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Some of our favourite autumn recipes 
The colder months are well and truly upon us, and as the winter frost sets in, so does our desire for all things warming and delicious.

Our talented team have two delicious recipes that are perfect to prepare when the family is coming over for dinner, or you want to treat visiting friends to a tasty homemade treat.

Studies have shown that the fatty acids found in salmon contribute to healthy brain function, as well as the wellbeing of the heart and joints, making it the perfect fish to enjoy in our older years. Our Salmon en Croute is the perfect autumnal dish, serve with roasted new potatoes and sautéed greens for the perfect family supper.

Serves approx. 5 people

55g unsalted butter
3 large shallots
100g washed spinach leaves 
450g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 
675g salmon fillets, skinned and sliced 
1 lemon, juice only 
1 large bunch fresh dill 
1 tbsp olive oil 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Splash of white wine
1 large free-range egg, beaten 
550g frozen puff pastry 

1. Put half the butter in to a frying pan and heat until foaming 

2. Add finely chopped shallots and fry until golden brown 

3. Add mushrooms and fry until slightly cooked. Add spinach then take off the heat and set aside 

4. Put salmon in a bowl and combine with lemon juice, dill, olive oil, salt and pepper 

5. Roll out the pastry until it’s a few millimetres thick, spoon the shallot, mushroom and spinach mixture on to the pastry and spread evenly 

6. Place the salmon (juices discarded) in a row, just off centre, on top of the shallot, mushroom and spinach mixture 

7. Sprinkle white wine over salmon and dot the remaining butter over 

8. Roll the whole thing up tightly (like a sausage roll), and coat in egg wash 

9. Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown

10. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving 

Chocolate brownies are the perfect sweet treat all year round and a definite crowd pleaser! Serve with winter berries and a scoop of ice cream for a delicious dessert that the whole family will love. 

Makes approx. 20 portions
462g unsalted butter
462g good quality dark chocolate
212g plain flour
100g cocoa powder
125g milk chocolate
7 large eggs
687g golden caster sugar 

1. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water

2. Beat the sugar and eggs together until the mixture starts to thinking and look creamy

3. Once the chocolate has melted and cooled, gently fold with the egg and sugar mix, trying not to knock the air out.

4. Sieve in the flour and cocoa powder, break the milk chocolate and gently combine until it forms an even colour and consistency

5. Pour the mix into lined baking trays, about 1 ½ inches deep

6. Cook in oven for approx. 25 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius

7. Leave to cool before portioning and serving 

Children in care homes: a good idea?
Deciding whether or not to bring young children to visit a loved one in a care home can be a difficult decision. Some parents may not think it’s appropriate for their little ones to be in a care setting. 

However, there have been many studies about the benefits of the older and younger generation socialising. Much like Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, young children visiting care homes can usually have a positive impact on residents emotional, social and physical wellbeing.  

We welcome visitors with open arms at Fernhill House, and that includes children too! If your loved one has recently moved in to a care home and you want to take your children to visit them, consider the following: 

Explain the situation
It’s always a good idea to sit and explain to your child about why their loved one has moved in to a care home, especially if they have never visited a home before. Try getting them to think of it as a lovely big house, filled with lots of new friends and plenty for your loved one to do, so it doesn’t sound boring or scary! 

Prepare them for what they might see
If they’re old enough to understand, you may need to explain that there are lots of people living at the care home and some of the people living there might be unwell. It’s always best to prepare them so they don’t feel uneasy about what they see or hear. People living with dementia often have bad days, so if your loved one has dementia you may want to explain that their relative may be acting a bit different than usual, but it’s still the same person that they know and love. 

Give them things to do
It’s no secret that children can get bored easily, so making sure your little one has something to do to keep them occupied is a great way of making them feel comfortable. Bring some of their favourite toys along so they can play, or some colouring or a board game so your loved one can join in too. 

Elderly and Halloween - making your loved ones feel safe
Once a year the shelves are stocked with sweets and scary costumes, all in preparation for Halloween. It’s a day that lots of people enjoy, but it’s also a worrying day for some, especially the older community.

Strangers knocking at the door, mostly dressed up or wearing masks, even sometimes showing threatening behaviour – it’s no wonder that Halloween can bring an evening of anxiousness to the older generation. 

There are lots of ways to ensure the safety of your loved one, especially if they are living on their own. Here are just some of the things you can do: 

No decorations, no knocking
Many towns now abide by the ‘no decorations, no knocking’ rule, so make sure that the front door is free of any pumpkins or decorations, that way people know that you do not want to be disturbed. 

Safety first
Put the door chain on or use the door spy hole to see who is there before opening the door. If you don’t feel safe opening the door, then keep it closed, you are not obliged to open the door for anyone. 

Put a note asking people not to knock
Much like the no decorations rule, it’s a good idea to put a sign on the door kindly asking trick or treaters to stay away. You can make your own or look for a template online. 

Be at your loved one’s side
If your elderly loved one wants to get involved in the festivities, then make sure someone is with them to answer the door and avoid any unnecessary stress, especially if the trick-or-treaters are in large groups. 

No more sweets
Put a sign on the door saying ‘no more sweets’ once you have run out, so people know to no longer knock. 

Don’t leave someone living with dementia on their own
If your loved one is living with dementia, don’t leave them on their own, sit with them or invite them out for a welcome distraction. Unwelcome people knocking at the door can be incredibly frightening and confusing for somebody living with dementia. 

They may sound like very simple tips, but they are all ways to help your loved one feel safe, something that is of the upmost importance.

Like all national days, celebrations and events, our team will carefully plan tasteful, fun and engaging activities around Halloween. If you want to know how you can join, just give u a call or send us an email.

How we use technology at Fernhill House
It’s no secret that technology is becoming more advanced.  

With the launch of artificial intelligence devices such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Home, it is now easier than ever to turn your house into a ‘Smart Home’ to help you get on with your daily life, but what does this growth in advanced technology mean for people living in our care homes? 

Internet savvy older people
According to the Office for National Statistics  80% of 65 to 74-year-olds are frequent internet users, so it’s no wonder that the elderly community have taken to a bit of internet surfing. Our homes are completely Wi-Fi accessible, and with the use of touch screen devices such as iPads, it’s becoming a lot easier for residents to use their new tech-savvy skills to keep in touch with friends and family, via video call, email or even social media. 

What we already offer
To support our teams and ensure the wellbeing of residents at all times, we utilise a range of industry-leading technologies. 

Electronic care and medication management software efficiently records key information at the point of delivery. These innovations allow our teams to spend more quality time with our residents, improve analysis, create alerts and allow information to be shared with loved ones using the secure family portal.  

We also use acoustic technology, which monitors residents’ wellbeing during the night without the need to undertake intrusive periodic room checks. Care teams are able to respond quickly to the needs of our residents whilst helping them to get a good night’s sleep.  

We have also introduced Tovertafel to our homes. A projection technology that shines light-based objects on to the table, residents and their loved ones can play with the projections on the table, all of which respond to movement and touch. 

What’s next?
Artificial intelligence is something that is constantly developing, with ground breaking trials currently being undertaken in the US, where a robot has been created to help nurses with simple logistical tasks, such as the gathering of medical equipment and refilling supply rooms. 

Also, in Japan, the government is aiming to fill a gap in the nursing workforce by introducing robotics to aid elderly people. Smart technology and apps changing the way we look after ourselves too, with applications such as Kaia, that aims to help back pain sufferers, also internet-connected socksenable you to be treated by a doctor from anywhere in the world. 

Technology may change quickly, but we’re constantly looking at ways we can use industry-leading tech to support the wellbeing of our residents.

The Importance of Hobbies for the Older Generation
Hobbies have always been important for the older generation, be it a form of exercise or arts and crafts. And favourite past times may now be known as a replacement for medication, thanks to something the Health Secretary is calling ‘social prescribing’. 

Matt Hancockhas called for GPs to prescribe hobbies to patients with the aim to steer away from automatically prescribing painkillers and antidepressants if a person is stressed, depressed or suffering from chronic pain – the aim is to offer them activities that can reduce loneliness and improve their health. 

Our home provides an abundance of hobbies that your loved one can explore during their stay. Be it learning something new, or carrying on doing something that they already love, our social calendar offers a huge array of choice to suit all our residents. 

We have beautiful gardens that have been designed to offer a tranquil space for your loved ones. Green-fingered residents are able to continue their love of gardening with plenty of accessible planters and raised beds. We encourage our residents to be as physically active as possible, so whether it’s a spot of gardening or seated exercise, a spot of dancing or a skittles competition; there’s plenty of ways to keep moving every day. This light type of regular exercise not only improves physical development, but also helps improve cognitive and fine motor skills. 

Away from the physical activities, we also offer clubs that keep socialising at the forefront, which can drastically reduce depression in the older generation. From choirs to bridge tournaments, not only do these clubs keep the brain focused and the mind active, but they offer an important social aspect where residents can socialise and make new friends. 

For something that requires a little more concentration, our painting classes and craft afternoons provide a welcome source of calming therapy, and no matter what your ability, there is always the chance to create something beautiful! 

For more information about the daily activities we have to offer, just ask at reception or call us on 01905 679300.