‘Outstanding’ care home promotes positive risk taking helping residents skydive and climb trees

This is fabulous – another example of a motto from one of my favourite managers who used to say “people come in here to live – not to die

A care home in Devon, that promotes positive risk taking such as skydiving and climbing trees, has been rated ‘outstanding’.

Credit: Mauricio Graiki/Shutterstock.com

Malden House in Sidmouth, part of Hartford Care, has been given four ‘outstanding’ ratings for its effectiveness, quality of care, responsiveness and leadership by the Care Quality Commission.

Sean Gavin, chief executive officer of Hartford Care, said: “We’ve always been really proud of the team at Malden House because they ensure the residents receive the best possible care on a daily basis.

“We are delighted this has been recognised by the recent report by CQC and I would like to congratulate the team on this outstanding achievement. This is a first for the Hartford Care Group and I am confident that Malden House will be a shining example for the rest of our care homes in the family.”

The CQC report said “staff ‘go that extra mile’ to meet residents’ needs and wishes” and use opportunities to stimulate residents’ interests and learn new hobbies, including sky diving, climbing trees and learning to play the harp.

It added: “Residents were helped to make informed choices about risk taking to live life to the full. In a discussion about making a ‘bucket list’, two residents identified an ambition to try skydiving. Staff accompanied them to visit an airfield to progress their ambition.”

CQC inspectors also praised the care home for organising visits with its local nursery Tiny Feet to develop intergenerational relationships.

Similarly, staff and relatives bring their children and grandchildren to the home each week, which prompts memories and discussions about parenting and bringing up children.

One resident was seen lying in bed with a baby in one arm and a teddy in the other. According to the report, “their huge smile showed how much they enjoyed and benefitted from the experience.”

In the report, residents, relatives and staff spoke about the ‘exceptional quality of care’ provided at Malden House.

One resident said: “I can’t tell you how well cared for I feel living here. My life is wonderful now. There’s nothing I’d change, you can’t improve on perfection.”

A member of staff added: “There is a family atmosphere here and you can’t buy or install that. It comes from the top. It’s as near a home from home as you can get. Nothing is too much trouble and everyone is treated as one of the family. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do.”

Registered manager, Agnieszka Orlowska, started her journey with Hartford Care in 2014. She said: “It has been my biggest dream and ambition to achieve this Outstanding rating. I am very proud of the whole team because they have all contributed to this achievement to provide care, comfort and companionship in an environment that is safe and happy for all.

“The Outstanding rating is proof that we provide a high level of person-centred care, so our residents can live their lives with purpose and full potential.”

The two-storey care home is registered to provide care for up to 19 older people, many of whom are living with dementia. Residents who wish to, can help around the home, such as with maintenance, repairs and with recruiting new staff.