9 Oct 19

Autumn inspired arts and crafts at Aliwal Manor Care Home

The change of seasons throughout the year brings delight to each of the residents here at Aliwal Manor. They enjoy watching the outside environment slowly change and seeing the new wildlife and plants that appear.

The transition into autumn is the resident’s favourite seasonal change, as colourful leaves drop from the trees and transform the garden floor. Lifestyle Coordinator, Deborah, decided to use these leaves to inspire an arts activity with an autumnal-theme. She used leaves from the garden and recycled some old jigsaw pieces, meaning all materials in the craft session were reused. If you look around, Deborah said, you can always find something to reuse and turn into a unique craft decoration.

During the session, residents were tasked with creating a picture of an autumn tree, using the recycled materials available. Residents loved the fact they were using real leaves from trees outside and helped to immerse them in the task. It was great seeing people focussed on the activity and connecting with the changes in the outside world. This is really important for people who live with dementia as it helps to keep them living in the moment.

This was a really great session and one that encouraged the residents to show their creative side. Proud of what they created, the artwork has now been hung on the walls around Aliwal Manor for some home-made, autumn décor!

8 Oct 19

Residents at Goldenley Care Home celebrate World Animal Day

Faith is a Lifestyle Coordinator at Goldenley Care Home and this week, hosted an ‘African Animal Quiz’ to celebrate World Animal Day. Africa is home to a wide variety of big cats, reptiles and other interesting animals, making for an exciting quiz topic.

In preparation, Faith printed off some images of the different animals that live in Africa with some facts below each. This helped to provide residents with a visual prompt and the opportunity to learn more about each animal after the session.

As the quiz started, residents enjoyed naming the animals that live in Africa as well as a few that are now unfortunately extinct. Other questions followed that tested the resident’s knowledge of the biggest animals in Africa and which were considered the most dangerous. It was great hearing how much they knew and stories of times they have been face to face with these animals, from family days at the zoo to safari trips abroad.

After the quiz had finished, Faith began showing the residents some pictures of different animals and sharing interesting facts about each. Connie was one of the residents who took part and was shocked when she saw the size of the Hippo in the photo, as she didn’t realise how big they were. Leopards and Lions were also discussed and the group were impressed to learn that Leopards can run at speeds of up 60 km/h.

We all had a great time celebrating World Animal Day as they are such an important and loved part of our planet. Residents enjoyed testing their knowledge and learning some new facts too, which they said will be helpful during future quiz sessions with their family and friends.

8 Oct 19

Residents from Buchan House go on personal shopping trip

Team members at Buchan House regularly host one-to-one meetings with the residents to hear their thoughts, feelings and any concerns they may be having. These meetings also provide the opportunity for people to make activity requests too, which team members do their best to accommodate.

During recent meetings with the residents at the care home, a number of people requested to go on a personal shopping trip, so they could get some health and beauty items and maybe treat themselves to some new clothes too.

Some of the people living at the care home have restricted mobility, meaning they aren’t able to go into town as frequently. To help solve this, team members decided to take smaller groups of residents more regularly, so each had more time, attention and would be able to visit all the shops they wanted to.

This week, residents Hazel and Joan headed into town with Lifestyle Coordinator Debbie. As they arrived, Hazel’s daughter Chrissie joined the group to help out and do a bit of shopping herself. This brought a huge smile to Hazel’s face as not only was she able to have a browse around the shops, but also spend some quality time with her daughter too.

The group had a great afternoon wandering the shops and picking up the items they needed. This also provided the opportunity for residents to speak to some of the local people too, helping them to stay connected to others in the community.

After walking around the shops and buying the things they needed, the group had time to stop at a local café for some tea and cake before heading back home.

8 Oct 19

Queens Oak residents celebrate National Smile Day

Residents at Queens Oak Care Home were grinning from ear to ear as they celebrated National Smile Day last week. The national day is recognised on the first Friday of November and encourages people to do kind actions and share a smile with the people they love.

Team members always encourage residents to take part in activities that provide a boost to their wellbeing. Whether it’s reading a book or playing a board game with a friend, maintaining a positive mood can help overcome other life challenges too.

To celebrate the day, the catering team had prepared a selection of cupcakes and hot drinks, while Lifestyle Coordinator, Marilyn booked MJ Sounds to come in and perform. Residents not only love socialising with their friends in communal spaces but also the experience of live music, so this was sure to bring a few smiles around the care home.

As the residents took their seats and chose a cake, MJ Sounds began playing some familiar songs from years gone by. Residents loved the mix of tunes they played and soon had people up on their feet dancing away. The whole group enjoyed the energy that MJ Sounds brought to Queens Oak and the residents had a great time singing and tapping along.

In between songs, residents took the opportunity to chat with their friends and share stories connected to the music they were hearing. It was great fun and the mix of afternoon tea with some live music provided the perfect balance for residents to engage however they liked;  whether it was dancing away to the music or enjoying a conversation with their friends.

As the afternoon drew to a close, people thanked MJ Sounds for providing the music and had a big smile on their face while doing so. It’s safe to say National Smile Day was a huge success and will be a day we continue to celebrate here at Queens Oak.

7 Oct 19

Celebrating life achievements at Goldenley Care Home

It’s important to celebrate the life achievements of the residents in our care, whether it’s honouring birthdays or religious celebrations, each individual is encouraged to celebrate the things that make them unique.

This week, team members at Goldenley Care Home hosted a life achievement session where residents were asked to share stories and pictures from some of their greatest achievements. Not only does this activity encourage the residents to interact with each other, but also promotes reminiscence and helps to highlight similarities amongst the people who live at the care home.

Joan was one of the residents who took part in the activity and shared a lovely photo of herself and her husband dressed in fine clothing. The story that went alongside it was very interesting – Joan had once been a Pearly Queen in Walthamstow. Pearly Kings and Queens, also known as ‘Pearlies’, is a charitable tradition which started in North London. The elected King and Queen of each area would be in charge of keeping the peace and standing up for the rights of local people. Joan and her husband, Chris, were very proud of the work they did over the years and she still continues traditions from her past by entertaining other residents with old cockney songs. To help recognise this important life event, Joan was handed a certificate of life achievement – helping her to continue feeling proud of her work as a Pearly Queen.

Another resident who shared a lifetime achievement with the group was Maureen. Maureen said one of her proudest achievements and the best time of her life, was when she went to Graceland in America to watch Elvis Perform. Not only did she have a great time, but she also managed to get a picture with the man himself, an item she holds very dear to her heart. Many of the other residents are especially fascinated by this, as Elvis was such icon and someone who many looked up to. To highlight this achievement, Maureen was also awarded a life achievement certificate.

It was a very enjoyable and positive afternoon, hearing all of the incredible achievements of the residents in our care. We look forward to hearing more life stories from the people who live here and the successes they have experienced.

7 Oct 19

Team members host a ‘Cinema Experience’ at Glennfield Care Home

Providing personalised care and tailored activities is at the heart of the team’s role at Glennfield Care Home in Wisbech. The weekly schedule is not only in place to ensure people get a good mix of entertainment, activity and exercise classes, but include spaces where residents can request activities they would like to do.

This week, residents from one part of the care home asked team members to host a cinema afternoon, where they could sit back and enjoy a film with some sweet snacks by the side. The group definitely knew what they wanted, so team members grouped together to make it happen.

They started by finding out the residents’ favourite type of pick and mix sweets as well their favourite flavour of popcorn. After getting all of the information, they headed out to buy the requested snacks before setting them up at the care home in preparation for the afternoon. To set the mood and make it feel like a real cinema, team members closed the blinds and turned the lights off so it was ready for when the group arrived.

As the room began to fill-up, residents were picking their snacks from the table and for those who don’t like sweets and popcorn, a variety of chocolate mouses were also available. Before the film started, the group were saying how it felt like a real cinema and took them back to previous trips with their friends and family.

The film then started so people got comfortable and began tucking into their selection of snacks. It was a very calming yet enjoyable session that closely matched the experience of visiting the cinema, with residents commenting how grateful they were for the team’s efforts.

Encouraging people to share their activity recommendations means they are much more likely to be engaged and focussed during the session, leading to many more positive outcomes. This also helps to encourage independence by giving people the opportunity to help form their own schedule.

What a lovely afternoon and one that will certainly be repeated again soon!

7 Oct 19

Residents enjoy a Frank Sinatra themed afternoon at Windmill Lodge

It’s no secret that the residents at Windmill Lodge Care Home love to sing and dance, so Lifestyle Coordinator, Grace, hosted a Frank Sinatra themed afternoon to get everyone jiving. Grace chose Frank Sinatra as many of the residents know his best hits including ‘My way’ and ‘Fly Me to the Moon’. Frank was also a popular artist in the 40s and 50s, eras that are familiar for most of the residents at Windmill, helping to bring back fond memories from the past.

As the tuneful sounds of Frank Sinatra played around Windmill Lodge, people were beaming with happiness and singing along with team members and visiting relatives. It was great seeing how Frank’s music can shift the mood around the care home and bring people feelings of joy and comfort as they interact with their friends.

As Grace made her way around the care home, she noticed Antony, who lives at Windmill Lodge, singing along from his chair. She knows that Antony loves to dance, especially to Frank’s music, so asked him to join her for a quick boogie. Antony didn’t hesitate and they both enjoyed a special moment as ‘My Way’ played in the background.

Other residents took part in the afternoon by dancing from the comfort of their chair, whilst others nodded their heads and moved their hands in time. It was great fun enjoying music with the residents and visitors – it’s always rewarding to see the happiness that music can bring.

4 Oct 19

Residents play parachute games at St Georges Court

Residents at St Georges Court Care Home had an afternoon of fun in the garden this week while playing some parachute games.

Team members at the care home always look for ways to make activities, fun, interesting and beneficial, so they decided to play some parachute games in the garden paired with a reminiscence activity.

Residents gathered in the garden, and as the sun shone down, team members explained the game they would be playing. They were asked to sit in the chairs that formed a circle and pick up the edge of the parachute in front of them. Lifestyle Coordinators then put a memory prompt ball, with lots of questions written over it, on top of the parachute and told the group if the ball landed in front of them, they were to pick it up and answer the nearest question on the ball. This meant questions were randomised and helped people to learn more about their friends.

As the residents shook the ball around the parachute, people were answering questions about their best childhood friends, where they grew up and many others hinting towards the past. It was great hearing all the different stories and seeing the joy it brought as they moved the ball around.

This session helped to tap into the resident’s lives whilst keeping them active and engaged in group activity. They all had a great time sharing fond memories from the past and making the most of the September sun.

4 Oct 19

Connie’s Story: A Life Fulfilled

Connie was born at Fledgesoft Farm in Whittlesey, where she lived wither her mum, Sarah, dad, Samuel and Brother, who was also named Samuel.

In her early years, she attended Broad Street School before continuing her studies at Peterborough Road School, a local all-girls school. Her favourite lesson was cooking as she enjoyed learning the different recipes, but wasn’t so fond of maths.

Connie’s family were smallholders, meaning they owned a small farm and she remembers the horses, cows, pigs, goats and other animals they had. She has memories of helping her Auntie Alice and Grandfather Cheshire, milk the cows each week to produce butter and dairy. The farm also grew a range of crops, which they used to sell to locals, including wheat, straw, barley, corn, potatoes and many other vegetables.

Most of Connie’s first jobs involved working on the family farm, but when she was 14, she took a role in House Service, meaning she would look after a family, cook their dinner and ensure the place was always clean and tidy. Her Auntie Alice had inspired her with different recipes, which certainly they came in handy during her time there.

When the war broke out, Connie worked back on the farm alongside women who had travelled up from London. They all became friends very quickly and after spending time in the countryside, they decided not to move back to London, so they stayed in Whittlesey and later in life, married men from the local town.

After working on the farm for a while, Connie tried out some different jobs, including factory roles and one based at a Brickyard. Both of these roles paid more money than land work, but remebers having to work hard and fast.

Some years later, Connie met Neville and they connected instantly. They were very happy together and married soon after at the registry office in Whittlesey.

The couple then moved in with Neville’s dad and brother where they stayed for a number of years. Neville’s dad also grew fruit and vegetables for a living and sold them on a stall he owned in Peterborough. After the war, both Connie and Neville worked for him, helping to grow and sell the fresh fruit and veg. Connie remembers this being a tough job, as she would work 6 days a week from 7 am to 4:30 pm throughout the summer months.

In her spare time, Connie would make jams and cakes, which she won a selection of rosettes for at local competitions. This was a treat for their three children Maureen, Pricilla & David, as they would often get to sample the cakes and different types of jam before being entered into the contest.

With a glow in her cheeks, Connie talked of fond memories watching Neville and his father work, while she brought tea and cake to keep them going.

Now living at Aliwal Manor Care Home, Connie says she is extremely happy and loves the food. Her secret to staying happy throughout her life was working on the land, she said, as this kept her active and breathing fresh air. A positive attitude towards trying new things helps too, she said – something she definitely still practices here at Aliwal Manor.

3 Oct 19

The catering team at Longfield show residents their cake making skills

The catering team at Longfield Care Home have been keeping busy in recent weeks, making a variety of different cakes for the activities and events happening at the care home. The first being a Harvest Festival Service, where residents, relatives and members of the local community came to join the celebrations at the care home.

The catering team had prepared cakes complying with the theme and they looked great! Everyone enjoyed tucking in, chatting amongst themselves and making happy memories together. Soon after, Reverent Stephen Carter and some of his choir came to visit and engage with the celebrations. Together they sang Hymns, said a few prayers and enjoyed reading some verses from the Bible, relating to the importance of giving at this time of the year.

After the service, the choir group were given some of the cakes made by the catering team and they too had only good things to say!

The team’s cake baking skills were to be called on later in the week too, when a musical afternoon tea was hosted at the care home. The Lifestyle Coordinators had prepared by decorating the tables, hanging bunting from the ceiling and setting up the Amazon Dot, so residents could select their own music during the afternoon.

Throughout the duration of the tea party, residents were making the most of the Amazon Echo and took it in turns to tell the device which song to play. This ensured that everyone remained engaged with the session and the group enjoyed singing along to each other’s favourite songs.

As the teas and cakes were served, residents said their compliments to the catering team for another round of delightful treats. Anna and Nick, who work in the kitchen at Longfield, really helped to make these sessions successful and the cakes they made added to everyone’s enjoyment.

Thank you both for helping to keep everyone feeling uplifted and providing us with lots of wonderful cakes!