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Family, friends and neighbours joined residents and team members at the community on Sunday 23rd June, as Knutsford Star Choir performed in the surrounding gardens.

A wide range of complimentary food, soft drinks, Pimms and champagne was provided for guests as they enjoyed the musical performance, which was in aid of Knutsford Star Choir’s chosen charities Multiple Sclerosis and Water Aid.

The performance saw the community play its own part in the Knutsford Music Festival, which was launched in 2017 as a community music initiative led by Knutsford Town Council. It brings together venues across Knutsford to create a weekend of musical events across a range of genres and bring the community together.

The festival, which took place from 20th-23rd June, also included a variety of fringe events hosted by local businesses around the town centre which ran for the entire three days.

For more information, contact Sunrise of Mobberley on 01565 743071.

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One of Sunrise of Chorleywood’s special volunteers is Marion Pitman who is 89 years young. She has been volunteering with the Activities Team, which is overseen by Carol Elligott at Sunrise of Chorleywood for the past 11 years.

Marion comes in to volunteer at Sunrise of Chorleywood whenever she can as she maintains a very busy and active life.  On her visits to Sunrise of Chorleywood she delivers the Daily Sparkle magazine to each resident personally and joins in with the drama script reading sessions.

Marion also spends time with residents, talking to them and reminiscing about the good old days. She is especially good at taking the new residents under her wing and ensuring that all the residents are happy and entertained.

Marion’s diverse and extensive resume gives her the skills to be a versatile volunteer for Sunrise of Chorleywood. As a fellow retiree she is able to connect with the residents and brings joy to the people’s lives she touches. Her colleagues find her an invaluable member of the team and one said they would “be lost without her”.

Marion has had an adventurous career and life, at the age of 21 she moved from Canada to London. Upon her arrival Marion took up a wide array of jobs as a Club Promoter, Actress, Copy Typist, Media Manager, and Media Director. Marion’s wide array of jobs lead her to meet the publishers of the Daily Mail where she was asked to form a marketing company for them called Associated Poster Marketing.

Marion’s exploratory spirit continued on after she retired from her momentous career in 1988. She then began to pursue her love for travel. She has since then gone on many cruises over the last 31 years of her retirement and has visited a total of 64 countries throughout her life.

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On the first Friday of every month, the Sunrise of Westbourne hosts its Anticipation Club to encourage residents to try a new hobby, visit a place they’ve always wanted to go or learn a new skill. Residents are invited to write their wish on a piece of paper and put it in the community’s wishing well before team members help them to make it come true.

Resident Jean Bayley, who is 80 this year, moved into Sunrise of Westbourne nearly a year ago. Following a hip operation, Jean’s mobility was severely impaired, and it was unlikely that she would Ski again. A lifelong skier, Jean loved family skiing holidays in the French Alps and was instrumental in helping her grandchildren to learn the skill.

It was therefore Jean’s wish that she skied again.

Jean, who lives with Alzheimer’s, was supported by her family and their positivity as a plan was hatched to help her to make the journey to the Alps once again. Over the Easter holidays, Jean was driven to her much-loved village of Châtel, with family members flying in from Florida and Amsterdam to share a chalet for the week.

A Handi Ski was hired with an experienced ski Guide to take Jean on the Ski runs and ski lifts with the whole of her family skiing with her so that Jean was able to experience the thrill of the runs that she was used to frequent for over 30 years. Jean was able to ski once again alongside her granddaughters, great-grandson and great-granddaughter, as well as her sons and daughter, which moved her to tears of  joy more than once.

Wendy Blow, Senior Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Westbourne, said:

“Everyone at Sunrise was delighted to support Jean in making her very special wish come true, despite their initial disbelief.

“Jean is a very determined lady and her entire family were behind her. With her granddaughter being a paramedic and husband a practicing orthopaedic surgeon, along with other family members trained in care, we were confident that nothing could possibly go wrong!

“It was particularly lovely to see Sunrise’s carers get involved with helping Jean to practice putting on and taking off her ski goggles before she left for the slopes. We look forward to helping many more residents be granted their wishes.”

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Residents at the care community were visited by local schoolchildren as they taught the seniors to play the ukulele during dedicated music lessons organised by Front Row Music, a music education company providing lessons in over 80 primary schools across Greater Manchester.

The project, which ran every Saturday for four weeks, has been funded by Seedbed Trust, an organisation bringing children being worked with in schools together with residents in care communities to interact with each other and build a connection through music.

Sessions took place in the Activities Lounge at Sunrise of Bramhall, a space dedicated to encouraging enriching and interactive activities for residents across the community.

Residents enjoyed the opportunity to learn a new musical skill during the intergenerational project, which aimed to develop the social and emotional skills of the children involved whilst giving Sunrise’s residents the opportunity to enjoy a fun and engaging activity.

Lina Baker, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Bramhall, said:

“These music sessions offered a brilliant opportunity to our residents to take part in a truly engaging and inspirational project.

“Having both residents and local schoolchildren work together not only taught our residents a new skill, but saw everyone involved benefit from each other’s enthusiasm, knowledge and attitudes as they interreacted with one another. We look forward to working with local schools and charities to develop similar opportunities across our care community in the near future.”


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Val’s endeavour started simply as a hobby and a way to be creative and has become increasingly popular with the residents and families of Sunrise of Cardiff. Therefore, Val decided to start collecting donations for the cards to put towards charity that aims to find a cure for a condition that affects so many people in later life.

Val moved into Sunrise of Cardiff in March of last year with her husband Arnold, however, Arnold sadly passed away at the start of this year. The couple were married for almost 59 years and Val has plenty of stories about their time together and their family which she regularly shares with staff and fellow residents.

As a young couple, Val and Arnold had children and Val would write poetry for them, based on the past, present and thoughts of the future. When Arnold was 21 he was posted to Hong Kong for 2 years and 9 months as a member of the army. Val would write to him daily and would sometimes make up poems to send to him.

Once Val moved into Sunrise of Cardiff, she joined their poetry group and wrote pieces to read out to the group each week.  On talking to Diane McCracken Sunrise of Cardiff’s Activities Co-Ordinator,  Val decided to put together a book full of her poetry and illustrations to accompany them. Sunrise of Cardiff are in the throes of publishing this book and the final version of this will be coming out soon. Val will be dedicating this book to Arnold.

Elisabeth May, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Cardiff, said:

“Val is such a sweet, lovely and chatty resident and it’s a pleasure to be working with her to produce her book of poems. The money she is raising for charity is such a kind thing to do and her fellow residents are so supportive of her creativity and efforts to fund raise for the Alzheimer’s Society.”

Val Dewey, a resident at Sunrise of Cardiff, has a passion for art and poetry and has started creating boxes filled with handmade cards for all occasions to raise money for charity. So far, Val’s venture has raised just over £50, which is all going toward the Alzheimer’s Society’s research into dementia. Val also has a book of poetry and artwork coming out soon, and the proceeds from this will also be donated to Alzheimer’s research

Val’s endeavour started simply as a hobby and a way to be creative and has become increasingly popular with the residents and families of Sunrise of Cardiff. Therefore, Val decided to start collecting donations for the cards to put towards charity that aims to find a cure for a condition that affects so many people in later life.

Val moved into Sunrise of Cardiff in March of last year with her husband Arnold, however, Arnold sadly passed away at the start of this year. The couple were married for almost 59 years and Val has plenty of stories about their time together and their family which she regularly shares with staff and fellow residents.

As a young couple, Val and Arnold had children and Val would write poetry for them, based on the past, present and thoughts of the future. When Arnold was 21 he was posted to Hong Kong for 2 years and 9 months as a member of the army. Val would write to him daily and would sometimes make up poems to send to him. 

Once Val moved into Sunrise of Cardiff, she joined their poetry group and wrote pieces to read out to the group each week.  On talking to Diane McCracken Sunrise of Cardiff’s Activities Co-Ordinator,  Val decided to put together a book full of her poetry and illustrations to accompany them. Sunrise of Cardiff are in the throes of publishing this book and the final version of this will be coming out soon. Val will be dedicating this book to Arnold.

Elisabeth May, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Cardiff, said:

“Val is such a sweet, lovely and chatty resident and it’s a pleasure to be working with her to produce her book of poems. The money she is raising for charity is such a kind thing to do and her fellow residents are so supportive of her creativity and efforts to fund raise for the Alzheimer’s Society.”

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Residents, team members, families, neighbours and local care professionals were all invited to join the community on 10 May for an afternoon tea party that celebrated the partnership.

The project, which is exploring the impact of tactile and sensory objects for people living with dementia, is a partnership between Sunrise Senior Living, NHS and Cardiff Metropolitan University and funded by the Welsh Government under the European Regional Development Fund scheme. This project will evaluate one of the playful objects developed at the university over the last three years as part of the LAUGH project (www.laughproject.info).

HUG is a soft multi-sensory comforting device with weighted hands and feet, an electronic heartbeat, as well as the ability to play music and sound, and is designed for people with more advanced symptoms of dementia. Nominated for an award at the UK Dementia Care Awards last year, it aims to soothe and provide comfort to older adults facing the various behavioural and emotional challenges associated with memory loss.

The project entered its six-month implementation phase in mid-May and 20 HUGs have been made available to 20 residents in Sunrise of Cardiff’s Memory Care Neighbourhood, a dedicated space in the care community for those living with dementia. Researchers will track data to see if the device improves wellbeing.

As part of the project, a group of women looking to develop new skills for future employment or start up their own business were brought together to learn fabric manufacturing techniques from the team at Cardiff Metropolitan. Working together, the group helped to make the HUGs as part of support provided by the organisation Purple Shoots, who offer loans, guidance and training to people who are unemployed or on a low income and looking to start their own business. Those involved will be attending the launch event at Sunrise along with Karen Davies, Director of Purple Shoots.

If you would like any more information, you can get in touch with Sunrise of Cardiff on 02921 675060.

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This comprehensive opportunity for professional development offered to Sunrise’s nursing team, the programme continues to lead the field after previously receiving accreditation in 2016 and 2017 from what is the world’s largest nursing union and professional body.

This Programme is available to Deputy Managers, Care Leaders as well as our senior nursing team members who are looking to develop into leadership roles working in Sunrise Senior Living UK’s 25 communities across the UK.

The programme exists to ensure that the staff responsible for leading the provision of care and nursing in Sunrise communities have the expertise and skills needed to champion clinical governance as well as providing them with the continual support throughout their career to ensure they build skills for the longer term.

After starting in 2014,  the programme continues to be and reviewed to ensure it is relevant and up to date with changes in practice and that it meets with the learning outcomes required and over the past five years continues delivering to Sunrise’s high standards of excellence in care.

All team members who take part in the training have also benefited from its focus on Continuing Professional Development (CPD), including the opportunity it offers to team members to develop individual objectives and reflect upon their role and journey. The RCN’s accreditation means that the programme has been found to comply with the body’s standards of excellence and best practice promoted across the country.

Dawn Buchanan-Hole, Learning and Development Manager at Sunrise Senior Living UK, said:

“We are thrilled that the RCN has decided to grant our Clinical Development and Leadership training programme re-accreditation for the third time in formal recognition of its success. Like the RCN, we at Sunrise are committed to offering lifelong learning opportunities to care leaders and deputy leaders across the organisation.

“The care sector can only benefit from the strengthening of CPD opportunities and workforce training. Our programme is designed to guide our employees to create a culture of continuous improvement and committed care to every single individual in our communities. We look forward to continuing to offer the course to future cohorts and seeing it go from strength to strength.”

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In 2012, in partnership with the UK Health Department the government released guidelines on increasing vitamin D intake, with a specific focus on “at risk” groups.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey has concluded that up to 1/5 of adults and 24% children are thought to be low in vitamin D. Soon enough, the National Institute of Clinical Evidence (NICE) were issued to improve health outcomes. Whilst advice had already been issued since 1991 on the benefits of Vitamin D on bone health, a greater awareness of the true extent of the issue has been revealed.

So, who would we define as “being at risk?” and in need of supplements?

These groups include:

  • People over the age of 65
  • Infants under the age of 4
  • People who have low or no exposure to sunlight
  • People with darker skin
  • Those on special diets, such as those avoiding nuts, fish or dairy

What exactly is Vitamin D?

Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin D is a precursor to a hormone which the skin converts for use in the body. It is a nutrient made by our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight, it and is essential to overall health. Vitamin D works with phosphorus – another essential mineral in the body and we need Vitamin D to absorb calcium.

We also need magnesium to convert Vitamin D, as well as zinc for correct utilisation. We also can receive Vitamin D from body sources, as well as foods including oily fish, egg yolks, milk and some fortified cereals. But you would need to eat two to four servings of wild salmon per day to correct any deficiency, as well as one portion to meet just the basic recommendations for health maintenance!

So, when we can’t get a full quota of vitamin D from our food, we rely on Vitamin D stores in the body. Whilst we cannot look at Vitamin D in isolation, as with any aspect of health, we may need to pay slightly more attention to the vitamin in order to ensure we’re gaining enough.

What do supplements have to do with it?

Like any product, the quality of Vitamin D differs in supplements. There are 2 forms of Vitamin D: D2 and D3. It’s important to recognise that D3 is more readily absorbed by the body.

What happens to the body when we have a Vitamin D deficiency?

Recommended dietary allowances (RDAs), the amount of a nutrient considered necessary for the maintenance of good health, were originally introduced to protect soldiers against deficiency. Nevertheless, they still have a very important role to play today.

Vitamin D deficiency carries many health risks, including: rickets, osteoporosis (fragile bones), brittle bone disease and general aches and pains.

Signs and symptoms of a deficiency can include getting sick often, fatigue and tiredness, bone, back and muscle pain and impaired wound healing. Essentially, it’s so important to do all you can to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D!

No matter your age, boosting your Vitamin D exposure is something that your body (and bones) will surely thank you for.

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The award came after the community, which provides high quality, personalised nursing, dementia care and assisted living, successfully completed the GSF Care Homes Reaccreditation Assessment, which recognised its sustained practice to maintain the framework.

It is a further achievement for Sunrise of Westbourne, who were recently proud to receive an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and the GSF rating is further acknowledgment that Sunrise of Westbourne demonstrates excellence in care.

The accreditation process included the inspection of twenty clear standards of best practice of care for residents nearing the end of life. Judges, including independent experts from across the national care sector, evaluated the care of residents using the After-Death Analysis Audit Tool and Quality Assessment Visit framework. Measuring standards including internal and external communication, person centred care and a dementia-friendly environment, the panel awarded Sunrise of Westbourne full marks across the board.

The community received particular recognition of high standards in implementing a clearly documented process of best interest discussion for every resident and their friends and family. In their report, judges determined that considering the individual preferences and needs of each individual meant that “discussions are used to ensure person centred care” and “improve quality of life.”

Judges also found that Sunrise of Westbourne has a “clear recognition of the emotional needs of residents” and that there are “effective arrangements for residents to have meaningful social interaction with others,” ensuring that the social care and emotional wellbeing of each individual is consistently considered and enhanced. Throughout their time at Sunrise of Westbourne, “the wishes of residents are considered” and “compassionate dignity-enhancing care” is always offered to them.

James Glanville, General Manager of Sunrise of Westbourne, said:

“Everyone at Sunrise of Westbourne is absolutely honoured to receive the Hallmark Award with Platinum status from the GSF. Sunrise of Westbourne is the last place so many wonderful individuals will call home and we are committed to creating meaningful memories for all residents and their families.

“This award is fantastic recognition of the hard work and dedication of our team of carers, who go above and beyond to put our residents at the centre of everything we do, and we are so very proud.”

Sunrise of Westbourne will be now be showcased by the GSF as an example of best practice to encourage and inspire other care homes to offer excellent care to all those nearing the end of life.

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The dementia cafes were previously run by Alzheimer’s Society Solihull, however, due to a lack of funding, the charity had to close two local cafés. Sunrise of Solihull met with Alzheimer’s Society and asked if they could take over the sessions to ensure their hard work continued.  Thanks to their support, advice and help communicating the change of venue, Sunrise of Solihull launched their first café last week and received great feedback.

The first meeting was held at Sunrise on Thursday 4th April and these sessions will continue to run on the first Thursday of every month from 10:30am until 12:30pm. The next one takes place on Thursday 2nd May, beginning at 10:30am.

The dementia café is a free, friendly support service for anyone with a diagnosis of dementia, anyone experiencing memory loss and awaiting a diagnosis or those who are concerned about their memory. The café also welcomes the carer’s and family members of those living with the condition. The café is in a welcoming, relaxed setting where people can share any fears, concerns or ask questions.

The regular sessions are an important social group where those affected by dementia, and their carers, can meet in a warm environment and share experiences, receive support and, importantly, get involved with dementia focused activities. The sessions involve a friendly welcome with refreshments from 10:30am, a structured activity 11am – 12pm (for example; an entertainer, a quiz, discussion or guest speaker) then final refreshments and goodbyes 12pm – 12:30pm.

The meetings will take place in their Activities Lounge of Sunrise of Solihull community, and the team will also be introducing another session on the fourth Monday of every month – with the first taking place on Monday 27th May, also from 10:30am – 12:30pm. An opportunity for people to join this meeting if they can’t attend at the beginning of the month.

Jo Hopkins, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Solihull, said:

We are really pleased that we have been able to support the local Alzheimer’s Society group and host the dementia cafés at our community. These meetings are so important and really do benefit a lot of people. We look forward to welcoming all that attend – we are here to support you.”

These gatherings are offered as a free event, with no appointment needed. To find out more or ask a question, please call Jo Hopkins on 0121 752 9211. Free parking is available on site with additional overflow parking at the Village Hotel next door.

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