Footie Fantastic at Apple Blossom Lodge – Trip of a Lifetime

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Here at Apple Blossom Lodge we pride ourselves in giving special treats to our residents. Ben (name changed for confidentiality) is a 58 year old resident, who we felt was deserving of a trip of a lifetime.

Ben has been detained under the Mental Health Order and institutionalised since the age of 19. Since he was 11 years old Ben has faithfully supported Manchester United. Staff at Apple Blossom Lodge are greeted on a Monday morning with the Saturday score line. Football is without doubt the love of Ben’s life.

Staff began planning the surprise, which was not an easy task. Ben had never travelled by plane, didn’t have a passport and required supervision. A citizenship card was applied for, this allowed Ben to travel by plane. Tickets for the match were booked and a hotel room reserved and a member of staff accompanied Ben.

Result! A chat with Ben, springing the surprise and giving him the itinerary on Saturday 19th December. Ben accompanied by Nurse-In-Charge, Martin McKee boarded the EasyJet flight from Belfast to Manchester. A visit to Old Trafford in the afternoon to watch Manchester United Vs Norwich followed.That evening they stayed at Trafford Hall Hotel, owned by two previous players at Manchester United; Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. Ben returned to us on Sunday 20th December.

Ben’s predicted score was Manchester United 4, Norwich 1, but sadly it was Manchester United 1 – 2 Norwich.

Pictured is Staff Nurse Martin McKee holding “Ben’s” Manchester United top.

Apple Blossom Lodge Winter 2015



Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

9 June 2021

Following guidance from the Department of Health received 8 June 2021, the visiting arrangements outlined previously 10 May 2020 remain in place for a further 3 weeks, with a proposed review 22 June 2021.  As such the following arrangements remain the policy for visits to any Larchwood Care Ni Home.

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities. All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.

General Visiting

In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits. The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home. A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.

All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process. Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home. The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits

- Book in advance.
- Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
- 2 visitors may visit twice per week per week for maximum 60 minutes.
- Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 2 persons per visit.
- Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
- All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
- You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
- You will be provided with an apron, but do not have to wear gloves.
- You may touch and hold hands with the resident. At this stage hugging is discouraged.

In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these. Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.

In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes. At this stage non-staff facilitated trips away from the Home are not accommodated.

The plans phases 2 and 3 are outlined below, however dates for implementation are now on hold until further reviews are conducted.  The next review date is 22 June 2021 and the Department of Health will release advice at this time.

Phase 2 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

All the above risk management protocols will be in place with the following changes.

- Maximum of 4 people from 2 households may visit twice per week
- Introduction of “brief hugging”
- Risk assessed trips outside of the Home.
- Hairdressers may return

Phase 3 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

The following easements are encouraged from this date.

- No restriction on number of people but limited to two households twice a week.
- Overnight stays away from the Home may be facilitated.