Huntington and Langham Estate awarded highest level of independent accreditation.

Each year the Huntington & Langham Estate is independently audited to ensure we are providing care to the highest possible standard.

The most recent audit, undertaken yearly by a company called Meaningful Care Matters, took place at the end of last year, and after scrutinising everything from the homeliness of the environment and atmosphere to the amount and types of medication prescribed as well as the job satisfaction of the staff, the results are finally in.

Both care homes have been successfully re-accredited by Meaningful Care Matters with 10 levels in total, but only Levels 1-3 are given the prestigious accreditation accolade.

Huntington House achieving Level 1 Outstanding service with a model of care, which provides a meaningful engagement experience where people who access the service and who work at the service are ‘Free to be Me’. The environment is congruent with the model of care and represents the story and individual expressions of not only the people who utilize the service but reflects the identity of the organisation also.

Langham Court being awarded a Level 2 Excellent with a highly engaged service and high value on meaningful moments and a true person-centred philosophy, which is congruent in look, sound and feel as well as congruent with regulatory compliance requirements and the organisational mission vision and values. People’s individuality and expression is evident and on the most part people can express that freedom and be themselves. Some improvement opportunities are identified which would support greater expressions of meaningful moments and freedom.

Meaningful Care Matters focuses on the development of resilient relationship-centred cultures of care shaped by the people living and working within them where both ‘caregivers’ and recipients of care can flourish.

The reports for both homes state that accreditation has been achieved by providing evidence of a highly engaged service where people’s individuality and expression are evident, and people can express freedom and be themselves.

The report also provides areas for further improvement, and Charlie Hoare, Managing Director of The Huntington & Langham Estate, says “all credit to the team, as the audits are tough, but the feedback is invaluable. Not many care homes put themselves through it, but I think all should strive for the accreditation”.

For more information, please call the estate on 01428604600.

Respite stays may not work miracles but they can work wonders

Charlie Hoare, the Managing Director of The Huntington & Langham Estate recently gave a presentation about the benefits of respite care at the Rare Dementia Support carers’ meeting, based on our experience of supporting families who have also been supported by Rare Dementia Support.

Growing up in a residential care home

Like a lot of things in life, people have different perceptions when it comes to care homes. I happen to have a very positive association with care homes.
I grew up in a care home, spending the first 10 years of my life living on the top floor of Huntington House, our original care home on the Huntington and Langham Estate.
Even after that, I only lived a stone’s throw away in the original Estate lodge house to the main building. Close enough, in fact, that when I was home from boarding school for the summer holidays, one of the residents would make sure I wasn’t sleeping in too long by rattling his walking stick in the cat flap on his morning stroll and shouting to me and my sister that it was time to get up.

Despite these rude awakenings, or potentially because of them, I associate care homes with a feeling of homeliness, family-like connections, and even a sense of fun!

Feelings of mixed emotions when considering a move into a care home It is natural for anyone considering a move, to have mixed feelings about care homes, especially if they’ve have not yet had the opportunity to take a tour of a local home.

The most common emotions for carers researching their options are ones of hope mixed with an equal measure of guilt perhaps. Hope that there might be a place with a team of people who can offer the care that you’re finding impossible or at least very difficult to provide on your own at home and the guilt that comes from feeling that you should continue to manage on your own.

The impact of media headlines

It is not surprising given some of the headlines we’re exposed to, particularly during Covid-19, that people are fearful of care home, with stories of poor treatment, leading some people to be staunchly opposed to the idea of moving their loved one into a care home.

Sadly these situations do exist in some homes which is why the Care Quality Commission acting as a regulator is so important and even though we have a good CQC rating, we go beyond this and are independently audited by Meaningful Care Matters as Butterfly and Dragon fly homes.

When there is no option but to organise a move into a care home, I recommend to families to be careful about how they communicate some of these negative perceptions and the impact they may have if/when our loved ones makes the transition to a care home.

Changing perceptions at the School gate

I recently met a mum at my kids school, with a child in the same class as mine, who was talking to me about care homes recently. She asked if it was normal to be totally averse to her Mum going into a care home, even though her Dad was no longer able to look after her at home any more.

I asked why she was so averse to her mum making the move, and it turned out that she had volunteered at a care home when she was younger and had been horrified by how people in the home had been left for long periods, sometime hours, without anything to do, and she couldn’t possibly subject her beloved Mum to a future of the same.

Whilst this was an experience approximately 20 years ago, at one particular care home, it was enough to influence the family’s decision to postpone mum’s moving into any care home, even for respite care, despite the struggles of her dad.

I kept touching base with her occasionally at the school gates to see how they were getting on, and fast forward a few months, and her Mum had sadly had a fall at home and was now in hospital with a broken hip.

A week later she had been discharged to a care home along the Discharge to Assess Pathway, which is basically when a hospital has an agreement with a local care home to discharge people straight from hospital when they are medically fit, before they are then assessed as to whether they will go back home – with or without home care – or move to another more suitable or preferred care home.

After months of deliberation, the family had had little or no choice where their loved one’s first experience of a care home was, and they had the complication of settling into a new environment while also recovering from the trauma and surgery of the broken hip.

Transitioning into permanent care through a respite stay

This example is fairly representative of the reality of transitioning straight into permanent care for many, when a transition occurs in a crisis or an emergency situation that dramatically reduces the time we might have to choose the right care home, and prevents any opportunity for a trial run via a respite stay.

Transitions to care homes can be unsettling and disorientating at the best of times, even during respite stays. Some people are content from the start, some piece together the environment to fit a familiar place to them; a previous house, halls of residence, military accommodation, and settle in quickly. Others, however, are aware they are somewhere unfamiliar and struggle to make sense of it, and it can take longer for them to settle.

This is one of the benefits of respite stays. You will get to know how your loved one reacts to the care home environment, and what you might be able to try next time to make it easier. You then get the opportunity to reset and try again when the time is right.

The wider benefits of respite stays

Respite stays can help you ascertain whether the care home is right for other reasons. Is it easy to visit, and does it fit with your lifestyle, as well as meet the needs of your loved one?

Is your loved one going to be anxious about leaving the building for a walk or trip out? If so, are there areas of the home or grounds you can use instead.

Are there other people living in the care home that your loved one can form a social connection with? If not, can this need be met by a team member who they get on particularly well with.

During a respite stay you will likely find out information that you would not necessarily know from a brochure or show round.

A chance to spend quality time together with a loved one

Perhaps most importantly respite stays can help you maintain your core relationship with your loved one. You can use the time they are in a care home for quality time together rather than task-based interactions when you are having to do things for them rather than with them.

A couple of examples of this that have stuck in my mind…

One husband, whose wife stayed with us, used his time at home to create music playlists for his next visits. He and his wife used to love listening to music together, going to concerts, and dancing around the kitchen together. And for about half an hour almost every day when he visited, all the way into the later stages of her dementia, he would crank up the volume and would take her hands and transport them both back to those moments.

We had another person’s son who went away for work a lot, so his Dad would come in for periods of respite while he was away. When the son got back, usually a few days before the respite ended so he could unpack and do a food shop before his Dad returned home, he would come in for an hour or two each day and read his Dad The Jungle Book, which was his favourite book that his Dad had read to him in his childhood.

Many people may be concerned that you might miss being your loved one’s carer. Respite stays will give you a chance to work alongside the care team and continue being involved in certain aspects of care. And work out how you feel about the transition.

What you need to know about arranging a Respite stay

After saying all that, it can often be tricky to arrange respite care.

  • No availability – Some care homes may be limited by availability, they may be full with people staying on a permanent basis. In this care, you could ask if they run a waiting list so that you are contacted when a room becomes available.
  • No advanced booking – Other care homes may offer respite stays but may only take bookings a certain period in advance, and not be able to confirm availability until nearer the time.
  • Minimum stay – Most care homes will have a minimum respite stay, usually around 2 weeks. This is mainly due to the workload associated with an admission. So, if you become a regular user of respite stays it may be worth trying to negotiate this with the care home.
  • Respite retainer – I have heard of a care home offering a respite retainer whereby you purchase a block of respite and take it in weekly or fortnightly increments when availability allows.
  • Respite timeshare – I have also heard of a care home that have built a number of rooms just for respite. I assume this will be offered on a kind of timeshare basis, whereby you book a certain week or fortnight each year or every few months.
  • Funding – You may be entitled to FNC (Funded Nursing Care) payments for respite stays. £219.71 per week. Your local council may also fund respite stays based on financial and needs assessments.

Respite options are increasing as it is becoming more apparent that it is helpful for transitioning people into permanent care.

A final thought

I believe most of the barriers to respite care occur around the timing of people’s transitions to care homes; it’s not always an option if it’s left too late.
Remember…respite stays can’t work miracles but they can work wonders.

Please do get in touch if I can be of help with your care transition planning or if you would like to arrange a visit to the estate.

Visit The Estate

January Newsletter from the H&L Estate

Like many, January has been a month to plan for the year ahead, recover from the excitement of Christmas and New Year and take time to think about our health.

We may not have had a dry January, but we have been focused on eating well and in this months blog article, we share details about our approach to providing nutritious meals for our residents.

Winter Menu

For more news on life across the Estate read our monthly Newsletter

 

Why is nutrition so important for older people?

One of the many joys of living at the Huntington and Langham Estate is the delicious, nutritionally balanced and beautifully presented food made daily by our excellent chefs.

Many of our residents tell us that when they were still in their own homes, shopping for ingredients and making meals was a tedious chore.  Some said that physical disability meant it was hard for them to get out and about and then come home and cook. Some totally lost all enjoyment in eating, having the same quick-to-cook, bland food every day.

Others mentioned that living alone and loneliness made it hard for them to eat. Memories of cooking for family and then their loved one every day, when meals were something to be savoured and shared, gave way to apathy, lack of appetite and an ensuing impact on their health once they were only creating meals for one.

Putting the joy back into food and eating again.

Living at the Huntington and Langham Estate, our residents no longer have to think about food shopping, what to buy and what to cook. There’s no more money wasted on food which goes off before it’s cooked.

Instead, we most often find that residents have a new or renewed interest in food. Our weekly meal plans are created especially to have varied courses and a new choice of mains every day. There’s no set time for eating – residents can choose when and what they eat.

Check out our sample winter menu here 

Winter Menu

With a delicious range of food available and convivial company at meals, residents often very quickly see benefits in their health within weeks.

New residents who’d not seen a vegetable in quite a while or who have taken to eating packets of biscuits for dinner soon regain a healthy weight and the nutritional balance their body needs.

“The food continues to be of a very high quality, and the dining experience is enhanced by having vegetables in dishes to enhance choice. One woman asks for “more leeks”, so this visual choice really helps encourage people to eat the things they enjoy most.”  Visitor to Langham Court.

Hydration is so important.

Dehydration in older people can have complications, including low blood pressure, weakness, dizziness and increased risk of falls. Pressure sores and skin conditions are more likely with dehydration, as are UTIs and kidney stones.

For these reasons, improving residents’ hydration levels is very important to us and to their families. Long-lasting improved hydration is a tangible and vital benefit to living with us.

The perils of malnutrition.

As you age, your nutritional needs may change, but though you may be less active than in earlier life, it’s still important to eat regular nutritious meals. It’s a myth that older people have to be smaller and thinner. In fact, it may be more important to be more robust so you prevent some health risks that come from frailty.

Too much weight loss in older adults can lead to increased fatigue, a more significant risk of falls and injuries, decreased immune system efficiency, a greater risk of infection, and changes in cognitive and mood disorders.

Malnutrition is never an issue for our residents (or team!).

Food, glorious food!

The quality, variety and deliciousness of the food we serve have definitely contributed to our success over the years. Charlie – our MD – is a trained Chef who spent time in our kitchens before joining the management team. He still works closely with our catering team to make the standards of food served the same as the standards of our care – consistently outstanding.

Delicious Meals At H&L Estate

At the Huntington & Langham Estate, we provide luxury care across our two specialist care homes. Family-owned and run, we offer dignified, compassionate and personalised care to our residents, giving them the nurturing support they need to continue living full, independent and meaningful lives. We are Butterfly and Dragonfly accredited.

Please do get in touch for more information on the Huntington & Langham Estate.

Contact Us

Or to arrange a visit to the Estate and tour our homes and grounds, please call 01428 604 600.

December Newsletter from the H&L Estate

December has been a very social month, with parties for residents and the team, visits from birds of prey and small furry animals, but the highlight was definitely Santa and Mrs Claus arriving on the H&L Elf Express during Christmas Week, to deliver our gifts.

The homemaking team have been absolutely amazing, bringing Christmas cheer into both homes, whilst being sensitive to the needs of those for whom this time of year can be difficult being away from family.Christmas day in a residential care home

Looking back over the highlights of 2023, it is inspiring to see all the fun outings and activities which have taken place, the delicious food prepared by the catering team and what a fantastic place the Estate is for our residents to live.

For more news on life across the Estate read our monthly Newsletter

 

A review of 2023 from the H&L Estate

We have had a wonderful year here at the Huntington and Langham Estate.

Join us in a review of the highlights, from fabulous food, to days in the sunshine and outings to our favourite places, we have shared fun days with friends and family, and are grateful for such a wonderful place to live!

Wishing you all a happy 2024.

Party time for the team at H&L Estate

We don’t often get the opportunity to all come together for a party, but this year it was time to reinstate the annual Christmas Staff party.

Taking over most of our local pub in Hindhead we had a great night and of course a few drinks to celebrate our achievements of 2023 and spend some quality time together as a team.

Team Christmas party time

Team Christmas party

 

Christmas at the Huntington and Langham Estate

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

From early December there has been a vibrant buzz around Huntington House and Langham Court, as Christmas preparations began.

With successful decorations shopping trips completed, the festive decorations went up and there was much chatter about further outings to buy gifts and of course decisions to be made about the Christmas week parties and what to wear!

We often get asked, what is it like celebrating Christmas in a Residential Care home and without a doubt we always say it is amazing fun and this year has been a hoot!

Christmas Shopping

As part of our activity programme in Huntington House we have regular visits from the local small furry animals with their cute Guinea Pigs and Rabbits and a Birds of Prey centre.

This month Angela brought along some delightful Owls and Hawks to meet the residents.  Being located in the Surrey countryside we often hear the Owls hoot at night around the woods, so it was wonderful to be able to see them up close.

Birds of Prey visit

We are always conscious that for some Christmas can be a period of sadness, thinking of loved ones no longer with us.  Our homemaking team are very sensitive to this and always make time for quieter moments of reading together with residents, or chatting with those who are maybe overwhelmed by the wider festivities.

Small furry animals

Huntington House Residents Christmas party

With the Christmas jumpers and Christmas cakes taking pride of place in the restaurant at Huntington House by mid December, it was time to get the party started!

What a wonderful afternoon we all had at this years residents Christmas party!  With fancy dress hats and masks, silly games organised by our lovely homemakers and of course wonderful cakes and treats from the catering team, it was a special day.

Christmas Party Time

Christmas party time Santa visits the Huntington and Langham Estate

With a sprinkle of magic Elf dust, the arrival of the H&L Estate Elf express created great excitement for the team and residents, as Santa and Mrs Claus pulled up outside the Shepherds Hub to share some Christmas cheer and festive memories with everyone.

The H&L Elf Express

With one more sleep to go, Christmas eve was made even more special with a visit from Mr Kipling our little Donkey friend who joined us for afternoon tea and the beautiful cakes, decorated with roses.Christmas Eve in a residential care home

Christmas Day at Huntington House

Christmas Day at Huntington House like many homes, started with a leisurely breakfast and the sharing of gifts in the lounge by the Christmas tree, before settling into the restaurant for a feast of Turkey and all the trimmings with friends and family.  Christmas day in a residential care home

Our wonderful team of homemakers, catering staff and carers have been outstanding, making Christmas a joyful time for all creating some wonderful memories to share with family and friends.

 

Embracing a new chapter moving into Residential Care

During the winter months a topic that can be on the minds of many families with elderly loved ones needing more support, is the decision between a move into a residential care home, versus opting for home care or a live in carer.

The unseen advantages of Residential care

Residential care homes are well known as offering a built-in social circle, ensuring that loneliness takes a backseat. Designed with comfort and safety in mind, we focus on adapting to cater to the specific needs of residents through personalised care plans.

Providing residents with support they may not have at home is a given, plus there is an extra layer of reassurance of having someone on hand 24/7. An unseen advantage is that with all inclusive care, food shopping and preparing meals is all taken care of, with the option of communal dining making mealtimes more enjoyable as a social gathering.

Making the choice between live in care and a care home

At the Huntington and Langham Estate, we often have enquiries from people who have opted to try home care first, before taking the decision to move into a residential home.

For many who just need a little extra help with daily living, home care is a great option especially those who can remain in their own home, a place filled with cherished memories and personal belongings.

One of the main reasons we have found new resident start to consider a permanent move into a Residential setting, is that in-home care usually involves scheduled visits from caregivers at set hours of the day and evening, which don’t always match an individual’s routines. Night times are often when people living alone feel their most vulnerable especially during the winter nights, so if assistance is required outside of these hours, it isn’t immediate in case of emergencies or if unexpected needs arise it can be stressful.

We recently asked a potential resident about why they were planning to make the switch to moving into Huntington House.  For them it was because the home care they had in place often involved the rotation of caregivers, which meant they struggled to build a relationship with them, to understand their personal needs and found they were often rushing to their next appointment and rarely had time to sit down for a chat.

Making a change to your way of living inevitably involves tough decisions to be made and we always advise it’s essential to carefully weigh up any downsides, against the potential benefits with individual preferences in mind, when deciding between home care and other care options. Everyone’s situation is unique, and finding the right balance to ensure personal well-being and happiness is crucial.

How our approach offers the best of both options

We recognise the importance to our residents of maintaining their independence and being able to retain control over their plan for the day, personal care decisions, and lifestyle choices. A sense of autonomy and self-determination is a very important part of the Dragonfly Care approach, as is creating a simulating environment during the day.

We don’t work to a fixed schedule or routine, every day is different for each resident depending how they feel or their personal habits. Our homemaking team go beyond just giving practical assistance, they also provide emotional support and companionship.  We recognise having a familiar face around can alleviate feelings of loneliness and contribute to a positive mental and emotional state.

For anyone who isn’t sure about a permanent move and worry about settling in, we recommend coming to Huntington House for a short trial period of 2 weeks or more, to test us out, try the food, meet your potential new neighbours and explore the Estate – you won’t regret it!

Please free to contact us for more information, or to arrange a visit to the Estate and tour our homes and grounds, please call 01428 604 600

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November Newsletter from the H&L Estate

With the Christmas festivities about to get underway, it was time for some early gift shopping and to restock the decorations at Huntington House.  Charlie headed to Godalming College, to help the next generation of Health and Social Care Students expand their learning.

We honoured those who lost their lives in the line of duty this month, with displays of poppies around the grounds and the sales of knitted poppies, kindly made by Sarah.

The ladies of Huntington House enjoyed a morning of manicures and chat earlier in the month. Now the weather isn't so warm to explore the Estate the homemaking team have been planning a number of new indoor activities with the residents for the winter months.

Meaningful Moments in November

 

For more news on life across the Estate read our monthly Newsletter