Stay safe and well in the winter months

10 best tips for the elderly on coping with cold weather


The number of deaths in England and Wales increases during the winter months. Winter viruses and cold temperatures result in the death rates climbing by around 20 per cent from December to March. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are typically up to 20,000 emergency admissions for pneumonia in December compared with 4000 in August. Award-winning home care provider, SweetTree offers its top tips on how to stay safe, warm and well throughout the winter…

We must ensure elderly people receive the best support

Qualified nurse, Grainne McCarthy has gone from private nursing into caring for the elderly. In this article she looks at some of  the difficulties facing the industry....

I have previously worked at The Princess Grace Hospital, the London Clinic and St. Vincent’s University, among others. With a degree in general nursing and experiences in both the public and private health sectors, I have chosen to join the Elder team as caring for the elderly is very close to my heart – my mother is a nurse and in the early ‘90s she set up the first rehabilitation unit in Wexford, Ireland. 

Ayrshire Care Worker Gets Off To A Flying Start


An employee at an Ayrshire care home has become one of the first care workers to complete an NHS initiative, primarily set up for ward nurses.

Victoria Haswell, who works at Bupa’s Claremont Care Home in Whitletts, undertook the Flying Start programme over a four month period, while maintaining her daily work responsibilities.

The Flying Start initiative aims to develop newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to build their confidence in the first year of practice. Keen to progress within her role, and supported and encouraged by Claremont, Victoria jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

Victoria said: “The aim of the programme is to ease you in from student to nurse and it does exactly that.

Every older person in a care home needs access to high quality healthcare

front cover

The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) calls for everyone who commissions or provides healthcare in care homes to follow the principles of good practice set out in the guidance we are publishing today, so that every older person who lives in a care home in the UK has access to high quality healthcare which fully meets their needs. Based on the clinical expertise of our members our updated guidance sets out clinical and service priorities for how best practice can be  achieved, and provides clear indicators of what successful delivery looks like for older people, their families and carers.

Leading care home group demonstrates excellence in food hygiene standards

Healthcare Homes group, which provides residential, nursing and domiciliary care services, is making a commitment to achieving the highest possible food hygiene standards throughout its 35 homes.   Out of all the homes in the group, which are located across East Anglia and the south of England, an impressive 91% are rated as being of 5 star standard for food hygiene, meaning they are ‘very good’.  

Only three of the thirty five are not currently rated as 5 star, but have all been awarded 4 stars, rating them as ‘good’ by industry inspectors.  

Retiring Bield Chair Praises The Value Of Personal Touch

The retiring Chair of an Edinburgh based Housing and Care charity believes anyone with a connection to the sector can benefit from making time to bond with care-users, family and staff as the industry faces tough challenges.

Gerry O’Sullivan said the greatest enjoyment of his role was the chance to interact with everyone involved in providing high quality care to older people in Scotland.

He called for senior managers to be more visible, leaving the office and making time to get out to see their staff and customers personally.

100th birthday celebrated at West Sussex care home

Lois Goossens

A WEST SUSSEX resident who credits her long life to spending time with ‘good friends and family’ has celebrated her 100th birthday at a care home in Steyning.

Lois Goossens, a resident of Shaw healthcare’s Croft Meadow care home, celebrated the milestone birthday by enjoying a weekend of festivities with her friends, family and staff. Lois was presented with cards, presents, flowers, balloons and enjoyed entertainment from a magician at a tea party in her honour, as well as having a surprise party at the home.

When asked how she keeps feeling young, Lois simply said that ‘a love for life and an active brain’ is what keeps her going. 

Well careplus recognised with top awards

Well Pharmacy

The Technology used by national care home medicines service, Well Careplus, has received the accolade for ‘Improving Care with Technology’ at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2016.
Developed by Bristol-based technology firm, Invatech Health, the ‘Well Pad’ beat competition from various NHS initiatives and rival technology firms. 
The Well Pad has revolutionised medicine management in care homes, enabling carers to provide effective treatment for residents, while helping to cut medicine wastage by up to £195 per resident per year.

Think Tank urges action to improve uptake of Shingles Vaccine among older people

Shingles  chart

Responding to the news of falls in uptake of the shingles vaccination, the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) has urged a change to its eligibility guidelines. 

Public Health England has reported a decline in the uptake of the Shingles vaccination in both the routine (70 year old) and catch up (78 years old) cohorts (from 61.8% in 2013/14 to 54.9% in 2015/16 and from 57.8% in 2014/15 to 55.5% in 2015/16, respectively)

Mayo Clinic Proceedings Publishes New Insulin Injection and Infusion Recommendations

New Recommendations Based on Findings from Largest-Ever International Survey of more than 13,200 Insulin-Injecting Patients from 42 Countries

The prestigious medical journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings,recently published new insulin delivery recommendations for health care professionals caring for insulin-using patients, including the results from the largest injection technique survey ever performed for people with diabetes.


Former Safety Engineer proves it’s never too late to change career

Laura Bruce

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) student has spoken about her experience of changing career from engineering to becoming a student nurse.
Laura Bruce worked as a Technical Safety Engineer in the oil and gas sector for four years, having studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Aberdeen and then completing a Masters in Safety and Reliability.
The 28-year-old, who is from Edinburgh but moved to Aberdeen at the age of 5, was following a family tradition, as most members of her family work as engineers.
She was unfortunately made redundant last year and has said it made her look back at careers she’d considered when she was younger.

Nominations open for Towergate Care Awards 2017!

Denise Van Outen

• Entries open for nine award categories, celebrating excellence across the care sector - visit

• TV presenter and actress Denise Van Outen to host awards ceremony in March 2017

• Towergate adds brand new category – People’s Choice for Unsung Hero award

Nominations are now open for the Towergate Care Awards 2017. The specialist insurance broker provides cover for various areas of the care industry and wants to celebrate individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence in care. 

Community project will unlock ‘untold heritage’ of First World War steel workers

Community project

Social care and housing group Linc Cymru has launched an innovative, community-led research project that will involve its tenants and service users working alongside academics and historians to unearth the hidden stories of more than 850 local steelworkers who served in the First World War.

“First World War - Steel Remembered” is a collaborative, two-year project that will take an in-depth look at the role of the Orb Steelworks in Newport during the First World War. The project was launched today (Monday 28th November), following the award of a £32,900 funding grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Fire Safety at Christmas

As we approach Christmas, it is important to bear in mind that the number of fires in the home increase. There are a number of reasons why this happens. Therefore it is important to take even greater care of your fire safety at Christmas than would normally be the case. This blog highlights the hazards around Christmas trees and decorations as well as the importance of your smoke detectors.


Christmas tree lights, however small, emit a level of heat and have been known to cause both natural and artificial Christmas trees to catch fire. So; remember to turn the lights off before retiring to bed at night.  If you are going out to a party or event, it is probably a good idea to turn them off before going out.

Ribbon Cut For Gracewell of Sutton’s Grand Opening

Sutton’s Grand Opening

Prospective residents and visitors of Gracewell of Sutton, the new care home on Westmead Road, were joined by the Mayor and treated to a day of VIP-style luxury to celebrate the care home’s grand opening this November.

Future residents, Mayor of Sutton Councillor Richard Clifton, and Mayoress Gloria Clifton witnessed the official unveiling of the new luxury care home alongside guests from the local community.

On arrival, they were greeted by a red carpet lined with roses, balloons and celebratory bunting, accompanied by music from a local violinist. Glasses of wine and champagne were served to the guests by the care staff who will be working in the new home, alongside an assortment of delicious canapés to try.