Here at Francis Court care home we’re all about having fun and getting the most out of life. We understand that it’s important to keep busy – it helps residents to stay independent, for one thing – so they love the range of activities and events we plan for them, from arts and crafts to themed meal nights, quizzes and fundraising.
Every family worries about how their loved one will settle in to a care home. New residents are very welcome to bring their own furniture and possessions to Francis Court so that their rooms feel just like home. We’ll even hang their pictures and photos exactly where they want them. What’s more, we’ll find out as much as we can about your loved one (with their, and your, help) so that every aspect of their care – from the food we provide, to the medication they need and the time they want to go to bed – is tailored to them.
We’re always keen to hear what residents and their families think about Francis Court. That’s why we hold regular meetings to give them the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. We’re quick to respond too: when relatives told us they wanted a friends and family room, we set about creating one.
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I graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing in the Philippines in 1993, and went on to study a leadership and management course at Gloucestershire University and a leading change in dementia care course at the University of Surrey. I also hold a sign off mentor certificate which I obtained at Kingston University.
After my training I started to work as a registered general nurse both in hospitals and nursing homes. I have also worked as a deputy manager and a general manager with private and charitable organisations, before joining the team at Francis Court in January 2016. I decided I wanted to work for Care UK as they are one of the leading health and social care providers in the UK and I feel that I share the same values of that of the organisation.
I believe to be an effective home manager you have to possess a positive attitude towards the residents and their relatives. Good organisational and problem solving skills, and an ability to establish good relationships are also essential. You need to be supportive with staff and be able to develop them to grow within the company. I will be leading the team in a clear and transparent way and listening to suggestions and opinions from them. I will embrace change and continue to look at various means and ways to improve the quality of life of the residents and at the same time the working conditions of the care team. You must also be able to work with people coming from different backgrounds and able to cope with demanding and stressful situations.
My favourite part of the working day is when I see my team and the residents engaging and communicating with one another. I look forward to seeing the residents receiving a high standard of care delivered by my highly skilled care team.
Outside of work my hobbies include watching films and looking after my grandson.
I come from quite a different background to many of our team as I used to work as cabin crew in the airline industry. I then worked as a sales trainer in the airline industry before moving into coaching unemployed people back into work.
I think versatility is useful to have in this role. You also need to enjoy a challenge and meeting new people. I love showing families around our home as I’m very proud of it. It’s lovely to see residents and the progress being made by those who have come to us from stays in hospital. Francis Court is full of interesting residents with fascinating stories to tell.
My career has mostly revolved around care work. I trained as a nurse at St George’s in Tooting in London. After a stint working in the film industry as an animator and then a break to have children, I worked as a support worker with adults with learning disabilities. That led me to become a manager with a domiciliary care company.
I joined Francis Court in July 2014 as a team leader and become activity coordinator in early 2016. I love how my role gives me time to get to know the residents even better. They have the chance to talk about their lives and what they’ve done. I love putting them at their ease so they can relax and enjoy the activity – whether it’s cooking pies or having a manicure.
I’ve been with Care UK since 2013. I began working at Francis Court as the afternoon Activity Coordinator and transferred to the position of Full Time Receptionist in June 2015. I enjoy my new role immensely, meeting new people and getting to know our residents and their families.
No two days are the same and I make time every day to visit our lovely residents. The best times for me, however, are those that I am able to spend singing with the residents; their enthusiastic response and smiles are so heart-warming. You know you’re doing something right when you’re making people smile.
I joined Care UK having run my own plastering business. I generally start early so I can get a lot done before I’m in the residents’ way! I really enjoy helping residents to make their rooms homely by putting up pictures and doing whatever they ask so that their rooms look nice. I even love doing DIY jobs at home – I get bored if I’m sitting down for very long!
I joined Care UK in July 2012. I used to deliver care to people in their own homes but I fancied a new challenge. I actually started as a Care Assistant and then transferred into a managerial role. What I enjoy about this role is the team work - it’s a fantastic housekeeping department here, with really dedicated staff. We get lots of positive feedback from residents and their families, and I know we’re working to the highest standards.
If you’re looking for a Copthorne care home and you don’t believe in compromising on your loved one’s comfort, care and quality of life, take a look around Francis Court. The bedrooms are all en-suite and each has WiFi, a TV, attractive furniture and décor, plus a 24-hour nurse call system.
We want residents to be able to continue to enjoy a great lifestyle when they join us. So we’ve a variety of lounges to appeal to different tastes and moods. There are quiet lounges for peace and relaxation, bustling ones for socialising and a large lounge on each floor for the entertainment we lay on, from tea dances to performances from local entertainers and even local school groups.
Our activities room and library at Francis Court have lots of options for keeping busy. What’s more, because we understand the importance of fresh air and green space, we’ve put a lot of effort into our secure, landscaped gardens – with a lot of help from our residents’ gardening club!
Keeping active is vital to health and wellbeing at any age, so our activities co-ordinator plans and organises all sorts of activities to suit residents, from painting and crafts to movement and music classes, games and outings. Residents can get involved as much or as little as they like, but when Shetland ponies or pet therapy dogs come to visit, few choose to stay in their rooms.
The same applies at meal times, when there’s a real buzz about our care home. Everyone’s always keen to tuck in to the tasty and nutritious, home-cooked food served up by our chef-led catering team. We cater for different dietary and cultural needs, and regularly update menus to allow for seasonal changes and resident feedback. Snacks and drinks are always available and on residents’ birthdays and anniversaries we always push the boat out, with anything from a specially baked cake to a full blown party with family and friends.
Residents deserve to look and feel their best, so we arrange for a hairdresser to visit our Copthorne care home at least once a week. A podiatrist also regularly pops in, as does a massage therapist.
We work with some of the leaders in the architectural and design industries to create dementia-friendly home environments where people with the visual, hearing and mobility impairments associated with dementia can move around freely and independently.
Anything from furnishings and paint colours, lighting and signage can make a difference, so we incorporate the latest thinking and standards in these areas into the design of our care homes.
Caring for a loved one who has dementia, and making the decision for them to move into permanent residential or nursing care can be hugely challenging for all the family. We support each resident and their family in any way we can. We’re always here if you need emotional or practical support, and we’ll work with you to forge a new role in your loved one’s day-to-day care.
You’re welcome to visit any time of the day or night and take part in the care home’s activities, to help your loved one with their morning or evening routine, or to just enjoy a relaxing meal with them.
Our practical, free dementia-friendly guides also have lots of advice and tips on ways to support a loved one with dementia.
We are so delighted with everything at Francis Court and my mum seems very content.
My mum is very happy in Francis Court and there is nothing I would change about her stay at the home.
I am very impressed with Francis Court; everyone is very helpful and kind. My mother loves the food and of course the carers. I would recommend Francis Court to anyone.
Borers Arms Road
Telephone: 01342 488 147
Manager: Mary Ballesteros
Calls may be recorded for quality and training purposes.
March 22 2016
Care UK has announced the appointment of home manager, Mary Ann Ballesteros, who has taken to the helm of the team at Francis Court care home in Copthorne near Crawley.
March 7 2016
Care UK’s Francis Court care home on Borers Arms Road in Crawley, is providing support for older people with the publication of Eating as we age, a free guide packed with advice on keeping healthy and hydrated in older age.