Coombe House is a Butterfly Home, with a Level One Star Award (2017) from Dementia Care Matters for person centred care. We understand the people who live with us, live in the moment. It is our job to make those moments the best that they can be. Traditional activities may no longer be possible or appropriate, but a slow walk round the garden in the sun, arm in arm with someone, to feed the hens, to stroke the dogs, collect some vegetables for lunch, some flowers to take indoors may make that day special. Our home is full of colours, textures, treasures to collect, hide away or talk about. There are places to be quiet and places to be sociable. There is space to roam around, through the kitchen, out into the garden, back again into the sitting rooms.
Meals are carefully prepared by our qualified catering staff who will ensure that all meals are as interesting and varied as possible. People are offered choices each day and special diets including diabetic and vegetarian can be catered for, attention is paid to allergies.
The day usually begins with an early cup of tea or coffee, followed by breakfast, mid-morning tea/coffee and fresh fruit or biscuits, 2 course lunch, mid-afternoon tea/coffee, 2 or 3 course high tea and night-time drinks and supper snacks. All meals, snacks, supplements and drinks are provided within the fees for service. For those who find eating a good diet challenging, the advice of a dietician can be sought if necessary.
Our gardener, Jane, grows wonderful vegetables, so we are able to enjoy whatever is fresh, delicious and in season straight from our kitchen gardens.
In the Autumn, our orchard is laden with apples, pears and plums. Last year we stored enough apples to eat until April, even though we left far too many fallen on the ground.
Due to the size of our Home, one set meal will be prepared at lunch time. People will always be consulted about their preferences and a separate meal will be prepared for anyone who doesn’t like the meal of the day. At high-tea there will be at least 3 choices of savoury foods and a wide selection of cakes and fruit.
We eat as a family, serving dishes on the table, each of us helping others to enjoy the social occasion of a mealtime with close friends.
All sorts of midnight feasts can be made for those who wake at night and feel hungry.
Maintaining contact with relatives, friends and representatives
We actively encourage people to maintain all forms of social contact and friendships that were important before coming to live at Coombe. We will do everything we can to help and will welcome visitors at any time.
We need to enter details of visitors in our Visitors Book and to sign out on departure, to comply with Health & Safety legislation and fire regulations.
People can usually receive visitors in their own room or in communal rooms or in the garden. Visitors wishing to take people out for the day should speak to our staff on duty first, please, to make sure that anything needed for the trip can be provided. We will note the outing in our Visitors Book on departure and return.
Coombe has a number of telephone lines. The telephone number is 01579 346819 (please see the Contact Us page for further details of how to get in touch). If anyone wants to use a personal mobile phone within the grounds at Coombe, you should be aware that the signal isn’t always good in every part of the house. Anyone wishing to have access to a direct-dial landline phone in his/her room can have a connection at an additional charge. The telephone can be set up and billed for by BT as if it were in a private residence.
We do have a Home mobile phone for emergencies. If you wish to call someone on this phone we do ask that you ring the land line first so that we can make sure the phone is charged and taken to the person concerned. We will then give you the number to call.
Staff are always on duty to plan and supervise care, ensuring the highest standards while respecting and preserving peoples’ dignity at all times. A Liskeard-based GP will visit if required, although residents may of course retain their own Doctor if this is practical. Community nurses and the primary care team will also visit people if asked. Consultant physicians and Psychiatrists will also visit on request if this is necessary.
Fire precautions and Emergency procedures
Coombe's fire precautions have been designed with the advice from the Fire Officer, and to date all recommendations are implemented following the annual Fire Officer's visit. Every attempt has been taken to minimise risk of fire, although there can be no absolute guarantee of safety. We undertake regular fire drills and reviews of procedures. We operate separate fire procedure records which include records of fire drills, alarm tests and records of staff training. All staff are provided with information about the Fire Procedure at induction. All staff are required to attend regular up-date teaching on fire procedures and use of fire equipment. In addition to our extant policies we use emergency policies, procedures and other such arrangements as may be required in situations which may arise.
A professional visits regularly although you are free to make appointments outside this arrangement if that is preferred. An Optician can visit if requested.
Physiotherapy can be arranged as necessary by the CARTS team. This has to be ordered by a GP.
A private professional visits every six weeks and is charged for separately.
Hairdressing is provided, at an additional charge, although anyone is free to visit a hairdresser of their own choice if they are able to do so. If anyone has a hairdresser of their own who is able to visit Coombe, we will make them welcome.
It may be possible for people to bring small pets with them, subject to discussion with us and consultation with a local vet if this should be appropriate. We recognise the therapeutic and emotional benefits that pet ownership can bring
Coombe's policy is:
We take a positive approach to the responsible ownership of pets.
Each request for pet ownership within the home will be considered by us.
Decisions will be made on several grounds:
Can you care for your pet without help?
Will the pet tolerate others already resident in the Home?
Will the pet's behaviour be acceptable to the other people in the Home?
Does the pet need to be examined by a vet prior to acceptance?
Are their adequate funds for this and future veterinary treatment?
Does the pet need vaccinations, treatment for fleas or worms?
Have you considered what action is to be taken if you become unable to care for your pet?
Ann Gray is responsible for all decisions to accept a pet into the home and her decision is final.
Ann Gray is responsible for any pets owned by the Home.
The Home will ensure that in a case where someone gives up a pet or the pet dies, a network of support will be put in place to help him or her cope with the loss.
We welcome any comments or concerns. Complaints or concerns will be treated seriously. A copy of our complaints procedure is available upon request.
Attending Religious Services
Coombe House takes all reasonable steps to ensure that each person’s wishes are known and understood in relation to the practice of his or her chosen religion. Where requested, we will observe and ensure confidentiality in respect of religious belief. Alternatively we will take such steps as necessary to enable people to attend religious services, or access religious leaders, ministers or priests in private.
It is difficult for many of the people we care for to go shopping on their own, but we will do our best to make trips out whenever people ask us to.
This is undertaken inside Coombe House within the normal fees for service. The laundry equipment achieves care standards and the 1998 Water Regulations. The Staff at Coombe expect all personal clothing to be labelled, and cannot be held responsible for any loss of items not so marked. There are no facilities for residents to do their own laundry.
We will not accept any liability whatsoever for loss of, or damage to, any money or other valuable property kept (or said to be kept) by people in or about Coombe, unless this has been:
Identified to us in writing with a current written valuation.
Deposited within our safe for safekeeping.
Arrangements for insurance will be explained fully when people first arrive.
Gifts and Signing legal documents
Staff are not permitted to directly accept any gifts, and/or presents; or to sign as a witness any legal document which pertains to one of the people living at Coombe.
Dry cleaning can be provided in Liskeard at an extra cost.
Kitchen facilities are built to the standards laid down by the Environmental Health Department; we have achieved a Food Hygiene Award from this department in recognition of high standards in food handling practices and conditions on the premises. People can have drinks and snacks at any time and those that are able to do so, can make their own. Visitors will always be offered hot or cold drinks. After a risk assessment, which is reviewed regularly, people can be provided a kettle and tea/coffee making facilities in their own rooms.
Reviewing Plans of Care
Coombe operates a full planning and review system. From the day of admission each person is assessed and a plan of care formulated. This plan will cover all areas of a person’s activities, and will not focus purely on problems and physical matters, but aim to enhance his or her quality of life. We will look at risk when the same activity also has benefit. We will look at a life history, including interests and activities that are important. We will often need the help of his or her family to do this.