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How care homes are keeping their residents in good spirits during COVID-19 – Blog 5

Tuesday 16th June 2020

How care homes are keeping their residents in good spirits during COVID-19 – Blog 5

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease for the public, care homes and health and social care settings continue to adhere to strict COVID19 measures. Over the last couple of months we’ve been covering some of the innovative ways care homes are keeping residents in good spirits during this tricky time.

Our latest round up covers cinema nights, virtual cycling, outdoor theatre performances and plenty more!

Round the world cycling and dance moves

At Vida Healthcare in Harrogate, they’ve manage to continue providing high quality dementia care whilst keeping staff morals up during the pandemic. Residents have even been busy cycling around the world, with the help of video technology and a motorised Motiview bike! This has really benefited both physical and mental health, as well as allowing residents to reminisce about places they’ve visited.

The home have also had live performances from the car park where residents and staff have been able to watch safely from the comfort of their balconies; all specifically designed for people living with dementia. Managers have also been entertaining residents by showcasing their dancing skills!

As with many homes, technology has been utilised to keep families up to date with personalised videos and photographs from their loved ones, as well as daily video calls.

Movie night with Stan and Ollie

Elsewhere, at Avante care homes across the UK, residents have been kept entertained with a movie night. All ten of Avante’s care homes sat down and enjoyed the same rib-tickling film, Stan and Ollie. Residents were treated to bags of laughter and popcorn, as the story of the much loved-double act told of their off screen friendship.

Many of the homes hosted the movie in their very own cinema room whilst others aired the movie on screen projectors in a darkened lounge, helping to create the perfect cinema effect.

One home even had their very own usher! Phyllis who lives at Court Regis previously worked as an usher in a cinema. She shared with staff that she didn’t do it for the money as she genuinely loved being an usher and watching all the latest films. Phyllis was delighted when staff asked if she wanted to show them how it was done.

Green spaces and a mocktail or two

At another Avante care home, Chaucer House in Canterbury, they’ve given their garden a makeover to provide a space that residents can enjoy and spend quality time.

New shrubs and raised planters were chosen by the residents, with bushes and topiary also cut back to create a landscaped view for residents to sit back and take in. Many outdoor events have already took place, including VE Day celebrations, outdoor quizzes and barbecue.

Elsewhere, Puddingstone Grange in London have been taking advantage of the good weather with non-alcoholic cocktails and tasty food. Residents used an abundance of fresh tropical fruits and berries to create their drinks, with others also enjoying cutting and preparing food. Both of these activities proved popular, and are proven to improve mental health, wellbeing and dexterity in fingers and hands.

Pauline Hill, Activity Coordinator said: “We chose to make fruit mocktails with residents to highlight the benefits of fruit and to start the discussion about the impact of eating fruit and vegetables to help support mental health and wellbeing. It was a very positive activity as the residents were involved from the very start.

“Their senses were also stimulated through smell and touch of the fruits and herbs, especially the mint leaves used for the Pimms cocktails.”

Braving the shave

Care home staff at Stocks Hall in Mawdesley, Lancashire, have been getting brave by accepting a challenge of a new shaven hair style! Nurses, carers, kitchen staff and domestic staff clubbed together to support each other as their hair fell to the ground.

And thanks to generous colleagues, friends and family, they’ve managed to raise £800! The donations will go towards the Resident’s Fund for activities, equipment and events.

Care home manager, Kirsty Lunt, said: “I am so proud of the team. To agree to have your hair shaven is a brave act. It was a shared experience, which gave lots of unity, and has made the team even stronger.

“Well done to everybody. Thank you also to all who have so very generously donated and supported in any other ways. Thanks also to the people who ‘braved the shave’ with long hair and donated it to The Little Princess Trust.”

A trip to the cafe and shop

At Winscombe Care Home in Fareham, residents have been really missing their visits to the local shops and cafes. So. Much so, the care home have created their very own versions!

Located on the ground of the home, the shop and cafe is run by residents and used by all. This has given people a renewed sense of purpose and provided a welcome change of scenery. The shopkeeper Peter, who is one of the home’s oldest residents, runs the shop and provides a list of products the residents would like to see.

Other residents have been busy baking cakes and making teas and coffees for the cafe! The project has been a massive success, and residents are already planning to continue managing after the pandemic lifts.

Elsewhere in the home, and a big screen and projector has been purchased so residents don’t miss out on their regularly trips to the cinema. There’s even been film nights outside, accompanied with plenty of popcorn and ice-cream!

Poems, pocket hugs and pin badges

Alongside all their usual activities, St Oswalds care home in Warrington have hosted a whole host of events to help keep resents busy and active. Outdoor performances have celebrated St George’s Day and VE Day, with photos uploaded to social media for relatives to see their loved ones and feel a part of the celebrations.

The care home have also held their first Relatives Forum via Zoom, making use of modern technology to engage with families and connect with loved ones. Residents have also sent out poems and ‘pocket hugs’ to relatives, helping to bring comfort and messages of love.

Staff have been kept in good spirits, with gifts including key rings and hero badges helping to keep a close-knit bond during challenging times. National Nurses Week was celebrated in May, with each nurse receiving a home made gift to show thanks for all they do.

A banner was also made to hang outside the home in recognition of the amazing work the team do each and every single day!

Share your ideas

A big thank you to everyone who’s shared their innovative care home ideas so far. As always a special mention goes to all those inspiring health and care workers who are doing all they can to make sure no one feels isolated or down at this tricky time.

If you’d like to share the innovative ideas you’ve come up with to meet the challenges associated with COVID-19, please email necsu.marketing@nhs.net. We’ll be able to share them in future bulletins, as well as through Facebook and Twitter so other care homes can adopt ideas and ensure their residents remain active, happy and in good spirits.