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Redefining Eldercare:Four Season Care Homes

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Assisted living and long term nursing for the elderly is one of the rapidly growing issues in various countries. As people grow old and retire, children are not always able to care for them, especially in light of hectic work schedules, the need for migration, increasing prices of healthcare, and so on. In such cases, it is best for senior citizens to live in their own little community. That is where retirement homes come into the picture. These places provide a way for the aged to form a social circle and live amongst people of their own age group. Being socially active and keeping one’s mind sharp and alert in old age has proven to have numerous health benefits and are shown to promote an overall state of mental and physical wellness.

Four Season Health care offers community homes for the elderly, a place for them to spend their twilight years leading quality and dignified life. Its homes are more than just places of care and everyday living support. They’re also thriving communities in which each person feels part of the life of the home. Listening to residents is one of the most important things that caregivers at Four Seasons Health Care do each day so that the company can truly get to know them. The staff always pays special attention to people’s stories ─ because places filled with stories and warmth are places that everyone is happy to call home.

Four Seasons has a national network of more than 250 care homes with 20,000 staff providing specialist dementia and nursing care to more than 14,000 people. It is an international leader in dementia care and a major contributor to advances in best practice. Its specialist Dementia Care Framework significantly improves the well-being of people living with dementia while reducing their requirement for medications. Four Seasons provides long-term nursing care; intermediate care to avoid admission to hospital or enable speedier discharge; respite care and palliative nursing. Everyone living in a Four Seasons home has a personalized care plan designed to meet their individual health and social care needs that are based on an understanding of their unique life story and takes account of their interests and preferences.

Four Seasons also offers rehabilitation and re-ablement for those who have a health setback and just need time to recover. Its mental health and learning disability communities also support individuals to lead independent lives through empowering environments, understanding teams and holistic care plans.

The staff is also trained to use exclusive technology to continuously improve residents’ day-to-day experiences through the Quality of Life Programme. As well as medication dosage, dietary needs, and mobility, the system also captures residents’ wants, wishes, and preferences, alongside feedback from relatives and professionals. This information is immediately available to Home Managers and their teams, complementing the normal face-to-face conversations of each day.

Through its Home to Home Promise, the company supports new residents and their families to make the move into a care home as relaxed and easy as possible. After all, feeling well looked after, comfortable and ready to start a new chapter in life is as much about creating a sense of home as it is about providing good quality care.

Life at a Four Seasons Care Home

Life is all about relationships. And they remain just as important in our later years, helping to enrich each day and make it more rewarding.

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When each new resident arrives in one of Four Season’s care homes they become part of a new circle that includes not only their own family and friends but also other residents, nurses, careers and support team. It’s the blending of all these relationships that helps to fill each resident’s daily experience with new friendships, good company and a sense of family.

Retire Homes filled with stories

Listening to residents is one of the most important things about the staff’s daily efforts so that they can truly get to know patients. The nurses explore people’s different characters, likes and dislikes and always pay special attention to people’s stories ─ because places filled with stories and warmth are places that everyone is happy to call home.

All homes offer a choice of lively communal areas and quieter rooms for a spot of reading or following a hobby. Most also have secure and attractive gardens with patio seating areas where residents can enjoy time with their visitors during the warmer months. The more green-fingered among the staff are also encouraged to help out with the planting when the mood takes them.

Another way to help residents to feel at home is for them to do familiar things. So the dedicated Activities Leaders at Four Seasons gently encourage residents to carry on doing things they enjoy. If someone had a hobby or pastime they did before they arrived, they’ll be encouraged to continue it with. Or perhaps they may like to learn something new.

The important thing is that every resident is treated as an individual. If they enjoy sharing time with others, either at the home or on an organized trip out, they’re most welcome. Or, if they prefer quiet time alone, we’ll respect that too.

Healthy and scrumptious food   

There’s nothing quite like traditional home cooking to give everyone a lift.

Four seasons always asks residents and their families about their food preferences and dietary requirements. The chef and catering team then work with dieticians to create meals that are nutritious and tasty, using fresh seasonal ingredients.

To add more variety, the company also makes a point of celebrating with special meals and events throughout the year. Residents can be served in a pleasant restaurant-style dining room or, if they prefer, they can take their meals in the privacy of their own rooms.

Additionally, all homes have in-house hair salons or visiting hairdressers while some also have their own nail bars. Caregivers would also be pleased to arrange chiropody and a range of other therapies ─ all to help add a little more of the feel-good factor.

Quality and Regulation

One of the company’s core beliefs is that care is something they do with and for people, not "to" them. The staff properly assesses the needs of each person before they come to stay and continue to assess their needs on a regular basis so they can always provide the most appropriate care.

The most important measure of any home is feedback from residents, their families and visiting health professionals. That’s why Four Seasons has introduced its unique Quality of Life Programme to enable it to listen to residents every day, and help deliver the type of care experience they want. This system notifies if the home is meeting desired expectations, and allows professionals to immediately respond to any issues that may crop up.

Moreover, there are regulatory bodies in the UK that conduct inspections and give care homes quality ratings. In England, Four Season’s homes are inspected by the Care Quality Commission, in Scotland by the Care Inspectorate, in Wales by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, and in Northern Ireland by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

Neurological Care and Rehabilitation

At Four Seasons Health Care support is offered for adults with complex physical disabilities or health needs resulting from a range of neurological conditions. The services include short or long-term rehabilitation options, respite breaks, or long-term home environments.

Each individual is supported by a key worker to help review their therapeutic goals, independence skills, and ‘whole life’ aspirations. Through services and supportive environments, Four Seasons empowers people to reach their potential and be involved in their community.

Supportive living environments

All the homes have been specially designed to promote independence and enable people to live full lives through:

- Rehabilitation rooms equipped for physiotherapy and occupational therapies.

- Robust surroundings suitable for people who use wheelchairs with accessible outdoor gardens and patios.

- Dedicated dining, living and activity areas with variable height seating to prevent pressure ulcers.

- Stairs with grab handrails, electric profiling beds with adjustable heights and at least one room with a Jacuzzi bath.

- Support for patients with bariatric care needs.

Specialist teams

All of the professionals in each of the homes with neurological care and rehabilitation services have completed specialist training, including understanding neurological conditions and the promotion of independence.

The teams at each home also have access to in-reach nurses who will provide best practice guidance and advice for specific neurological conditions and neuropsychiatry, offering additional support.

Four Seasons also works closely with local health and social care community teams to arrange assessments and plan for appropriate and timely hospital discharges. Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Pharmacology services are regularly available through proactive partnerships working with NHS Trust and Independent, third sector, providers.

Learning Disabilities

Four Seasons’ learning disability communities are set within a separate residential and nursing care homes in a relaxed, welcoming and safe environment. This allows specially trained teams to give the right amount of support and create a responsive, empowering service.

The programmes at Four Seasons provide opportunities for individuals to engage in meaningful activity, lifelong learning and develop skills for work to help build their confidence and self-esteem. Residents are further encouraged independence through building social networks in the service and the local community. Where individuals experience distressed reactions to the environment or other people,  the nursing staff at each of the homes use positive behavioral support techniques to understand their challenges and reduce the intensity and duration of their distress.

The professionals at Four Seasons are always listening to ways in which they can improve services. The individuals supported can use best practice forums to inform how the service is run while family and friends can give feedback to teams using freely available iPads in each of the homes.

Four Seasons advocates on resident’s behalf support self-advocacy and have created health passports that accompany each individual to hospital appointments to ensure continuity of care. The door is always open to give friendly advice and provides you with the opportunity to look around so you can get peace of mind and feel more prepared for the next steps.

Meet the pioneering leader behind Four Seasons Health Care, Tim Hammond

Tim has a track record in both healthcare and the service and hospitality sectors. He was formerly Chief Executive of Elior UK and prior to that, managing director of Barchester Healthcare. His career has also included senior management positions at Unilever, the consumer goods manufacturer; McKinsey & Co, management consultants and Whitbread the hospitality group, where he was Managing Director of TGI Fridays.

He is a trustee of Age UK and a member of the Malnutrition Task Force, a group of experts who have joined together to address the problem of malnutrition in older people.

Tim Hammond delivered a successful growth strategy at Elior UK which led to it being recognized as one of the "Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies To Work For".

“Four Seasons is the largest independent social-care provider in the United Kingdom”

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