News at Cumnor Hill House in Oxfordshire


Here at Cumnor Hill House, our home has a voice – and we’re listening
If you live at Cumnor Hill House care home here in Oxfordshire, or if you have a friend or family member living here in our ‘Outstanding’ home, we’d like to tell you about our new initiative: Home Voice.

What exactly is Home Voice?

We’re inviting our residents, their friends and family members to put their suggestions, praises and concerns forward in a new way – by speaking to Peter, who lives here at Cumnor Hill House. We believe it will ensure everyone’s voice can be heard without anyone having to worry.

How will Home Voice work?

Peter will provide that all-important link to get everyone’s thoughts over to the Cumnor Hill House team; he will be available every week at our coffee morning to sit and chat with people, noting down any ideas, commendations or concerns regarding our Oxfordshire care home.

Peter will then meet with the Cumnor Hill House management team each week to put forward all the topics raised. There’s nothing too big, too small or too silly to mention and nothing is out of bounds – Home Voice is simply an easy way of letting the Cumnor Hill House team know your thoughts. Everything raised through Peter will be considered and responded to, regardless of the outcome.

It’s important to note that Peter is not responsible for any action taken or not regarding the matters raised with him – his role is to collate any concerns and ideas people have for Cumnor Hill House and make sure they’re heard.

Why do we need Home Voice?

We want to improve the way we find out what is going on well here in our CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ care home in Oxfordshire, and make sure we hear about anything people think needs to change.

Once we’ve heard people’s thoughts, we can then see what we can do, whether that’s making changes to improve things that aren’t gong well or implementing something new to make living at Cumnor Hill House even better. If we hear that people like something specific, we can make sure it continues happening.

We hope that this new system means that we shall be more in touch with anything that needs to change and be better able to meet the needs of everyone who lives here.

If you would like to speak directly to a member of the Cumnor Hill House team, that’s still absolutely fine as well; Home Voice just makes it that little bit easier to express your thoughts.

What are the next steps?

Home Voice has now started here at Cumnor Hill House care home in Oxfordshire, and we look forward to seeing how this new initiative works in the coming weeks and months. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to speak to Peter or a member of the team.

Together, our aim is to make Cumnor Hill House an even better place to live.

Getting our groove on in a unique way
On Thursday 1st August, we held a completely different kind of event for our residents, their friends and family members – you’ll never guess what it was…

A silent disco!

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a silent disco is where people dance to music that they’re listening to through headphones rather than using a speaker system. It’s great fun and it’s hilarious watching people dance when you can’t hear the music!

We called in the experts from the Silent Disco Company, the UK’s leading LED Silent Disco Hire Company. They brought state-of-the-art LED wireless headphones with them, and people taking part had an absolute blast.

Everyone was dancing along to a wide variety of songs, with hits from various decades being played on their headphones. Some people were sitting down but got their arms in the air when their favourite songs played. It was a joy to see everyone having so much fun.

Thank you to the Silent Disco Company for such a great event – everyone had a great time! Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to hold another silent disco in the future.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming events by following us on Facebook.

Mod-cons and top technology in our Cumnor care home
Having all sorts of technology at our fingertips is something we can often take for granted in our day-to-day lives, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that members of the older generation aren’t always overly familiar with all the technology available in the modern day – but here at Cumnor Hill House, residents benefit from some of the latest technology. And it really does make a difference to what life is like here.

What technology do we have in our care home?

Well, where to start?! We have top-of-the-range Sonos speakers in all our shared spaces and these are connected by Wi-Fi to iPads. The Sonos speakers are installed in the walls to help create an inbuilt, integrated sound system, and using Sonos app on the iPads, residents can choose the music they’d like playing in each communal room at the touch of a button.

We also have a few other iPads floating around for people to use, which make it easy to surf the web – they are also great for playing games like scrabble and doing crosswords as they offer the ability to zoom right in and enlarge letters and numbers. The iPads also have Skype and FaceTime, so residents can speak to friends and family members no matter where they are in the world – we even have people who love taking selfies!

Virtual reality is a wonderful thing and we use it here in our CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ care home in Cumnor to assist residents who struggle to travel. It allows them to be transported to the beach, to go for a thrilling ride on a rollercoaster, see the Big Smoke from the London Eye, to go swimming with dolphins… the choices are out of this world, and our residents can experience them all from the comfort of our home.

How does it make Cumnor Hill House care home a great place to live?

Our iPad-controlled Sonos speakers promote choice – they let residents listen to the music they like, so they’re not stuck with the same songs on the local radio station day in, day out. Able to stream music through Spotify, the musical world is our residents’ oyster.

With other iPads available for use, we’ve opened all sorts of doors for our residents, who can play games whenever they’d like to, stay in touch with friends and family more easily and learn new things – after all, we never stop learning.

Virtual reality is simply amazing. It provides our residents here at Cumnor Hill House with a valuable added source of engagement and stimulation. It has been proven to help entice those living with dementia to interact more, and they’re free to try out new things in a safe environment.

If you’d like to find out more about the wide range of technology we use here in our care home in Cumnor, please pop in and speak to a member of the team. And we’re always open to new ideas, so please do make suggestions if you think of anything that could enhance our offering!

A great big party and some wonderful paintings, all thanks to Joyce
We love a good party at Cumnor Hill House, so when one of our residents had a big birthday, we couldn’t think of a better excuse!Joyce recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and we were delighted to be able to host 70 family members and friends from across the UK, including Joyce’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of them even travelled from as far as the Scottish Highlands!

We pulled out all the stops to make Joyce’s birthday celebrations as fantastic as possible, maintaining the luxury standard we take great pride in here at Cumnor Hill House; we created some amazing food in the kitchen and our hospitality team provided top-class service. Joyce’s birthday cake was incredible!

There’s something you may not know about Joyce…she’s a brilliant artist and has painted some beautiful watercolours in our art classes. So good, in fact, that her grandson had a handful of them printed onto canvas and stretched over wooden frames – they’re now on display around our Oxfordshire care home!

Thank you to Joyce and her family for a wonderful birthday party and for filling Cumnor Hill House with lovely art.

We’re serious about wellbeing – and that’s why we’d like to introduce Di to the team
We’re delighted to welcome Di O’Meara to the team as our Holistic and Wellness Lead here at Cumnor Hill House care home, and she brings with her a wealth of experience in health, fitness and wellbeing.

Health and Wellness Lead is a brand-new role here in our CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ Oxfordshire care home, and it has been created to enhance our team and our home’s offering. We anticipate it will bring breadth and depth to the existing environment of personal comfort and attention to detail at Cumnor Hill House. Once she’s up and running in her new role, Di will be around to offer support to residents, their family members and staff as well, so be sure to say hello.

Having Di on board will really refine how things work around our home when it comes to wellbeing, as she is very focused on health and happiness, and enjoys working as part of a team that can facilitate and support people in their goals. We already take the wellbeing of residents incredibly seriously, and we do everything we can to make the lives of people who call Cumnor Hill House their home as fun and fulfilling as possible, building healthier lives. Having Di here will hopefully only improve our overall care and the atmosphere in our home.

Next time you come and see us here at Cumnor Hill House, please do have a chat with Di if she’s around. We’re sure you’ll be seeing lots of her going forward! And if you have any questions about Di’s role here in our home, please don’t hesitate to speak to Di herself or Louise, our home manager.

Let’s see how much better life can be by taking care of our wellbeing a bit more! And that includes you.

Find out how Di’s career brought her to Cumnor Hill House:

“I initially trained as a radiographer, working in both NHS and private hospitals over the years. I enjoyed all the different fields of work including imaging in cardiology, breast cancer services, the community hospital and training and mentoring radiography students. I also trained as a fitness instructor in the 1990s and enjoyed teaching classes of all abilities, maintaining my own health and fitness along the way!

After retiring from the health service, I retrained as a bereavement volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Care, where I have now been volunteering for two years, gaining experience in working with clients one-to-one, working in small supervision groups and as a member of the 'Client Services and Training Committee'. This service is one that I have respected and had an interest in for many years following personal bereavements.

I have had wonderful opportunities for study throughout my life (including taking a first-class degree as a mature student from Durham University) and feel confident that I have the academic and intellectual strength to fulfil the expectations of this newly created post. I hope that it may also be enriched by further learning and application.

I hold Durham University postgraduate counselling certificates that have provided a skills-based foundation for working effectively in person-centred roles, and I also have experience mentoring students at Van Mildert College and bereavement counselling in the community.

My work in the health service, the fitness world, mentoring and Cruse has given me experience with a wide range of people, and I look forward to joining forces with Charlie the beauty therapist, Dot the personal trainer and Sue the physiotherapist at Cumnor Hill House to help and assist in delivering this aspect of holistic care in every way I can.

The aim of ‘living well’ can be a mantra for all, and this is an aspect I hope to expand and enrich for fulfilling lives for all of us.”

August Events at Cumnor Hill House
Well, do we have an exciting August lined up for you! And we’re not wasting any time getting started, as our first event is on Thursday 1st, and we’re kicking things off with a Silent Disco! This is something we’ve never done before here at Cumnor Hill House, but we wanted to give it a go, as it means everyone can listen to the music they’d like to dance to and boogie on down together. It’s sure to be great fun!

A week later on 8th August, we’re welcoming Miss Jones into our Oxfordshire care home, and she’ll be here to dazzle us with her wonderful voice as she sings all sorts of vintage songs for us. On Thursday 15th August, Titine La Voix is coming back to our Outstanding home once again to entertain everyone with her engaging performance.

Towards the end of the month, the standard of entertainment here in our home isn’t slipping at all, and we’re hosting an evening of magic on 22nd August! Magic Steve will be here to get you thinking about how he performs his tricks. This is such a great interactive performance and one that really gets people talking. We’re rounding off the month with a visit from Pippa and Buddy, the talented dog-and-owner duo of Britain’s Got Talent fame! This is a barking mad act that you won’t want to miss.

All our events this August will start with complimentary refreshments at 6:30pm, followed by first-rate entertainment at 7pm. Food options are subject to change. We really hope you can join us; please don’t forget to RSVP to or 01865 415185.

Building healthier lives at Cumnor Hill House
We always go above and beyond wherever we can here at Cumnor Hill House, and with such a great team here, we have the opportunity to do something special when it comes to exercise and taking care of our residents’ wellbeing.

Recently, we’ve started focusing on Otago, which is based on building healthier lives. We all know that the benefits of exercise are plentiful, and Otago – which is specifically designed for the older generation – is an evidence-based, individually tailored strength and balance retraining programme.

With three experts here, these being Dot, our personal trainer, Sue, our physiotherapist and Charlie, our beauty and massage therapist, our residents really do receive the royal treatment; with Sue’s instruction, Dot’s practical input and Charlie’s support in preparing or unwinding with a sports massage, what more could we want?

The exercise programme helps residents to improve their balance, muscle strength, general fitness and wellbeing. Each resident performs their prescribed exercises three times a week with Dot and Sue’s guidance, but they don’t have to be done in one go and can be broken up to make the plan more manageable.

Exercises include walking forwards, backwards, sideways and turning around, head, neck, trunk and ankle movements, back extension, knee strengthening, side hip strengthening, calf, heel and toe, knee bends, one leg stand, sit to stand and stair walking. By performing these exercises and improving their strength and balance, we’re minimising the risk of our residents having a fall in our home, which makes life more enjoyable and less stressful for our residents and helps them to maintain their independence.

Speak to a member of the team if you’d like to find out more about Otago.

Spotlight on Sue, our fantastic physio
Cumnor Hill House isn’t your average care home… here in our home, we go the extra mile whenever and wherever we can, and we help you to do the same. You’re probably wondering what we mean by that, but unlike most other care homes, we have a state-of-the-art in-house gym, complete with a visiting physiotherapist!

Sue Sanders-Clarke is the Cumnor Hill House physio, and her wealth of knowledge – paired with our brilliant equipment – certainly sets us apart from other care homes, whether it’s here in Cumnor, Oxfordshire or further afield.

Sue’s career started out at St. Mary’s in London back in 1983, moving to the Churchill Hospital upon qualifying. With Heatherwood in Ascot, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and St. Luke’s Hospital in Oxford all featuring on her impressive CV, we’re delighted that Sue’s part of the Cumnor Hill House team. She has helped so many people get back on their feet – quite literally!

Sue helps our residents in many ways, including assisting chair-bound residents to improve mobility, posture and seating, boosting residents’ confidence and helping to maintain good circulation and movement; she really does work wonders and promotes independence, which does wonders for our residents’ confidence.

If someone keeps on sliding down in their chair, Sue works out why this is happening by looking at both their chair and their posture – it may be that specialist seating is required, such as a one-way slide seat, or they may need repositioning more regularly. Additionally, if someone’s in need of a wheelchair, Sue can submit the referral.

When people have been hospitalised following a stroke, if they’re not well enough to go straight home, they often stay in a care home to recover. Without the proper assistance and equipment, it can be a struggle to return to full health, but here at Cumnor Hill House, we have done as much as we can to make this a possibility and we really do try to help people get their lives back to normal.

About her role, Sue said: “I love my job, I just love meeting people and working with them, trying to help them. They genuinely appreciate the opportunity to improve, and I get to motivate and rehabilitate them. It’s such a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces when they reach targets and milestones.”

Find out more about the equipment Sue uses with residents in our recent article on the Cumnor Hill House gym – and if your friend or family member is living with us here at Cumnor Hill House and isn’t already benefitting from this fantastic service, speak to a member of the team today to find out how we can help.

Last but not least, thank you to Sue for all that she does for the people living here at Cumnor Hill House!


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