As part of providing 24-hour specialist care for our residents, our dedicated team need to monitor them throughout the night to make sure they are safe and comfortable. When designing Ashton Manor, we wanted to make sure we didn’t disturb our residents unless they really needed us to because, as anyone who has experienced restless nights knows, a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on wellbeing.    

This meant looking for an alternative to the traditional physical night checks you’d normally see in a care home. To solve this problemwe’ve invested in innovative acoustic monitoring technology throughout Ashton Manor, to help our residents get the good night’s sleep they deserve. 

How acoustic monitoring works 

We’ve teamed up with experts at CLB Monitoring and Adaptive IT Solutions to fit all our bedrooms across the three floors with non-obtrusive sensors to monitor sounds. These sensors are individually programmed for each resident and if a sound profile exceeds its limit, an alert is sent to our care station and our team then respond as required 

When a resident joins us, we carry out an individual risk assessment and, if necessary (for example, a resident is at risk of falls), we can also install a non-recordable camera to help us monitor any deviation from the individual’s usual sound pattern. This technology includes an audio function that allows us to communicate with the resident remotely before our care team can physically enter their room. For example, we’d be able to deliver the message ‘we are on our way, please wait for assistance 

Benefits for our residents 

The acoustic monitoring system means our team are alerted more quickly to residents needing their assistance. Staff are alerted as soon as a resident wakes or is about to get out of bed, meaning they can proactively provide assistanceIn other homes using the technology, this has been shown to reduce resident falls by 51%*. 

With our team only disturbing residents when necessary, this also means they’re able to dedicate their time to looking after individuals when they need support, for example, spending more quality time with residents who are awake during the night, as residents living with dementia can be. 

By allowing better sleep quality, acoustic monitoring can also improve residents’ general wellbeing typically care staff would check in residents’ rooms every two hours, bringing light into their rooms and potentially waking them up, possibly leading to confusion. With better sleep, our residents are able to enjoy their daytimes more, getting more out of activities and family visits, and generally enjoying a better quality of life, which is exactly what we want for them! 


If you would like to find out more or book a tour, call us on 01524 566 007 or email us at


*WCS Care/CLB Monitoring 

Paul Burns is the man behind Ashton Manor’s glorious cakes, making him very popular with our residents! 

We caught up with him to find out what brought him to Evermore, how he’s settling into his new role and his future vision for the Ashton Manor kitchen. 

How did you get into cooking?

When I left school, I went to work in a fruit and veg shop in the local market and that’s where my love of food started. The job helped me to get used to the different ingredients and when I left I went to work at Lancaster Farms Prison as a pot washer, but I also helped with prepping the veg for the chefs. After that I got my first proper cooking job as an assistant chef at the former care home which is now Ashton Manor! They put me through all my training and qualifications, and I was there for about three years before I was offered a head chef position elsewhere. Since then I’ve broadened my skillset as bakery manager at Sainsbury’s before heading back into catering at Lancaster University and most recently at St John’s Hospice.   

When this job came up, I jumped at the opportunity because it brings everything together and I’ve come full circle. It’s a really nice story really; it’s the right timing for me and I’m back where I started with so much more experience. It’s the job I’ve been looking for – it’s perfect!   

What’s important to you in your role at Ashton Manor?

I want the people to be happy and to give them what they want, not just what they need. We’re trying to build something really special here and we want people to have a mealtime experience as good as you’d get in a hotelOverall, it needs to be top notch quality: if I wouldn’t eat it then I won’t serve it, and nothing leaves the kitchen until myself and Lee (chef) are 100% happy with it.  

Everything is thought about down to the last detail: we’ll fan the napkins out in the napkin ring, the tables are set correctly, if a resident is having food in their room the tray it’s served on will have a tray doily on. Our residents need to feel like they’re getting five-star service. 

How do think your team will contribute to making Ashton Manor a good place to live?

I’m hoping that we can make it so mealtimes are more like events, each time a meal arrives at their table or room. It’s nice that we’re having conversations with people and they’re telling us they liked the cake we made or could we make this meal again soon, which we’re more than happy to do.  

Are you strictly behind the scenes, or do you get out of the kitchen to talk to residents?  

Due to the pandemic, we haven’t been able to venture out of the kitchen as much as we’d like to, so far. We’ve brought food out and done a little bit of baking with some of the residents but we’d love to do more. We want to get to know all of our residents on a personal level so we can make their time at Ashton Manor the best it can be.  

Have you got any exciting plans for your role? 

We’ve been talking about events such as different themed nights for example, decorating the dining rooms and having an Italian night or a Chinese night. We’re doing an all-day breakfast so we’re making that more like an event because it’s something different and new. We’ve got the facilities to do so much but really, it’s down to what the residents want and we’ll work with them.  

What made you choose to work for Evermore? 

I was looking for something a bit higher up and this role is more of a head chef role with growth to be catering manager too as the business expandsEvermore also gave me the opportunity to start a kitchen and team from scratch which I’ve never done before. This job is perfect – I was looking for a career rather than a job and this is what Evermore is giving me.  

What’s it like being part of the Evermore team? 

It’s really good and I’m really enjoying it. We’re building a great team and you can see that. The management have been great and really supportive, they’re always there if you need help or advice.  

Awe’re a new team we’re starting from scratch and building those new relationships togetherIt’s a great environment, they’re a great business to work for and it’s genuinely a great place to work.  

What are you hoping for in your future at Evermore? 

I want to spread what we’ve got here across other locations and I think that’s the way it will work. Evermore Care is about quality, so I’ll be looking to create the menus at each location and act more as a head chef/catering manager across the group. I want Ashton Manor to be a success and so even when we do grow, we’re all one big team. 

What type of people will you be looking for to join your team? 

I’m looking for someone who’s keen and who wants a career, not just a job. I want someone in my team who’s ready to jump on board with our ethos, who’s enthusiastic and who has that caring side to them, because you need to have that here – the residents have to come first and that’s very important.  

What’s your favourite cake to bake? 

Bakewell Tart! It’s my signature dish and my goto cake! That’s something I’ve worked on, mastered and perfected over the years.  


If you would like to find out more or book a tour, call us on 01524 566 007 or email us at

Caring for a loved one can be a positive and rewarding experience, but it can also be extremely demanding and exhausting for people giving the care.

Charlotte cares for her 69-year-old mum Anne who is living with multiple sclerosis (MS), but as Anne’s care needs increase, the strain on Charlotte and her family is increasing too and she now needs to explore additional care options.

With a young son to look after, Charlotte’s situation means there is a lot of pressure on her to juggle her family’s needs, and with Anne’s condition deteriorating as time goes on, the level of care she requires is becoming harder for Charlotte to manage.

Like many people in similar situations, Charlotte is now exploring the different options available so she can find the right care for Anne in the future. One option is for Anne to access short-term ‘respite care’, which would provide the opportunity for Charlotte to have a much-needed break while safe in the knowledge that her mum is still being cared for.

An introduction to respite care

Here, Evermore’s commissioning director, Gaye Clark answers Charlotte’s questions about respite care, its benefits and how best to broach the topic with her mum.

What is respite care?

Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else, for example with a short stay in a care home like Ashton Manor. Caring for another person can be physically and mentally demanding, and much more than purely handling the day-to-day tasks. Especially when caring for long periods at a time, the emotional strain can take its toll.

How long would you recommend using respite care for?

An ideal first respite break would last four weeks to allow a settling in period, in which our team can really get to know your mum. We might be able to offer shorter stays at Ashton Manor for any subsequent respite break, for example if you needed to attend a family emergency or other commitment.

Respite care ensures that the person you are supporting always has someone there to help them if you’re not able to be around. With our expert carer assessments in place, we can provide the highest quality respite care breaks.

How could using respite care help me and my family?

Everybody needs some time for themselves, even more so when they care for someone else. This is where respite care can be integral to you [being able to care for your loved one over a longer period]. It lets you take time out to look after yourself and helps to stop you from becoming exhausted and run down.

What will the experience be like for Mum?

Every person who accesses respite has their own bedroom, which they’re free to personalise with photographs and ornaments from home, to help create a familiar environment.

We encourage all residents to take part in the life of the home during their stay. Respite care can be a valuable break for residents too – it’s a chance to meet new people, enjoy a change of scenery and try out some new activities and experiences.

How can I talk to my mum about using respite care without upsetting her?

Many people ignore their own needs indefinitely, but [I bet], as a mother, she would do anything if it meant helping or bettering the life of one of her children. I refer to this as the ‘help me help you’ strategy. In the course of several discussions let your mum know that having some respite would help you to take a break and recharge.

I’m worried about how she’ll feel about going into care, even if it’s temporary, is that normal?

It is totally normal to feel anxious about any new experience. Where possible, we would ask you to call in once or twice a week, ahead of a planned respite break, and join us for a coffee and a piece of cake so that your mum gets to know our faces prior to her stay. It is also always great to get other family members involved by staying in touch and calling her for a chat.  It’s normal for you to feel anxious too, but there’s nothing at all to feel guilty about, it will help you to recharge so you can give of yourself more fully after the break.

Could respite care help Mum with the transition into a care home full-time in the future?

Definitely. Respite care offers the person a chance to experience a care home for a temporary period. Some people use a respite stay as a ‘trial period’ to see if they like it, with a view to maybe eventually moving in permanently when they are ready.

If you’d like to find out more about how respite care at Ashton Manor could help you and your family, please get in touch with our friendly team who will be happy to provide more information and answer your questions. You can call us on 01524 566 007 or email us at


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