And, thanks to the personalised approach to care provided by Urmston Manor Residential Home, she is able to continue the entertainment she has been enjoying since 1984.
Staff from the home alternate with Eileen’s daughter so someone can take her every week.
She says: “I love getting dressed up to go out, seeing old friends and having a sing-a-long.”
Eileen describes all the staff at the home as “friendly and caring”. She takes part in many of the daily activities and particularly likes Music Mondays – which sees a selection of performers visit to play for the residents.
She’s also happy to lend a hand, helping with kitchen duties like peeling potatoes and folding serviettes.
For home owner Martyn Davies this is all part of the personalised approach to care that helped to move the home from an “inadequate” CQC rating to “outstanding” just a year after his company Skydda Homes bought it in April 2018.
Urmston Manor is home to 24 people who have a variety of care needs brought about by conditions such as dementia, diabetes and heart failure. The residents do not require regular nursing care but they do need social care support.
The care home staff help many of their residents continue to go to places they’ve visited all their lives, from the local shops and church to restaurants and even the pub. They also enjoy a host of arts and crafts activities and help with fund raising for local charities.
On top of that, the home regularly holds “culture club”, where residents’ families visit to enjoy a communal meal and build a real community.
He said: “The home previously had a catalogue of failings. Staff received no training or development and it was run in a very regimented way.
“The most important thing we did in turning that around was providing a personalised service.
“We employed an activity facilitator and she does so much to help our residents lead the lives they want to lead.”
This change in culture has motivated the staff, helping sickness and turnover rates to plummet and saving on the costs of agency staff. The “real living wage” has also recently been introduced for all staff and there are ample opportunities for training and development.
Kirsty Holmes, who has worked at the home for the last six months, says: “I’ve found working here so rewarding, everyone works closely as a team and the care comes from the heart.
“Too often care work is looked down on but I feel valued and there is investment in staff development too. The support means staff stay and we don’t lose those relationships with the residents.
“You can overthink it but sometimes all people need is affection, little things make such a difference
and honestly, there’s a lot of love here.
“Working in the home you get to know the residents well and feel close to them. This really helps, you can’t give personalised care to someone you don’t know.
“Previously I worked in a hospital but my very first job was in a care home. When I returned to working in a home again I was amazed at how much had changed.
“The residents are here to live and enjoy life, not just waste away.”
In 2016 just 54% of the 560 care homes in Greater Manchester were rated either “good” or “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Today that figure has risen to 77 per cent.
This means standards in Greater Manchester care homes have improved at a faster rate than in both England and the North West.
Mr Davies said his staff have been able to provide greatly improved quality of life to residents by understanding what is important to them.
He said: “We had a lady who had severe dementia and a terminal illness. Simply by speaking to her and her relatives we found out her favourite place was Lytham St Anne’s.
“So we hired a beach hut and arranged for her to visit with her daughter, son-in-law and other residents who were close to her.
“That brought back her memories, created new memories and made her last weeks so much more bearable.”