Some 400,000 people in the United ingdom live in care homes, constituting a group of people equivalent to the population of the city of Manchester.
The responsibility for those requiring nursing and residential care is a big one, strongly defined by its personal nature. And at Longton Nursing and Residential Home, it’s a responsibility they relish.
Located on Marsh Lane in Longton, Preston the purpose-built home caters for 58 residents, offering bespoke care delivered by a 68-person strong team of staff.
Encouraged to allow residents as much scope for independent living as possible, the staff provide a safe and homely an environment, and no one epitomises that mantra more accutely than Debbie Hollinshead.
A Care Assistant at Longton, Debbie has worked at the home for 25 years, bringing up her quarter-century of service at Longton last week. To mark the special occasion, Debbie’s colleagues held a surprise party for her and presented her with flowers and presents in commemoration of her sterling service.
“I was shocked!” said Debbie, 46. “It’s weird: it doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long. The surprise party was great; we had a buffet and they even got my mum, my dad, and my son in on it.
“We help vulnerable adults with all their daily needs - just being there if they need us,” added Debbie, who is from Bamber Bridge. “It’s such a rewarding job, it’s brilliant. To see the smiling faces when you’re there. There are never two days the same.”
With studies showing how interactive arts programmes in care homes can actively improve residents’ mood and physical health whilst encouraging them to form close friendships, Longton’s in-house activities coordinator organises a range of social activities including games sessions, crafts, sing-along, excursions, and pub lunches. Such activities have been proven to be crucial in maintaining a good level of emotional, physical, and mental health.
Part of the MPS Care Group, which runs 13 care facilities across the UK including Alston View Nursing and Residential Home in Longridge, Longton also involve residents and their families in helping people maintain existing hobbies where possible, with the National Institute for Care Excellence extolling the benefits of elderly people taking part in meaningful activities with their loved ones.
“I’ve worked at the home for getting on 10 years,” explained Hayley Griffiths, who is the Manager at Longton Nursing and Residential Home. “It’s a challenge - I look after the residents and their care as well as the team of staff and relatives - but it’s really rewarding.
“It’s a privilege to help the residents and I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful team underneath me,” added Hayley, 40, who is from Southport and has been the care home manager for three-and-a-half years. “We’ve got a fabulous nursing team and a great care team.”
Boasting stunning landscaped gardens, Longton’s other myriad services include palliative care, day care, respite car, convalescent care, access to pets, and wheelchair access, having received an overall Care Quality Commission rating of good in its latest inspection in March this year.
Always looking to improve their healthcare provision, the care home also recently installed their own defibrillator. Having been fundraising for one themselves, the device was kindly donated by BeauCare, who are the care home’s main suppliers.
But aside from their excellent provision, what really makes the care home a special place to live for its residents is the personal touch offered by the staff. As Debbie’s long-term commitment to the residents of Longton demonstrates, caring for the people in care homes makes a big difference.
“Debbie can remember every resident we’ve had here; she always remember names when we reminisce,” said Hayley of her long-term colleague. “She gets on with everyone.
“She’s not a bad’n!” added Hayley.