Carer and resident having fun

Living in a care home

Our last feature-length article looked at all the ins and outs of moving into a care home. What you should bring, what you shouldn’t, what paperwork to fill out, what loose ends to tie up, everything and anything that could and should be considered when moving into a care home, all to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible. But what’s it like once you’ve moved? 


This time round we’ll have a close look at just what goes on at our care homes, from food and dining, to fun and activities. We’ll include real life examples, with quotes from current residents, reviews from loved ones, thoughts from our employees and lots of facts and figures.  




We often talk about lifestyle when we talk about our care homes. We have entire teams dedicated to the quality of our service, and it doesn’t stop at risk assessment, they are specifically tasked with making sure all of our homes are doing everything that would be expected from an outstanding care home.  


Food in a care home 


We take immense pride in the food we serve to our residents. We collaborate with suppliers to make sure that as much produce can be sourced as locally as possible to the respective home, and our kitchen teams work tirelessly to ensure that ingredients coming in are as fresh and as high-quality as possible. Every meal our residents consume is made on the day of consumption, it’s made fresh where possible, and each resident is considered and respected when it comes to dietary and special requirements. 


All of our chefs receive specialist training for conditions such as dysphasia, but they are also taught to use the highest-quality ingredients, and components associated with fine dining. Many of our chefs came to the care industry later in their careers, Michel at Burnham Lodge has run kitchens at prestigious places such as Eton College, whilst Cedric at Laurels and Pine has worked with Michelin star chefs in French bistros and specialises in baking and creating the best pastries. 


All of our food on-site is made in our well-equipped kitchens and by our restaurant team. We have head chefs at each home who study nutritional values and make sure that all allergens and menu adaptations are carried out. All residents are involved in our menu planning, how they like their food cooked, and when they like it, some people may choose to have a hot meal at lunch time and then a cold tea, or someone else could be more traditional and have a snack at lunchtime and then have a nice hot evening meal. For anyone who gets peckish outside of mealtimes, snacks and treats are available at any hour. 


Activities in a care home  


Activities in a care home setting are crucial for numerous reasons, benefiting residents’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are the key reasons why activities are important: 


  1. Enhance Physical Health


Engaging in physical activities helps maintain and improve residents’ mobility, flexibility, strength, and overall fitness. This can prevent or delay the onset of physical health issues and reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Activities such as exercise classes, gardening, or simple daily exercises can make a significant difference. 


  1. Promote Mental Stimulation


Mental activities like puzzles, games, reading, and educational programs keep residents’ minds active. This stimulation is vital for cognitive health, helping to slow down the progression of dementia and other cognitive impairments. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can improve memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. 


  1. Boost Emotional Well-being


Participating in enjoyable activities can enhance residents’ mood and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Activities provide a sense of purpose, achievement, and satisfaction. Creative pursuits like arts and crafts, music therapy, and storytelling allow residents to express themselves and experience joy. 


  1. Foster Social Interaction


Activities in a care home provide opportunities for socialising, which is crucial for preventing loneliness and isolation. Group activities, social events, and communal meals help residents build friendships, strengthen social bonds, and feel part of a community. This social interaction can greatly enhance their quality of life. 


  1. Maintain Independence and Skills


Structured activities help residents maintain their independence by preserving their ability to perform daily tasks and self-care activities. Skills-based activities, such as cooking classes or workshops, allow residents to continue practicing and honing their abilities, fostering a sense of independence and competence. 


  1. Improve Overall Quality of Life


By offering a variety of engaging and meaningful activities, care homes can significantly enhance the overall quality of life for their residents. A well-rounded activity program contributes to a vibrant, fulfilling, and happy living environment. 


  1. Provide Structure and Routine


Having a schedule of activities provides structure and routine, which is especially beneficial for residents with dementia or cognitive impairments. A predictable routine can reduce anxiety, provide a sense of stability, and help residents feel more secure in their environment. 


In summary, activities in a care home setting are essential for promoting physical health, mental stimulation, emotional well-being, social interaction, independence, and overall quality of life. They play a vital role in ensuring that residents lead fulfilling and enriched lives. 




This next section on wellbeing was written as a quote for this article by one of our regional Hospitality and Wellbeing Leads Nikki Clark.  


“Having the privilege of being a regional wellbeing lead for Hartford Care means we get to enrich the lives of our residents, aiding our activities coordinators to provide a meaningful, engaging, and empowering weekly plan. We combine all the likes and hobbies of our residents, making sure they are always involved. Our residents are at the heart of everything we do. Supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing in care homes is just as important as meeting their physical health needs. 


“Providing enriching activities and promoting an active and meaningful social life gives our residents a real sense of purpose. When we include the residents in our activities of daily living it helps to make them feel like they’re thriving within the care home, and not just existing.  


“A core principal to our work is The Activities of Daily Living, which specify essential, basic self-care tasks people need to do every day to keep themselves active both mentally and physically. From getting up in the morning, shopping and visiting local cafes or restaurants, to maintaining the garden and taking care of pets, all of these tasks contribute to daily life. Making sure our residents have all the above and more is crucial to Hartford Care’s vision and ethos. Living in a care home should be enjoyable, exciting, and a home from home experience. We are extremely proud of what we do, and we love to see how happy our residents are living within our homes.  


“All our homes have an excellent relationship with the local community and social clubs. This includes, churches, primary schools, charity organisations, toddler and mum groups, and even local business who use the homes for meetings and more. We feel it is very important to keep that link with the community, a community which many of our residents have been a part of for years.” 




We pride ourselves on caring for our residents as if they were our own family. 


The respect for our residents’ privacy, dignity and individuality is at the heart of all our care, which is why we work so closely with each of our residents and their loved ones to provide a personalised care plan. Our bespoke care plans are vital to the delivery of the best possible care that is not only appropriate but stimulating and beneficial. 


Our residential care is tailored to each individual’s needs. Whether it’s a little help with day-to-day living tasks like washing and dressing, help administering medication, or perhaps it’s a safe and friendly environment that is required – our care team are here around the clock. Our aim is to help maximise independence so our residents can continue to enjoy every single day they spend with us and, with an extensive activities schedule, entertainment and delicious home-cooked meals, there is something for everyone. 


Activities can be tailored to meet the individual preferences, needs, and abilities of each resident. Personalised activities respect residents’ past hobbies, interests, and routines, providing a sense of normalcy and comfort. This person-centered approach helps residents feel valued and understood. 


We appreciate that care doesn’t just stop at the homes and every one of our homes work with outside professionals to ensure that the needs of our residents are met. Emma Davis, Home Manager at our Springfield Care Home elaborates: 


“Our residents have access to a hairdresser who comes in every two weeks, we also have a chiropodist who comes in every two months. We can get any other services into the home if people want it, any other complimentary therapies, we can look at everyones’ personal preferences. We treat each and everyone of our residents as an individual and equally we link up people with similar interests, it really enriches the lives of our residents.” 


The homes 


One of the best things about our group of care homes is the variety on offer. In many locations across the South of England we can offer both newer, contemporary homes purpose built with care in mind, or older homes with original features and tons of character, but tastefully repurposed and redecorated to provide comfortable living spaces.  


Sales and Commissioning Manager Ben Chance said this when talking about our brand new care home Cotswolds Rise. “When you come through the front door, the first thing you notice is the grand entrance. You have the floating reception; and you have the big sweeping staircase. It has 66 beds, every room comes with their smart teles, every room comes with the en-suites, we pride ourselves that we offer everyone the experience of a double bed, which is not always the case in every care home facility. The furniture is done to a high spec and a high quality throughout the home.”  


All our homes boast meticulously designed spaces with high ceilings, expansive windows, and an abundance of natural light, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. The decor features sophisticated palettes of soothing colors, complemented by rich textures and premium finishes. Plush furnishings, designer lighting, and bespoke artwork enhance the aesthetic appeal, ensuring that every corner of our homes exudes opulence and refinement. Every detail has been thoughtfully curated to provide the utmost in comfort and convenience for our residents. 


At our care homes, we offer beautifully designed tranquil garden settings that provide a serene retreat for our residents. These meticulously landscaped gardens, filled with lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and shady trees, offer a peaceful space for relaxation and rejuvenation. Residents can enjoy morning strolls, reading under leafy canopies, or quiet moments of reflection. The therapeutic benefits of nature, including reduced stress and improved mood, are complemented by opportunities for gardening activities, bird watching, and simply soaking in the natural beauty. 


Our gardens also foster social interaction and community, with cozy seating areas and gazebos perfect for family visits and social gatherings. Fully accessible pathways ensure that all residents can safely enjoy the gardens, and seasonal plantings provide year-round beauty and interest. These tranquil spaces reflect our commitment to providing a nurturing and enriching environment, allowing residents to experience the healing power of nature every day. 


Care home employees  


We’ve looked at many different aspects of what life is like in our care homes, but the best has been saved for last and to conclude this blog, and that is our employees. All of our employees receive the highest level of training to carry out their tasks, and often above and beyond what is needed to ensure that our residents receive the best possible care. But it’s not just the fantastic skills taught to our employees that make a difference, during the interview process for any role we employ, be it a housekeeper or director of finance, the hiring manager is looking first-and-foremost for qualities of the character of applicants. We want every team member to be a caring person who genuinely wants to help people, kindness matters at Hartford Care, it is a value which cannot be undersold, and it shines through when our residents talk about our employees. 


One of our residents at Harlow Hall, Mary spoke recently about the team who work there “the staff are very good, they look after us beautifully, we’ve got every modern convenience you could think of. The staff are wonderful, I mean they’re really good, always helpful if you want anything and I get plenty to eat, the quality is excellent. You couldn’t better the staff.” Joy, a resident at Hartford Court adds “People are by-and-large very nice, very friendly, willing to help, easy to talk to, it’s lovely. They’re in and out and talk to you, they’re just so friendly, it’s wonderful.” 


Hopefully this has given an insight into what life is like living in a Hartford Care home. To learn more about the care we provide, please visit our care pages

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