Here at Hill House this week we enjoyed a range of cooking activities as part of food week. We plan activities that are designed to activate the senses, trigger happy memories, and encourage social bonding and this week we offered activities from Cooking Club, to Gardening, to singing songs, we plan a wide variety of different activities throughout the week for our residents to enjoy and bond over in the comfort of their home.
Monday morning residents engaged in a wide range of activities, they took on a food themed quiz which led to a long conversation reminiscing about foods and the corner sweet shop as a child. Others completed jigsaw puzzles and played board games in pairs.
The afternoon was a baking affair across the home as we entered the ‘NAPA McVitie’s Tasties Care home Challenge’, The competition, challenges care homes across the country to get creative and make a biscuit masterpiece built on a memory. Here at Hill house we the sunflower is an important part of everyday ethos for the company and staff work to provide the highest standard of care using the sunflower approach.
When we were given the choice to participate in the NAPA McVitie’s Tasties Care home Challenge, we jumped at the opportunity and after a lot of dissection during social chats and group discussion they picked the sunflower, inspired by the sunflower awards they see given to staff by the directors for outstanding achievements, nominated by fellow staff and us the residents.
Across the homes 3 lounges we rolled up our sleeves on Monday afternoon to prepare the biscuit batter mix, measuring out ingrediencies adding flavour and whisking up a sensational batter. Rolling out the mixture before carefully cutting out individual petals and centre circle.
Tuesday morning, we attended our monthly residents meeting hosted by our director, we are able to come together and air or concerns and talk about what we are enjoying and how we are moving forward in the month to come.
The afternoon we finished off our sunflower biscuit entry, we worked together with staff and fellow residents, benefiting from the help and support of others, we mixed up a yellow icing stiff enough to hold its shape but not wet it would run off the biscuits, one resident took charge of this and used her years of baking to help create the perfect thickness. Everyone got involved decorated the individual petals and flower centre. Creating something delicious and beautiful provided our us with a fun and social outlet for self-expression.
Wednesday morning as food week continued, we rolled up ourselves and with the help from chef we prepared pizza baps ready for supper, promoting independence and helping with daily living tasks brings us renewed confidence and higher self-esteem, many of us relish helping out as it brings back fond memories of our family life.
In the garden view lounge, we used a variety of sensory games, dominoes and activities from fidget boards to Ball games.
Wednesday afternoon in the garden view lounge as part of cooking club we made yummy pizza baps ready for supper that evening. Our senses are strongly tied to memory, in particular, smell and taste can bring back very vivid memories. The familiar smells and flavours experienced when cooking a favourite meal can be very therapeutic for all, we love getting creative and it always help improve our appetite.
Our weekly giant crossword was a tricky one on Wednesday afternoon with abstract clues and tricky answers, the afternoon finished with birthday celebartion with family in a social distance celebration in the garden.
Thursday morning our knitter natter group meet and continue to produce some amazing knitting squares and patterns, we have started a new exciting project of the knitting. Other enjoyed a morning exercise programme including ball games and gentle stretched and upper body movement to music.
Thursday afternoon we joined for a sing along in the main lounge after finding an inflatable microphone on display we passed it round and took it in turns to sing our favourite songs to one and other. We also relaxed and unwind as we visited the in house hair dresser for some well-deserved pampering and other enjoyed a spot of reading and catching up with friends.
Friday morning the lounge was filled with laughter as we played the ready steady cook board game. A board game based on the hit TV show, we split into two teams (the Red Tomatoes or the Green Peppers) we made our way from round the board passing various countdown squares before reaching the Stop Cooking Sign, where each team had to answer food trivia questions or perform a silly task like, pancake flipping, it brought the whole room together and more people joined in as the game went on, others wanted to spend their morning in a more relaxing manner reading the daily papers, completing jigsaw puzzles and watching the morning shows on tv.
Friday afternoon our very talented staff member Daisy performed a singalong session while playing her guitar. Music is known to improve mood levels, bring back older, happy memories, encourages socialization, and promotes overall mental and physical health. We also made the most of the warm sunshine and took walks out in the grounds exploring the flowers and seeing the subtitle changes that mean Autumn is on it way.
Saturday, we had a jam packed day, we enjoyed taking care of the house plants, engaging in sensory stimulating activities, and playing a board games together.
Sunday morning, some of us watched match of the day on the big tv in the lounges catching up on yesterday’s premiere league goals and highlights. We played a game of dominos in the lounge and read the Sunday papers while enjoying a hot drink and slice fop cake.
The Sunday afternoon film club met, we watched Wind in the Willows.
In garden view lounge we took on a series of brain training activities, a group crossword, letter matching games and dominos. Many of the mental exercises come in the form of games, such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku. These games work different quadrants of the brain, they are motivating, challenging and fun.