stafford College to the Manor House. They are working with us weekly as part of their course, providing valuable support to our staff. Learning from each other and bringing new ideas has been a positive experience for everyone involved.
Allowing students to gain practical experience at the Manor House helps to bring more highly skilled staff into the Social Care sector. Students can learn about adult legislation and promoting/protecting residents’ rights. Learning all about person-centered practice by gaining practical experience will be invaluable to the students as they continue their course and start their careers within Health & Social Care.
Jane Wood, Director of Nursing and registered Manager of the Manor House, says, “We have strong community links with Stafford College and welcome placement students with open arms. Our residents love spending time with them when participating in group and one-to-one activities and outings. We like to support students as much as possible to help them achieve their goal of entering the Health & Social Care profession.
Residents enjoy giving their time to help the students, sharing their biographies, developing relationships, and helping the students learn from their perspectives.
Our Summer Fair on Saturday, 12th August, was a resounding success, with a fantastic turnout from our local community, families and friends. The event, opened by the Worshipful Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford Borough, Andy Cooper and Mrs. Judy Cooper, gave the opportunity for people to enjoy lots of fun activities in our beautiful gardens.
The weather was kind to us, with the sun appearing at just the right time. We were all thoroughly entertained by singer, Becca G and the local Dance Troupe, Dance Fusion, bringing lots of smiles and fun to the afternoon. There was a vast range of games and activities, from a coconut shy, face painting to a bottle stall and raffle, with the main prize of an original Brooklyn Bicycle bike ridden by Anne Hathaway in the 2015 film ‘The Intern’ generously donated by local resident Julie Rickerby,
Jayne Wood, Director of Nursing and Registered Manager, said, “We are delighted with the success of the summer fair. It was great seeing the residents, family, and friends enjoying the day together. A huge thank you to our Activities Team for putting it all together.
Staff went above and beyond, with many volunteering their time to help on the day, Dave and Sam from the Maintenance Team made the stocks and coconut shy, and Sophie baked all the cakes for the cake sale. We are so fortunate at the Manor House to have such an incredible team that genuinely cares about the home”.
On opening the fair, The Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Andy Cooper said, “I am thrilled to have been invited today to open the Summer Fair. It’s clear to see the huge amount of work that has gone into
the event, the stalls are fantastic. The Staff here are clearly very committed and have gone above and beyond their jobs to do this.
The work that Manor House do looking after and supporting those with a range of conditions is vital. I have been chatting to residents and their families and you can tell they are very well cared for and very happy here.”
Bertha, Unit Manager, said, “It’s so lovely, nice to see so many friends and relatives come to support. It has really been a nice opportunity to meet and get to know more of our residents’ family members, and it’s lovely that so many staff have volunteered to work at the event.”
The day was made extra special with resident Anne’s twin sister Cath, flying in from America to attend the event. Cath said, “Anne is really happy here at the Manor House and has settled in so well since arriving six months ago.” Anne added, “It’s a good atmosphere, and there is plenty for the children; it really is a lovely day.”
We look forward to hosting more events over the coming months!