Silver Oaks Residential Care Home - “A historic and loving care home in Whitwick"
Five years on and Silver Oaks is going from strength to strength. After opening it’s doors back in February 2012 the home has flourished and is about to add a revolutionary new home care service to its offering, aptly named ‘The Silver Service’.
From the first resident to a full house, the journey of Silver Oaks has been one of constant challenge, enjoyment, investment and lessons learnt. Julie and the team at Silver Oaks are doing what comes naturally by creating a truly person centred approach to care, referenced daily by the decisions the residents make about the place they live; from the time they get up to the menu choices available, through to what should be grown in the garden and where they should go on day trips. Everything is centred around the individual which is a constant challenge but one that sets Silver Oaks apart as a true home from home.
It has the charm of any thatched roofed grade II listed building (which was once the home of William Wordsworth's brother no less!) but of course it wasn't designed to be a care home and so the team often struggle with quirky corridors and the lack of storage
space. That said, the team do their best and are constantly looking at ways to reinvigorate the space they have for the family of residents they care for. The most recent transition is the wonderfully old fashioned reminiscent ‘air raid shelter’ they created from a shed they had in the garden (the long johns hanging from wooden pegs on the line outside the shed really set it off!).
Activities are at the heart of Silver Oaks but this doesn’t mean the residents are on the go all the time, it simply means that they will always have something to look forward to or something to be involved in if they choose. They take trips to the Cotswolds, Stratford Upon Avon or visit a local garden centre for lunch. They visited the theatre to see Goodnight Mr Tom and have recently (due to popular demand) brought in a yoga instructor for weekly sessions. But sometimes it is the simple acts which bring about a reminiscence of times gone by, such as a visit from an ice cream man. The team don’t want to prolong the inevitable, they want to increase the quality of life and if that means asking the ice cream man to drop by, then that's what they’ll try to make happen.
You do get the sense of an open house at Silver Oaks and its clearly got a home from home feel about it. They have community volunteers and always ask for the families to be involved in the activities, as it is a simple case of needing an extra pair of hands to assist with the challenges of living at an advanced age, especially when out and about.
So what does the future look like for Silver Oaks...
A lot has changed in the last five years but demand for care continues to outstrip supply; so finding innovative ways to tackle the challenge of increasing numbers of people requiring care and the financial pressure to support this, is something that the team at Silver Oaks are tackling head on.
They are developing a home care service called the 'Silver Service' which will be based on the revolutionary Dutch healthcare model called, ‘Buurtzorg’, which translates as ‘neighbourhood care’. Julie and other members of her team will be part of a pilot scheme, developing the concept of self managing teams of
carers. The teams consist of no more than 12 carers who will service their local community and work on the principal of developing their craft and solving problems for the individual by incorporating their family and using local networks.
With low overheads and management costs it could eventually bring savings of up to 40% to some traditional home care models, whilst providing the carers with the ability to manage themselves and produce the result required. It is a liberating and refreshing approach and harks back to the good old fashioned way we used to deliver care in the community... they hope to launch before the end of the year.
If you would like to learn more about Silver Oaks or the new Silver Service please contact them on:
e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 01530815665