November 2023 - Tamar House Residents to Star in New BBC Documentary.
The BBC and National Marine Aquarium staff recently came to Tamar House over a couple of different occasions filming a new documentary series. They brought different things from the National Marine Aquarium for the residents to look at and talk about including virtual reality headsets so the residents could ‘experience' and see what it was like under the sea.
Tamar House also visited the aquarium with our residents for filming, some of the which were interviewed and one resident in particular was the ‘star of the show'.
We have now received the below message from Kelly at the BBC.
You’ll remember that we did some filming with you about a series we were filming at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.
We’re delighted to let you know that the series, ‘Secrets of the Aquarium’, will be broadcast over the next 6 weeks on BBC2, starting next week, on Tuesday 14th November at 8pm.
The episode in which the residents of Abbeyfield Tamar House star is the one which will be transmitted on the 21st of November.
You can get a flavour of the series if you go to the National Marine Aquarium’s Facebook page :
Autumn 2023 - Latest Activities at Tamar House.
We love keeping our residents entertained and occupied and below are some of the things we are currently doing as we head towards Christmas.
Theme days – Our residents are currently travelling around the world using our theme days, we give them a day in the life experience of a different country every month using food, music, activities, and games to give them an insight into another culture. We’ve currently travelled to Mexico, Greece, Italy, France, Hawaii, and Germany, with many more places to come.
Argyle – Plymouth Argyle community trust comes in every 2 weeks to do a range of different sport bases movement sessions to keep our residents active. We play boccia as a group and, curling in two teams to keep it competitive. The session aims to promote independence, movement, and socialisation.
Hairdresser – Weekly on a Tuesday we have our very own in-house hairdresser that comes in. She is one of our carers so is very familiar with the residents. She offers a full range of services at competitive prices and is very popular among the residents.
Singers – We have a range of different local singers that come in once a month to perform. They range from barbershop quartet to solo singers and even a choir from a local school!
G fitness – G fitness is a service that comes into Tamar House that undertakes group exercise sessions, with content that includes movement to music, strength and mobility, balance and fall prevention and brain games to help promote brain stimulation. Fleur comes in and does a group session with the residents in a calm and relaxed manner that helps to keep our residents fit and active.
Music makers – Our music maker Katy comes each month and has a different theme, from frank Sinatra to Mexican theme. She brings along props to encourage movement along to music. Our residents love this as she is full of energy and keeps it different. Recently she brough in local childminders and the children to do a session with the residents, which was hugely popular and will be coming back every other month providing our residents with intergenerational sessions.
Outdoor visits – Outdoor visits are on offer each month to the residents, the activities coordinator talks with the residents about where they want to go and what they want to see, places like local garden centres, the aquarium, the theatre, and museums.
We also celebrate all different holidays throughout the year. We have links with local community groups and schools, such as the beavers, the RNLI, the local beekeeper, and Tor Bridge school. We hold family nights once a month for everyone to come along to, which include quizzes, bingo, food, and fun! We’re always looking for and trying new activities and ideas out!
November 2022 - 100th Birthday Celebrations at Tamar House.
Yet another centenarian at Tamar house!
One of our residents recently celebrated her 100th birthday with us.
She enjoyed her special day by going out for lunch with her family.
Whilst she was away, the dining room was decorated and on her return she enjoyed a tea party with her family, staff and other residents.
She was overwhelmed and excited by everything that happened and especially proud to receive a letter from the King.
A day that she will remember for a long time.
(Photos kindly supplied by Peter M Sharp)
November 2022 - Residents Visit Plymouth Aquarium
We recently took some of our residents to the Plymouth Aquarium. This visit was part of the filming for a BBC "Under the Water" documentary which is scheduled to be aired in April / May 2023. The documentary explores the implementation of virtual reality in residential homes helping improving the experience for residents who can no longer attend in person.
November 2022 - Plymouth Argyle Coach Helps Residents Keep Active!
Our residents love to keep active and we are delighted to have a very special visitor every fortnight to help. Jamie Clewer, a young Plymouth Argyle coach, visits Tamar House every two weeks and completes different activities with our residents. Among the favourites are Boccia and New Age Curling!
June 2022 - Some Highlights from our Jubilee Celebrations!
May 2022 - Abbeyfield Tamar House invites friends and families to join the Lord Mayor of Plymouth at their Jubilee Celebrations!
As ever there is lots going on at Tamar House and staff and residents are currently very excited about planning the festivities for the Jubilee Celebration on the 4th June.
There will be much to see and do including: the best of British fancy dress, a bouncy castle, stalls and a tombola, and a BBQ and a bar to name just a few! And, best of all, the staff and residents want to share the celebrations with their friends and families, so why not come and join them and the Lord Mayor and have some fun!
Please see the image below for more details and, if you are interested in what else has been going on at Tamar House, why not check out our latest newletter by clicking HERE.
February 2022 - Abbeyfield Tamar House awarded 6 Steps Verification by St Luke's.
To obtain this status, the home had to put two members of staff through a nine week training workshop with St Luke's specialising in end of life care.
The home itself then had to meet the organisational standards set by St Luke's.
We are proud to announce that Tamar House has now successfully achieved verification of the St Luke's Six Steps + End of life Care Programme and has demonstrated:
Commitment to supporting the End-of-Life champion role.
Commitment to promoting best practice at End-of-Life.
Commitment to continuously monitor and improve practice to ensure high quality End-of-Life care.
Our certification has been approved by Paula Hine, Interim Head of Education on behalf of St Luke’s Hospice, Plymouth.
What is the St Luke’s Six steps + Programme?
The St Luke’s Education Team has developed the Six Steps + Programme for care homes, domiciliary and supported living agencies based on the nationally recognised Six Steps to Success approach.
The Six Steps + Programme is a series of nine workshops designed to provide care agencies with a toolkit to meet CQC end of life essential standards, DOH end of life and/ or dementia and/or learning disability quality markers. This is in line with the National End of Life Care Strategy (DOH 2008) and Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care (2015 – 2020) educating health and social care staff to:
‘The Six Steps programme does not hold any inspectorate authority such as that held by CQC, so does not monitor or regulate day to day care,. However it can verify that at least two members of staff have successfully completed the training and that the policies and procedures in place are in line with the Six Steps End of Life Care criteria. If the care home/agencies do not reverify annually that they have kept these policies and standards up to date then the Six Steps Verification status is discontinued’.
If you would like to find out more information about the programme run by St Luke's, here is a link to their page on their website:
The photographs show Alison and Lyn (two of our highly experienced staff) proudly holding the certificate received from St Luke's and also a 'close-up' of the certificate itself.
Also shown is the verification certification document for the year 2022-2023.
December 2021 - Our New Grotto
Some of you may recognise the pictures below - some of you may not.
As many of you will know, our summer house was upgraded by having heating and lighting installed last year.
As Christmas will soon be upon us all, Rachel has worked extremely hard to convert this summer house into a Grotto for Christmas. In fact, she has won our ‘Employee of the Month’ award for her outstanding effort in bringing the spirit of Christmas to Abbeyfield for all to enjoy.
One of the main reasons that this was done was because we wanted to embrace the current Covid restrictions and turn them into a ‘positive’ for friends and family to enjoy. We didn’t want unvaccinated people coming into the home itself, but with Christmas around the corner we also knew that there could be children wanting to visit who had not yet received their vaccinations as they had not been offered them due to their age.
Being proactive and in anticipation of this problem, it was decided to convert the summer house into a Christmas Grotto so that unvaccinated children could visit their relatives (at a 2 metre distance) whilst still adhering to our visiting policy.
All children visiting their relatives in the Grotto will be offered a small gift by their relative (which will be provided by Abbeyfield Tamar House). Hopefully, this gift will appeal to their 'taste buds' as with most children - thus keeping everyone happy!
We have already had several bookings and interest is growing fast. Hopefully, this will become very popular with families and relatives alike.
We are already looking at next year and hope to go even further with a carol service for all the residents and invite their families. There might even be a guest appearance from Father Christmas! This of course will be dependant on Covid restrictions at the time - but we’re keeping everything crossed.
Abbeyfield Team-Leader Achieves 'Six Steps' Award.
Alison Hook is a team leader at Abbeyfield Tamar House and has been a much valued member of the team for a number of years.
She recently achieved her St Luke’s 'Six Steps’ award, which has taken her around six months to complete.
Individuals who complete the programme and meet the learning objectives and assessment criteria will have demonstrated :
A sound approach to person centred care at end of life.
Commitment to promoting respect, dignity and choice for all at end of life.
Commitment to continue monitoring and improving practice to ensure high quality end of life care.
Ongoing support and training for colleagues.
By completing her qualification, Alison has enhanced her knowledge relating to how residents should receive end of life care and is now able to share this knowledge with other staff members within Abbeyfield Tamar House.
This has been of great value and comfort to our residents and families as we are able to ensure they are comfortable and pain free when it comes to the latter stages of their life.
The staff have now gained additional knowledge from Alison relating to common issues such as pressure areas etc. and how this can be prevented from happening and she also has a better understanding of the process individuals go through as they reach the latter stages of end of life.
Alison feels very passionate about providing a high standard of end of life care because it is reassuring, comforting and beneficial to staff, families and residents alike.
We are all very proud of Alison for achieving this award as she is now able to support staff, friends and family at Tamar House when the need arises.
A BIG congratulations from us all.
Alison is seen here (on the left) receiving her award certificate from Francesca Fletcher (Registered Care Manager).
(Further details of the award programme can be found on the St Lukes website).
Our residents can now enjoy their favourite ’tipple’ at the Tamar Tavern.
Members of our staff completed a challenge during the ‘Lockdown’ to help maintain their mental health and also fund a special project.
Whilst undertaking this challenge, it also encouraged them to exercise more during the pandemic.
Altogether, they walked a total of over 331 miles and by doing this, they received sponsorship and donations which provided the funding for the project.
A BIG thank-you must go to all who took part in this challenge and also those who donated to the cause.
What was the project?
The project was to fund and provide a bar for our residents to enjoy their favourite ‘tipple’.
Opening hours will be from 12noon until 9pm each evening - every day.
All our residents need to do is simply ask a member of staff for what they wish to drink and it will be made for them.
(We will be asking for donations for each drink so that we are able to re-stock the bar).
Why go to the pub when the pub can come to you?
Our residents - we call them our family, are really looking forward to using it and enjoying their favourite ’tipple’.
They are already busy working with us in compiling a drinks list!
Name of the bar
The Tamar Tavern.
Who says life cannot be much fun when you get old!
These pictures show the new bar and some of our residents already enjoying themselves - drinking responsibly of course.
Happy 104th Birthday to Nell Ashman at Abbeyfield Tamar Extra Care Society
Happy 104th Birthday to Nell Ashman at Abbeyfield Tamar Extra Care Society
Nell was born in Plymouth in 1917. The day she was born it was snowing heavily.
She grew up in Plymouth attending schools in Devonport and at 14, she left school and began working for Gould’s.
She would have to hang lots of boots on the ceiling and then walk miles to hand deliver them.
Later, she moved to London when her father left the Navy which is where she met and married Willian Ashman (Bill).
Bill served in the Navy during World War 2 and once he left, they returned to Plymouth and had one son and one daughter.
Bill bought a butcher shop in 1948 which they ran together.
Once Bill and Nell retired, they enjoyed travelling to many different countries such as Canada, America and Norway.
Nell particularly liked Norway because she enjoyed the northern lights, but Singapore was her favourite. She loved ballroom dancing with Bill and old-time dancing with friends.
Bill passed away in 1998 after 60 years of marriage.
Family has always been very important to Nell and she treasures spending time with them.
She said her secret to a long life is to ‘treasure your family, laugh a lot and enjoy everything’.
Happy 104th Birthday Nell!
Let's hope that 2021 is a better year for all of us
This last year has been a difficult and challenging time for us all in one way or another.
With the relentless spread of the coronavirus, hospitalisations and sadly many deaths, most of us have been ‘touched' in one way or another.
Some of us have even lost loved ones or know someone that has.
Perhaps for some of us, life will never be the same again.
What will be the ’new normal’ we may ask.
Here at Abbeyfield Tamar House, we are pleased to report that all of our staff and residents have now received the first of their vaccines.
This represents a 100% commitment by everyone and we are very proud of each and every one of them.
Together, we will fight this virus and continue our efforts to make our home as safe as we possibly can.
We believe that we will get there and that 2021 will be a better year for us all.
19th January 2021
Meet Our New Activities Co-ordinator
Hello, I’m Rachel, the activity co-ordinator at Abbeyfield Tamar Extra Care Society - Tamar House. I’m a fun-loving positive person full of lively enthusiasm, I am married to a fabulous man and I am mum to 3 lively boys.
I have worked within the sector of adult social care for the last 22 years moving into elderly care 4 years ago when I became activities coordinator in a nursing home. I am passionate about providing a stimulating and meaningful fun activities programme to enable residents to live fulfilled lives whilst maintaining their independence, dignity and relationships.
During my spare time - if I am not cheering my boys on on the sidelines of a muddy cold football pitch - you will find me baking and creating bespoke birthday cakes in my kitchen. I also enjoy music and enjoy watching live music at many different venues. I also like to swim, and I am a huge chocoholic.
100th Birthday Celebrations
November has seen another 100th Birthday Party here at Tamar House and all the staff and residents were delighted to be able to make it a special day for Geoffrey Tonge!
In a short interview for our websites' News page, Geoffrey shared the following insights into his life along with his top tips to making it to 100 years of age - Happy Birthday Geoffrey!!
Geoffrey was born on the 14th November 1920 in Moore cottage in Dickleborough a village 15 miles outside of Norwich and this is where he spent his childhood
He left school at the age of 14 and purposely failed his scholarship exam by flicking ink all over the exam paper, as he wanted to leave education and earn money.
He found himself a job in an electrical motor company but his father insisted that he also attend night school to become an engineer.
Geoffrey worked for the company for many years and worked his way through each department finishing in the drawing department.
He then began working for Switch Works were he met his wife Kathleen who was the chief engineer's secretary. They both had very similar backgrounds, became close and fell in love. Kathleen was Geoffrey’s first and only love and they married in in 1944 in Norwich and together they had two sons Andrew and Paul whom they raised in Norwich.
Geoffrey continued to work as an engineer and in 1955 joined Smiths’ Industries missile division making guided missiles. This job saw him travel to Australia in 1960 to set up a firing range to test the missiles.
When the missiles stopped being made he transferred to the clock and watch division within the company, travelled to Vienna and worked alongside Kodak in developing an item for inside a camera.
He continued to work for this company until he retired in 1982 at the age of 62.
In retirement Geoffrey enjoyed spending time with his beloved wife Kathleen. They would holiday in Europe and also enjoyed spending time in the UK travelling and enjoying many museums gardens and galleries.
Kathleen sadly passed away in 2008 after they had been married for 64 wonderful years.
He has always been a keen gardener and used to enjoy making and growing new apple and pear trees. He also enjoys keeping his mind active by solving problems and listening to classical music.
Geoffrey moved to Plymouth Tamar House in 2018 to be close to his son Paul. His other son Andrew is currently living in Ohio.
He is very proud of his two sons Andrew and Paul and also extremely proud of his grandchildren Jeffery, Christopher and Ellie.
When Geoffrey was asked the secret of becoming 100, he said "Always do the things you are naturally inclined to do and find the love of a decent women".
A Day of Remembrance at Tamar House
Wednesday the 11th of November saw all the residents of Tamar House taking part in a number of activities to mark Remembrance Day. Two minutes silence was observed by all and the home fell silent as both staff and residents reflected upon the sacrifice of others to whom we owe our freedom today.
The wellbeing of our staff is paramount......
At Abbeyfield Tamar House we care about the wellbeing of our staff. This is an unsolicited letter received from one of our staff members:
"Over the last few months it’s been a difficult time for everyone and the uncertainty of the situation dealing with COVID 19 has added to everyone’s anxiety, which has personally affected me and the people I work with.
Before this outbreak Tamar House had a great support network for anyone who had any mental health issues, including counselling and general support.
There’s also a well being board with information and telephone numbers for staff to help themselves to. This has a wide range of organisations to seek help from.
Since the outbreak off COVID, I’ve benefited from the support that has been put in place by my manager. We have daily meetings with any updates or changes. This has helped by making me able to cope.
Being made to feel that we are all working together and supporting one another has been a great help.
We have also had training to keep us up to date and make us aware off any changes.
On a personal level it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. The fear of the unknown has been the worst experience for me each day, bringing different challenges Mentally.
Getting through each day has been the positive, knowing I have support at work and I am able to talk to people who understand and are also feeling anxious helps us all to cope.
Having a manager who supports you is vital and I am lucky to say I have that, although sometimes it can seem a battle emotionally doing the job I do and working at Tamar House makes it all worthwhile."
A BIG Thank You to All our Staff at Tamar House......
......for doing such a remarkable job in these difficult and challenging times.
Not only have the entire team managed to work together to enable us to achieve another ‘Good’ CQC rating (with ‘Outstanding' for Care) but their dedication and resolve in caring for our residents and their safety goes way beyond what one would normally expect.
It is all of them that makes Abbeyfield Tamar House what it is today.
We salute them.
Meet just some of them in the short video clip below.
Abbeyfield Tamar House receives another ‘Good' Report and rated ‘Outstanding’ in caring.
After another unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Abbeyfield Tamar House Care Home in Brest Road, Plymouth has just received another ‘Good’ report and rated ‘Outstanding’ in caring.
This inspection was carried out under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and a rating is provided for the service care under the Care Act 2014.
The unannounced inspection took place on the 9th March 2020 and was published on the 10th April 2020. The home was last inspected on the 3rd and 4th August 2017 and previously 23rd and 24th July 2015 when the service was also awarded ‘Good’ overall.
Maintaining standards is vitally important and Abbeyfield Tamar House is continually striving to maintain the high standards expected of them.
In this latest inspection, the question of ‘Is the service caring’ was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC - something of which everyone at Tamar House is very proud.
Areas That Were Assessed.
Is the service safe?
Is the service effective?
Is the service caring?
Is the service responsive?
Is the service well-led?
The CQC met with most people who used the service and spoke with ten people in more detail about the care they received.
They also spoke with ten visitors, six staff members, the registered manager, deputy manager and two visiting professionals.
Care records of three people, medicine records, records of accidents, incidents, compliments and complaints were also reviewed as well as staff recruitment, training, support, audits and quality assurance reports.
After an extensive look into all these aspects of care provision, Abbeyfield Tamar House was awarded ‘Good’ overall and ‘Outstanding’ in ‘Caring’.
This is quite an achievement and one of which all members of staff should be proud.
it is also reassuring for residents and their families who are continually seeking high standards in the care industry.
Twenty-seven people were living at Tamar House when it was inspected.
It provides residential and personal care for up to 28 people.
People may be living with the early stages of dementia, mental health and/or sensory needs.
All people living at the home at the time of inspection had a level of limitation to their physical ability.
The service works with other agencies to ensure residents have access to the support they needed including GP’s and nursing from the community nursing service.
The home can also provide respite care for people leaving hospital and unable to initially live at home unaided.
Sometimes, it can even provide a short rest period for families and carers who just need a short break and know that their loved ones will be cared for whilst they take that break.
A registered manager is employed to manage the service and is a person who has registered with the ‘Care Quality Commission’ to manage the service
Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’ and have a legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about how the service is run’.
The service provided by Abbeyfield Tamar House was rated as ‘Good’ overall.
Is the service safe? Rated ‘GOOD’.
Is the service effective? Rated ‘GOOD’.
Is the service caring? Rated 'OUTSTANDING’
Is the service responsive? Rated 'GOOD’
Is the service well-led? Rated ‘GOOD’.
The full report from the CQC can be viewed by clicking on this link and elsewhere on our website.
Caring - The CQC looked for evidence that the service provided by Abbeyfield Tamar House involved people and treated them with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
At the last inspection, this key question was rated as ‘Good’.
At this inspection, this key question has improved to ‘OUTSTANDING’.
People and their relatives were 'keen to tell us how the service and standard of care had far exceeded their expectations’ reported the CQC.
This is something that everyone at Tamar House has worked hard to achieve and is immensely proud to announce.
We hope that this rating will enable residents and their families to feel confident in the level of care that is provided.
All in all, the report confirmed the exceptional standard of care provided by Abbeyfield Tamar House, which is a registered charity and affiliated to the Abbeyfield Society.
It is also reassuring to know that the area has such a facility of which we can all be very proud.
Further more detailed information is in the full report which the registered manager will be able to provide.
It can also be found on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk or clicking on the various links on our website.
Press Release supplied by: Trevor Addis. (Executive Trustee Abbeyfield Tamar House)
Further information can be obtained from the Care Manager.
Paul Boult (Membership Consultant -West, of The Abbeyfield Society) presenting Trevor Addis (Trustee Tamar House) with the certificate.
Francesca Fletcher (Registered Manager) at Tamar House having just received the certificate from Trevor Addis.
Francesca Fletcher (Registered Manager) proudly holding the certificate with Tracey Bryan (Business Manager).
Smiles all round when the children from
St. Matthew's come to visit.
Residents and children enjoying
Tamar House residents can't wait for
the next visit!
Residents and Staff were delighted to welcome the Mother and Baby group to Tamar House
The babies brought smiles to the faces of so many residents (and staff!)
The visit was an immediate hit with the residents who are now looking forward to the next one!
Lyn and Paula with the free gifts from the Peninsular Dental School