A sunny, fun week here at Hill House as residents enjoyed a week themed around the European country of Italy. Both residents and staff have loved sharing their holiday stories for this vibrant and scenic country. The week was packed with exciting activities and lots of time spent out in the beautiful sunshine.

Arts and crafts club on a Monday morning is the perfect way for us to start a new week. It introduces us to the new themed week and also gets the conversation flowing. We used pasta to creating pictures and form shapes before painting them in bright colours and displaying them on the display tables for everyone to enjoy.

With it being warmer than normal for this time of year we are taking the opportunity to get outside and enjoy a wide range of activities. Giant snakes and ladders, is a game of luck and working in teams we race around the board trying to be the first the finish dodging snakes and climbing ladders as we go. Alternately we also enjoyed Italian holiday reminiscing in the court yard garden.

A refreshing start to our Tuesday as we participated in outdoor exercises and aerobics. Exercise has countless benefits for those of all ages, including a healthier heart, stronger bones and improved flexibility. Later in the morning we joined for our 4 weekly Residents Meeting with the Home’s Director and Manager.

In the garden view lounge, we put together bright and cheerful floral arrangements to be displayed throughout the Home. With many of us doing the weekly church floral arrangements in years gone by. This activity provides us with a great sense of pride and satisfaction.

The afternoon was filled with plenty to keep us busy. We continue to add to our scrapbooks weekly filling them with pictures of the wonderful activities we have been involved with, as well as letters and cards from our loved ones. Others took the opportunity to get outside into the fresh air walking around the gardens and feeding the fish at the fish pound. A small group of us enjoyed quiz games in the shade as we hosted our own quiz and took it in turns to be the quiz master.

In our garden view lounge, we spent Wednesday morning playing board games, dominoes, reading magazine’s and being treated to hand massages and manicures. Elsewhere in the home we got creative creating Italian flag bunting, we cut the flags and strung them together ready for this afternoon Italian themed lunch.

Our Italian themed lunch saw the dining tables decorated in green, white and red. We enjoyed an authentic spaghetti bolognaise with crispy garlic bread lovingly made by our wonderful kitchen team.

Although Wednesday afternoon was slightly cloudy it didn’t stop us from going outside and enjoying an afternoon of skittles, and Italian themed white board games, inspired by our lunch we used the words spaghetti bolognaise to try and find as many words as possible using only those letter but in a different order, we were so pleased to have made 67 words.

In the garden view court yard garden, we looked through Italian recipes, discussing the different cooking techniques and our favourite Italian inspired recipes we love to cook. We also explored the baking themed rummage box, using some of these items we created a baking themed display table for everyone to enjoy and rummage through.

The most famous Italian dish throughout the world is pizza, and Italian week couldn’t be hosted here at Hill House without us cooking pizzas in our Cooking Club on Thursday morning. We loved making the pizzas with a mixture of different flavour toppings from the classic cheese and tomato to chicken and mushroom. Our pizzas where cooked by chef and we thoroughly enjoyed them for supper.

Thursday afternoon in the sunshine we learnt a new card game, happy families. Playing card games, laughing and enjoying friendly competition also engages the drive to feel a sense of purpose. We benefit from renewed self-confidence even when we don’t win a round because we are engaging with others.

We love to play giant snakes and ladders in the court yard garden, it has become a firm favourite of ours and never fails to get everyone involved. We spent time looking through Italian travel booklets and books on Italy’s famous landmarks. We shared stories of our travels and the people we met along the way.

Friday morning, we took part in light exercises and a game of balloon bounce, keeping our bodies moving improves our overall wellbeing, we all know that “Endorphins make you happy!”.

Aqua painting is a sensory art form it aims to evoke enduring memories when the image is revealed, after painting our boards we spent the morning talking about our gardens and our love of wildlife.

In our garden view lounge, we enjoyed a calming morning completing jigsaw puzzles and reading books and getting outside into the sunshine.

Friday saw the start of our BBQ season here at Hill House. The whole home came together to enjoy the delights of the BBQ cooked by chef she served us burgers, sausages, fresh salad and sweet onions as we enjoyed dining alfresco and catching up with friends in the gardens.

The afternoon of fun contained as we played giant scrabble in the gardens, using the white board and in our court yard garden we played a landmark pairs game while enjoying listening jazz music.

During our Italian reminiscing earlier in the week, we spoke of never having made pasta ourselves instead we have always opted to buy it pre made. We looked up a recipe and realised there isn’t many ingredients and felt we should give it ago. So, Saturday morning we rolled up ourselves and got busy making pasta using a modern pasta machine. We needed and rolled out the dough before using the pasta machine to turn our pasta into spaghetti strings and cooking it up to taste, we were amazed at how well and fresh it tasted and we have offered our pasta making skills to the kitchen for the future.

Saturday afternoon we explored the fidget board and tool box bags, talking through all the uses of the tools and what we would and wouldn’t use each tool for. We spent time looking through picture sent in by our families this always bring us great joy and we are missing them so very much.

Sunday morning, we caught up with the daily news while reading our papers and listening to music. We spent time one on one enjoying fun activities such as therapeutic colouring, math quizzes and skype calls to our families.

Sunday afternoon’s film club is very popular and most residents opt to attending the weeks showing, while enjoying refreshments from the treat cart and tucking into a bag of pick n mix. Our interactive activity centre is in high demand and is always being used somewhere in the home, it provides both sensory and engaging activities as well as promoting exercise and movement of the upper body.