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Balhousie Care Group appoints new manager in Arbroath

Award-winning care home provider Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new manager for its Antiquary care home in Arbroath.

Cath Maclean brings to the role 20 years of experience in nursing and care homes. Originally from Stornoway, Cath now calls Arbroath home. As manager of the Antiquary home, she is responsible for almost 60 residents, 20 of them in a self-contained facility for people with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Cath joined the care home industry 18 years ago, with a long-held passion for caring for people with dementia. “My gran died at the age of 45. Although it wasn’t diagnosed at the time she had Alzheimers. I was a kid at the time but I think the stories I heard about my gran from my mother – who worked as a general nurse – stuck with me. I’ve got quite a passion for looking after people with dementia and the different characteristics they display.”

Cath’s appointment brings her together with a former colleague, Lynsey Robbie. The two worked for another care home provider. Lindsay is now operations manager for Balhousie Care Group, responsible for eight care homes including Balhousie Antiquary.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have Cath heading up the team at Balhousie Antiquary. I feel strongly that she will provide strong leadership and inspiration for the staff there as they follow a path of high quality care.”Award-winning care home provider Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new manager for its Antiquary care home in Arbroath.

Cath Maclean brings to the role 20 years of experience in nursing and care homes. Originally from Stornoway, Cath now calls Arbroath home. As manager of the Antiquary home, she is responsible for almost 60 residents, 20 of them in a self-contained facility for people with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Cath joined the care home industry 18 years ago, with a long-held passion for caring for people with dementia. “My gran died at the age of 45. Although it wasn’t diagnosed at the time she had Alzheimers. I was a kid at the time but I think the stories I heard about my gran from my mother – who worked as a general nurse – stuck with me. I’ve got quite a passion for looking after people with dementia and the different characteristics they display.”

Cath’s appointment brings her together with a former colleague, Lynsey Robbie. The two worked for another care home provider. Lindsay is now operations manager for Balhousie Care Group, responsible for eight care homes including Balhousie Antiquary.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have Cath heading up the team at Balhousie Antiquary. I feel strongly that she will provide strong leadership and inspiration for the staff there as they follow a path of high quality care.”Award-winning care home provider Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new manager for its Antiquary care home in Arbroath.

Cath Maclean brings to the role 20 years of experience in nursing and care homes. Originally from Stornoway, Cath now calls Arbroath home. As manager of the Antiquary home, she is responsible for almost 60 residents, 20 of them in a self-contained facility for people with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Cath joined the care home industry 18 years ago, with a long-held passion for caring for people with dementia. “My gran died at the age of 45. Although it wasn’t diagnosed at the time she had Alzheimers. I was a kid at the time but I think the stories I heard about my gran from my mother – who worked as a general nurse – stuck with me. I’ve got quite a passion for looking after people with dementia and the different characteristics they display.”

Cath’s appointment brings her together with a former colleague, Lynsey Robbie. The two worked for another care home provider. Lindsay is now operations manager for Balhousie Care Group, responsible for eight care homes including Balhousie Antiquary.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have Cath heading up the team at Balhousie Antiquary. I feel strongly that she will provide strong leadership and inspiration for the staff there as they follow a path of high quality care.”

Balhousie Care Home

Balhousie Care Group back in the saddle as it makes Business Insider Top 500 list

The startling revival of leading care home provider Balhousie Care Group has been acknowledged with a listing in Scotland’s Top 500 Companies from Business Insider magazine.

The 25-strong group celebrated 25 years in the business last year with a £49m refinancing deal, numerous industry awards, and top Care Inspectorate ratings for two of its facilities.

Balhousie Care’s homes and staff have won accolades for their services and for initiatives which promote a person-centred, individualised approach to residential care. The latest award, which puts Balhousie Care and the Scottish care industry on the national map, was won by Operations Director Louise Barnett, who was named UK Operations Manager of the Year in the National Care Awards.

The £49m refinancing deal means better financial security and even more improvements ahead for Balhousie Care’s homes and operations.

Chief Executive Steve White said: “We’re delighted to be recognised in Business Insider’s Top 500, which is an acknowledgement of all our hard work. This is an exciting time to be part of Balhousie Care Group. There’s a real buzz among staff, both in the homes and at head office level. We know we are on a firm footing financially and have a growing reputation as a leading care provider.”

The Business Insider list called 2017 “a year of rebounds”, with a number of Scotland’s top companies showing a turnaround in turnover or profit compared to 2016. Balhousie Care was ranked 390 out of 500 companies.

Balhousie puts some Oomph into its care homes with innovative partnership

Award-winning care home group Balhousie is putting some Oomph! into the sector by becoming the first organisation in Scotland to sign up with an activity programme with a difference

Balhousie Care Group, which operates 25 care homes in Scotland, has linked up with Oomph!, which delivers engaging exercise and activity programmes for older people.

Oomph’s mission is to improve the wellbeing of older adults and they will work with Balhousie’s 25 care homes offering fun exercise and activity sessions, as well as monthly trips out for residents, to a wide range of destinations in customised minibuses. The trips are personalised and include intensive training by Oomph! staff within each care home.

Oomph!’s aim is to deliver ‘meaningful moments’ for residents and a programme which is focused on individuals. The collaboration is the latest move in Balhousie Care Group’s mission to be a trailblazer in the care home sector, delivering individualised care for residents. The Perth-based group has been tackling issues such as dementia and loneliness in innovative ways, from virtual reality technology to therapy with pets. Balhousie also ensures that its residents and family members have a say in their care, and care strategy.

Oomph!, which was been delivering its services in England with great success, was set up by founder Ben Allen, a specialist in exercise for older adults, after he realised a gap in the market for providing better adult social care.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care, said:

“We’re delighted to be the pioneers of Oomph! programmes in Scotland, and the innovative ways they promote fitness and wellness. We know our residents will benefit hugely from Oomph’s activities. This organisation’s philosophies are very much in line with ours, which are to look at care and wellness in unorthodox, exciting ways.”

Ben Allen, Chief Executive for Oomph!, said:

“Oomph! are excited to have the opportunity to work with the team at Balhousie, one of the leading care groups in the UK. It is a privilege to be a key partner and support their drive for innovation and excellence across all homes. We share the same values and entrepreneurial spirit and are delighted to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident’s activities.”

Balhousie Care homes open their doors to the lonely this Christmas

Balhousie Care Group, Scotland’s leading provider of residential care, is opening its doors to people who face spending Christmas Day alone.

Care home managers are liaising with local authorities to identify members of the community who face a lonely festive season and could benefit from some companionship this Christmas Day. The invitations are going out, via social workers, for people to share Christmas dinner and join in festivities at Balhousie Care Group’s 25 care homes across the north east of Scotland.

With a presence in five regions of Scotland and strong community contacts, Balhousie Care Group is in a prime position to extend the hand of friendship this festive season, said Operations Director Louise Barnett. She said:

“So many people, particularly the elderly, spend the festive season feeling isolated, with only a TV for company. We’re in the business of caring, and all 25 of our care homes already have close community partnerships. So it makes sense for us to open our doors to those who don’t have family or friends to be with this Christmas Day. Our care home managers across Scotland are liaising with their local authorities to identify those who may be feeling isolated, and invite them in.”

The move comes among reports of a worldwide “epidemic” of loneliness, which is affecting our health. In Scotland, the problem is particularly serious among the elderly, says the charity Age Scotland. Recent research showed that 60,000 older Scots will spend Christmas Day alone, an increase of 50% on two years ago.

The award-winning Balhousie Care Group put social issues such as loneliness and homelessness firmly on its agenda during 2017, and has plans to ramp up its charity and community initiatives in 2018. The Group, which supports Alzheimer Scotland and Social Bite, among others, recently raised almost £16,000 by taking part in the outdoor Sleep in the Park event for homelessness.

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

For more on Age Scotland’s research click here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland/latest-news/around-60000-older-scots-will-spend-christmas-day-alone/

To enquire about visiting a Care Home on Christmas Day call 01738 254254.

Balhousie Sleep in the Park

Sleep in the Park a “brutal” wake-up call for care home workers who took part

A group of care home workers who swapped their uniforms for sleeping bags last week have shared the “brutal” reality of taking part in Sleep in the Park.

The team of 20 Balhousie Care Group participants raised almost £16,000 when they joined 9.000 others, including celebrities, politicians and business leaders, to brave sub-zero temperatures in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens to raise awareness of homelessness.

Highlights for the staff, who were joined by Balhousie Care Group chairman Tony Banks and CEO Steve White, were meeting Sir Bob Geldof and making it into the event’s Top 10 corporate fundraisers with £15,895.00 raised. But as the temperatures dipped, the “brutal reality” of the event sank in, said the staff, each of whom had a different reason for taking part.

For Elaine Smith, a care assistant at Balhousie Wheatlands home in Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire, it was a personal challenge and one that was highly emotional. Elaine, who was moved to write about her experience in a blog, explained:

“Five years ago I lost my son to an accident at work. It should never have happened. He was my first child and just 22. He shouted goodbye that morning and never came home. I honestly thought I would die due to a broken heart. Over the last five years I’ve hit rock bottom; I’ve had every bit of mental health care and counselling that anyone could ask for. Slowly, thanks to family, friends and my work at Balhousie Care, my confidence has started to come back.

“But since the accident, one thing I’ve always said was that if miracles could happen, I would go homeless on the streets every night just to have my son David back. It’s a quote that has always stuck, so when Sleep in the Park came up, I jumped at the chance to take part.”

Said Yvonne Manson, Dementia Consultant for Balhousie Care Group and another participant:

“There are no words to describe what it was like to sleep out in the cold. It was a brutal reality but I found myself reflecting on how it was one night for us and that for many this is a daily reality. The experience is something I will never forget.”

Chloe Hunter, also a care assistant at Balhousie Wheatlands, took part for personal reasons. Chloe said:

“The hardest part for me was the cold, and I was so hungry but because I was so cold I couldn’t even feel the hunger pain. I hate to think people sleep like that every night.”

Claire Coleman, a support worker at Balhousie Orchard Court in Balbeggie, said the experience had made her think more deeply about homelessness.

“I felt sad, the fact I can come home and get heat but the homeless do not have that privilege. It actually made me feel guilty to an extent. I would definitely take more time for the homeless and consider them more,” said Claire.

There are an estimated 1500 people across Scotland sleeping rough at night, according to a report by charity Social Bite, which organised Sleep in the Park.

Taking part in the event has strengthened Balhousie’s resolve to highlight social issues such as homelessness and loneliness among its employees, residents and local communities, said Balhousie Care Group CEO Steve White. This Christmas Day, Balhousie’s 25 care homes across the north east of Scotland will work with local authorities to extend an invitation to anyone who wants to join in their festivities.

Steve, who shares his experience in a blog, ‘9000 people, 9000 reasons: the reality of Sleep in the Park’, said: “With 25 care homes in 25 local communities, we are in a perfect position to highlight social causes. As a business we’ve always been community collaborators and supporters of charity, but last Saturday’s experience at Sleep in the Park made us even more determined to do so.

“Last Saturday was a wake-up call in so many ways. After a freezing night, Tony and I resolved to up Balhousie’s game and draw attention to basic human issues. We see it as our duty, not only as successful business people but as human beings.”

Social Bite, which addresses homelessness through its cafes, restaurants and free food distribution in Scotland, hopes to raise £4m through the event. Among those who took part in the Sleep in the Park event were Bob Geldof, John Cleese, Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue and Amy Macdonald.

Balhousie is still taking donations. To support go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/balhousie-care-group

Read Steve White’s blog here: http://www.balhousiecare.co.uk/blog/blogs/9000-people-9000-reasons-the-reality-of-sleep-in-the-park

Read Elaine Smith’s experience here: http://www.balhousiecare.co.uk/blog/blogs/%E2%80%98i-said-i%E2%80%99d-go-homeless-every-night-just-to-have-my-son-back%E2%80%99

Read all the Balhousie Care Group workers’ experiences here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vcglhupw73xgav0/Balhousie%20Care%20Group%20Sleep%20in%20the%20Park%202017.zip?dl=0
To find out more about Balhousie Care Group, visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

For more information on Sleep In the Park go to: https://www.sleepinthepark.co.uk/

Balhousie Ruthven Towers Grade 6 rating

Balhousie’s Ruthven Towers gains top Care Inspectorate Rating

Staff and residents at Perthshire-based Ruthven Towers Care Home, one of 25 care homes owned by Balhousie Care Group, are celebrating the award of two top Grade 6 ratings after a recent Care Inspectorate visit.

Ruthven Towers in Auchterarder was awarded an ‘excellent’ rating of Grade 6 for both ‘Management and Leadership’ and ‘Care and Support’, after measures were introduced which saw residents, their families and staff involved in everything from policy and recruitment to activities at the home.

The Care Inspectorate was set up to inspect and regulate care services in Scotland to ensure they meet required care standards and provide users with safe, high quality services.

Assessors visited Ruthven Towers last month and assessed two of the four themes: ‘Management and Leadership’ and ‘Care and Support’. The care home received grading of 6 in each area, adding to the Grade 5 rating for ‘Environment’ that Ruthven Towers had received in a previous inspection.

The Care Inspectorate’s latest unannounced visit found that residents and their relatives spoke very highly of the quality of support provided, and that communication with the service staff and manager was excellent.

People living at Ruthven Towers and their relatives commented on the “excellent, responsive staff”, the “empathy and compassion” and the “very kind, friendly care” in looking after residents.

Ruthven Towers is “performing at an excellent level” in supporting people to identify and achieve their personal outcomes and goals, through meaningful conversations with people and their families about what is important to them.

Assessors were “very impressed” with the positive approach staff took in encouraging people to identify and access hobbies and activities of interest to them, noting that “a wide range of experiences are provided both within the care home and out and about in the local community and beyond.”They also commended the “inclusive style of the management team and their commitment to listening to the views of people to bring about positive change.”

The report concludes that the care home, which provides accommodation for up to 51 individuals, is “an extremely well run home with a management team who are committed to providing a person centred, professional service which focuses on best practice and continuous improvement.”

Manager Jozi Stables heads up 38 full- and part-time staff at Ruthven Towers. At 26, she is the youngest home manager at Balhousie Care Group. Her infectious enthusiasm for person-centred care and an energetic willingness to embrace new working methods secured her a place as a finalist in the Innovative Practice category at the Scottish Care Awards this month.

Speaking of the recent inspection, Jozi commented:

“The whole team at Ruthven Towers is absolutely delighted by the grading from the recent Care Inspectorate visit and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved by working together as a team. At Ruthven Towers, we’re dedicated to providing personalised care, which puts our residents, their relatives and our staff at the heart of what we do and they have played a massive part in helping us ensure we offer the very best care and support. It’s great for that to be have been recognised by the Care Inspectorate in their visit.”

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, added:

“This is a fantastic outcome for Ruthven Towers and a testament to the hard work of the entire team. These grades come as a result of sustained performance over a period of time and show continuous improvement and development. The staff have fully embraced Balhousie’s Participation Charter and Together We’re Great initiatives to create a care home that shows consistency in the excellent way it promotes individuality and a person-centred approach. Ruthven Towers’ Grade 6 rating is a prime example of how adopting these principles can have a positive impact on residents’ quality of life and care.”

Balhousie’s success comes at a pivotal point for the group, which is celebrating 25 years as a care home provider and 25 homes – both owned and managed – across the north east of Scotland. The group, which just recruited its first Chief Executive, Steve White, is working hard to promote person-centred care and to encourage participation of everyone – staff, residents and families – across all of its homes and head office.

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

Miniature ponies bring therapeutic benefits at Balhousie Care Group

Two miniature Shetland ponies have been spreading their love – and some therapy – after paying a visit to two generations of animal lovers.

The ‘theraponies’ visited residents of Balhousie North Inch North Grove care home in Perth this week. The elderly residents were joined by pre-school children from nearby Balhousie Nursery. Balhousie Nursery and its sister school Balhousie Primary are regular visitors to the care home, where primary school children take part in inter-generational activities.

Provided by Therapy Ponies Scotland, the miniature ponies offer therapeutic benefits to people with dementia, mobility challenges, anxiety, depression and learning difficulties. They are trained to walk beside wheelchairs, go in lifts and on stair lifts, as well as interact with people.

Louise Barnett, operations director with Balhousie Care Group, said:

“Theraponies have proven benefits for people with physical and cognitive challenges, so we jumped at the chance of this visit from Therapy Ponies Scotland. The ponies brought a big smile on the face of our residents, as well as the Balhousie Nursery children.”

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group, visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk