Gardening Club

The weather is better, yes!! Summer is coming and birds are on their second nesting, well the pigeons in my garden are. Larchfield Activities are preparing for our gardening club sessions. We have vegetable seeds, after our great success with growing marrows and beans in the past. But most excitingly we have Bee friendly seeds helping us to help the environment. Some of the seeds included in the pack are Cornflower, Corn Marigold, Corn Poppy, and Corn Chamomile. Other flowers are Cosmos, Echinacea, Snapdragons, Foxglove, and Hosta in the summer.

If anyone would like to donate some seeds for our gardening club and nature experiment we would be very grateful.

In the UK and globally bees are facing changes to their environment through climate change and the use of pesticides on our crops. Bees, who we depend on for pollination are now under threat from extinction already I in 10 European wild bee species are facing extinction.

To know more call us on 01628635936 Ext 205.

Larchfield House has been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission! #CQC

Larchfield House, Dementia Care Specialists, Maidenhead, Berkshire, has been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission! CQC. Please visit this link to view the Inspection Summary report from the CQC

Cliff Grand-Scrutton, Director and Registered Manager said: “We are proud to have achieved the overall “GOOD” rating by the CQC, the team’s hard work, determination to provide the highest quality nursing care for the families has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission. The service achieved GOOD in all categories which, I and the team are delighted about. It means the residents and their families have their beliefs confirmed and Larchfield House can now continue its planned improvements and finalise some ongoing projects.

The team is determined to continue the momentum and become the leading provider of choice in the United Kingdom for Specialist Nursing Dementia Care within the next 12-24 Months”

Congratulation Larchfield House Team for this achievement, also a big thank you to the residents that make our jobs so rewarding, fulfilling and full of joy, and thank you to the families that have believed in us and continue to show unwavering belief and support.

We also thank the professionals from outside Larchfield House that has supported Larchfield House over many years and in particular over the last 12 months.

Inspection Summary Link:

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

FTD covers several different conditions and is sometimes referred to as Pick’s disease. The word frontotemporal is named after the areas of the brain that it affects. It is found behind the forehead and is the part of the brain that deals with behaviour, planning, emotion control and problem solving.

FTD occurs when nerve cells in this part of the brain die, so the connecting pathways change. Please refer to my article on how the memory works. This means that the messages are lost and over time the nerve cells die and the brain tissue shrinks in these areas.

This causes changes in a person’s personality and behaviour and also causes difficulties with their language. The symptoms are different from those of Alzheimer’s disease. Frontotemporal is the third most common form of dementia and affects men and women according to studies fairly equally.

Scarily, Frontotemporal dementia is a significant cause of dementia with younger people, people under the age of 65. This can be diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 65 but can affect people older or younger than this. Obviously the impact of a younger person being diagnosed who could have a family and commitments would need a different set of support needs.

About 10 to 20 percent of people who develop Frontotemporal dementia also suffer from a motor disorder, this can happen either after or before the start of the dementia. This disorder causes difficulties with movements. Symptoms can be stiffness, loss of balance, twitching and in the later stages can cause difficulties with swallowing, Dysphagia also covered in a previous article.

If you have any queries or would like to know more please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01628639428 or email:

Bucket List

Here’s a wonderful story I found about a lady of 104 with dementia, who wanted to become a gangster granny and to get into trouble. This was the result of asking her to make a wish, the lady said “I am 104 and I have never been on the wrong side of the law” this surprised the care staff to say the least. The staff put her wish on a ‘wishing washing line’ at a local shop. The wishing washing line, which is a wish list of unfulfilled things you would like to achieve, for older ladies and gentlemen displayed in supermarkets, not little ones! Morrisons, Tesco’s etc., wow what a great idea.

So when a PC and PCSO turned up to arrest and handcuff the lady and take her down to the station she was absolutely thrilled. The Police Officer noted that she was a very compliant prisoner. What an amazing effort by the Police just shows you what you can do with a little help.

To read the full article please use the link below:

For more articles why not visit our website blog

Larchfield gets great feedback from All Saints Church.

All Saints Church has been coming into Larchfield House on a regular monthly basis for over 2 years to provide church services for our residents. The sessions are always good and everyone loves to sing along to the hymns. One of our ladies did the loveliest reading as part of a service recently, this conveys how important it is to make sure we meet the spiritual needs of all our residents.

Please see below the review All Saints Church sent to the CQC:

Dear CQC

I understand that you have recently performed a visit to Larchfield Care Home in Maidenhead and I wanted to offer some information towards your report.

I am a lay pastoral worker from All Saints Church, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead and, along with my team of supporters, have been leading a monthly service of worship at Larchfield Care Home for over 2 years. In that time I have seen an enormous improvement in the standards of care and professionalism shown by all the staff at the care home. The current management team are very approachable and always welcome us to the home.

We feel well supported by Jayne and her activities team who accompany us around the home while we are delivering the services. It is clear that the spiritual and pastoral needs of all the residents is important to the staff at the home. Very often we will be joined for hymns and songs by the staff on duty which is always lovely.

It is a delight to be able to share our worship services with the residents and staff at this excellent care home.

All Saints Church,
Maidenhead, Berks

Dementia and Pets

Ok so who could resist!!

Studies on pets and their relationships with humans has suggested that pets are good for us. The animals bring a calming feel good factor that helps reduce blood pressure, heart rate and the release of serotonin, which can only be good.

Also animals have unconditional love and loyalty and most of our residents have always had pets in their lives. Pet visits can help with aggression and anxiety along with depression. Watching someone become animated and happy when greeted by an animal is a magical moment.

Pat Shipman’s review of John Bradshaw’s book The Animals Among Us, Pat puts forward a view that humans and species that find it worthwhile, negotiate a common language which is nether human nor animal. Basically the book is about trying to understand Mans relationship with animals and their domestication.

Obviously, when inviting a dog into the home it has to be of good temperament and well trained. We have several families that bring their dogs in to visit their loved ones, not only are they well behaved but are always pleased to greet our residents.

Larchfield House’s garden starts to bloom!

As the weather improves our lovely garden is coming into bloom, we have two beautiful Cherry blossom trees that set the scene. The water feature trickles away whilst the wind chines clink in the breeze. The daffodils have put on a beautiful display but are now going over. We have a lovely Acer tree which is enjoying the light and position and is flourishing.

Our Gardening Club are busy planting vegetables and wild flower seeds, hopefully we look forward to seeing the results later in the year. Our residents are able to enjoy sitting out in the warmer air, chatting and socialising whilst soaking up a little sunshine. We also have bird feeders set around the gardens which attract some lovely wild life, from Dunnocks to Pigeons and of course the squirrels who enjoy running along the fence and climbing through the trees.

What more could you ask for apart from a cup of tea and scone whilst you watch nature take its path. As we head towards summer the garden is a wonderful place for the residents to use for their activities from music to bingo and also to sit with family members and enjoy the fresh air.

One of our residents enjoying planting.

We are looking forward to the development of our Sensory/Memorial garden, below is an example of the vision, providing a place of tranquillity and reflection for residents and families.

If you would like to know more please call tel:01628639428 to speak to one of our team.

The Journey

I wanted to cover again the feelings a partner or family member has when placing a loved one in a care home. It’s something we never expect to have to do, when you have lived with someone for maybe 40 or 50 years this is a terrible, emotional wrench, it truly is like losing someone before they have actually passed.

The first reaction is guilt asking yourself, why could I not cope, I should be looking after them, I have failed. This can be a seriously emotional draining time but it must be remembered that if you have been looking after your loved one, which is a 24hr job, you will be burnt out physically and emotionally already. Being on your own coping with someone who experiences mood swings, agitation and aggression can be very hard. And in turn your behaviour can become irrational because you are tired and no longer in control.

Remember Jim, who I talked about in a previous article. Jim used to shout and scream at Fran his wife who had vascular dementia, when he was helping her get changed, calling her names and saying she was the most stupid woman he had ever met. This is an example of a carer who is no longer coping, he is getting annoyed, out of control, frustrated and very verbally unkind. Obviously this is an extreme example but makes my point. A few examples of care giver burnout are withdrawal from friends and family, erratic sleep patterns and loss of appetite.

Larchfield House are proud to say that we take the wellbeing of our residents and their families very seriously. We are looking at forming a family support group so experiences can be shared where there is not only someone there to listen but to know that you are not on your own. No one should have to make the journey alone. If you would like to know more, why not give us a call 01628639428 all conversations are confidential.