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Keeping spirits high during COVID19 – Part 1

Thursday 21st May 2020

Keeping spirits high during COVID19 – Part 1

Our latest round up of innovative care home ideas comes after a busy few weeks that included VE Day and International Nurses Day. Thanks to everyone who’s sent in their amazing ideas; they showcase just how special our key workers in health and social care are. In fact, we’ve received so many responses we’ve had to split the latest update into two parts!

Take a read through part 1, covering some of the excellent ways that care home staff are keeping residents active, busy and happy during this difficult time.

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day

 Due to the current situation such events have required a different approach to ensure social distancing is observed and guidelines are followed. But that hasn’t stopped Avante Care & Support homes across the UK marking VE Day 2020 with themed decorations, vintage style singalongs and a BBQ.

At Court Regis care home, residents and staff have been busy making VE Day hats, bunting and table decorations. Jeannette Spooner, Day Care Officer said: “Whilst we were making the decorations it became a perfect opportunity to chat and reminisce about war times and for residents to share their stories if they were comfortable to.”

At Puddingstone Grange VE Day celebrations were opened by vintage style singer Alice, who delivered a pitch-perfect, socially distanced performance of war time classics by Dame Vera Lynn and Doris Day including Secret Love, It’s a long way to Tipperary and Knees up Mother Brown.

In Welling, Riverdale Court’s VE Day opened with another guest singer before an afternoon of celebrations including BBQ provided by the community-based project group, Progressive Welling.

 Exercise goes digital

Care provider, Belong, have launched a new YouTube channel hosting fitness workout videos, designed especially for older people. Inspired by Joe Wicks’ PE sessions for children, the videos provide a series of simple standing, sitting and bed-based exercises to keep the nation’s older community healthy during the coronavirus lockdown.

Activities are ran by Belong’s in-house fitness instructors, with each video designed to improve specific muscles and both physical and mental well-being.

Anthony Harley, lead exercise instructor at Belong, said: “We know that our work with residents in the village gyms makes a huge difference to their quality of life, so it was really important to find a way to keep this going, even if we couldn’t access the same equipment. We felt inspired by Joe Wicks’ online PE lessons for the nation’s schoolchildren and thought, “why not do the same for older people?”

New ducklings support those living with dementia

At one Belong Village in Newcastle-under-Lyme, five baby ducks have forged a special friendship with residents as part of an animal therapy programme for people living with dementia.

The new additions have been hatched as part of an ‘incredible eggs’ project to create new opportunities for residents to nurture and interact with the ducklings, as they support the hatching process and provide care and love to their new companions. They have also selected names for the new arrivals: Thunder, Nugget, Gillimore, Shirley, and Daffy!

Through meeting the ducklings, feeding and bathing them, watching them grow, the interaction helps those with dementia remember past experience.

International Nurses Day

 Despite things being different this year, Valerie Manor celebrated International Nurses Day with a tribute from residents and their families. The messages of love and support came from far and wide, with all joining together to thank nurses for their commitment, care and support.

Watch the tribute here.

 Stamford House Rochdale

 In Rochdale, residents at Stamford House have spent time time talking about family and things that make them happy. This time helped to spread positivity and happy thoughts for residents who haven’t been able to see their loved ones for a while now. We also talked about what they wanted to do once lockdown is lifted, with many sharing messages to friends and family to let them know they’re thinking about them.

Nos Nom

 At Nos Nom in Cornwall, residents and staff are joining forces to tackle the 26 Challenge! For 26 consecutive days, challenges will be complete that last for 26 minutes, 26 miles or are related to 26. All fundraising money will go towards Animal Free Research UK. Professor Lorna Harries and her team at the University of Exeter are currently optimising a test that could tell users whether they are carrying COVID19.


Share your ideas and look out for part 2

Keep an eye out for part 2 next week.

If you’d like to share your innovative ideas about how you’re meeting the challenges associated with COVID-19, please email

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.