What a week it has been at Hill house, our outstanding activities team organised a sensational themed week for our residents. Our Cruise week saw passengers (residents) of the Royal Sunflower cruise-liner enjoying a virtual holiday of a lifetime, where they explored traditional flavours and cultures of six far away destinations.

On Monday morning we were delighted to be invited out on our first bus trip of the year as we stopped by the stunning blue bells around the Hampshire village of Ellisfield.

Alliteratively Monday morning we engaged in therapeutic colouring or painting activity themed around today’s destination, at the King George V Dock in Shieldhall near Braehead. Others helped make flags for the week to decorate the dining tables as part of our therapeutic morning.

We were welcomed onboard the Royal sunflower cruise liner by our Captain Julie offering us welcome drinks to celebrate as we set sail around the world on a week of adventures and culture. As the Virtual ship left it Scottish dock bagpipe music played as we sipped on Scottish whisky, stout and wine before lunch.

After our Captain lunch the first activity on the itinerary that afternoon was Highland games, Caber toss.

The caber toss is a traditional Scottish athletic event in which competitors toss a large tapered pole called a “caber”.

Using an adapted pool noddle covered in wood effect paper we had such a laugh as we throw the Caber high in the air, trying to ensure it landed withing the red markers on the playing mats.

Later that afternoon we played board games like draughts or picture pairs and completed a Scottish themed brain training activity.

Tuesday morning after a good night’s sleep on aboard the royal Sunflower we woke up in Mexico. We enjoyed a morning of Mexican themed activities starting with Mexican train dominies in the lounge. We re as a group the Mexican daily fact sheet, sharing with us a little bit of Mexican culture and famous facts about the country.

Our garden view lounge played picture pairs and completed Mexican food word searches.

As we sat in the ships dining room, we were greeted by a mariachi band who served us a sensational Mexican chili with rice or mash potatoes served with a side of loaded nachos, the amazing chef pulled out all the stops with this lunch. The mariachi themed customs were a hug hit with resident’s, the traditional music provided an authentic atmosphere and over lunch residents and staff shared stories of their holidays to Mexico with each other.

Cruising is good for the soul and cruise fever had swept across the home by Tuesday and everyone was so excited to get involved in the fun.

That afternoon it was ‘Fiesta time’ we loved playing the tradition Mexican pinata game and learning about its heritage and history.
The Mexican Catholic interpretation of the piñata rested on the struggle of man against temptation. The seven points represent the seven deadly sins. The pot represents evil and the seasonal fruit and candy inside the temptations of evil. The person with the stick is blindfolded to represent faith.

There was lots of laughter as we took it in turns to hit the piñata to try and break it open to get the sweets inside, we played while listening to Mexican music clapping and cheering each other on.

Our garden view lounge finished the afternoons activities off with a game of Mexican train dominoes.

Wednesday morning as we took an express trip around the many Asian countries, the days itinerary started with Asian inspired painting and threptic colouring.  Adult colouring can improve eye and hand coordination when practiced often. Unfortunately, motor skills fade as people age, but colouring is one relaxing and useful tool that can help strengthen these skills and rebuild basic motor skills and trigger forgotten ones

We took time to try and learn a new game Chinese poker but after a lot of giggling we opted for a game of uno instead. Exploring the traditional Asian cultures sparked conversations and we shared stories of holidays and living in different Asian countries over the years.

We keep all of our art work and after they have been displayed in the art gallery, we add them to our scrapbooks.

Our amazing kitchen team served a stunning Sweet and sour chicken lunch with spring rolls, samosas and prawn crackers on the side, a real taste of Asian to spice up the taste buds.

As we continue to travel the world onboard ‘The Royal Sunflower Cruise Ship’.

Wednesday afternoon in true Cruise Ship style we were treated to a master cooking class with our talented chef Jade and her sous-chef for the afternoon Bryony.

It was an unbelievable experience to take part as we made authentic vegetable spring rolls, grating and chopped vegetables before taking on the challenge of the spring roll fold.

Everyone loved the tasting the spring rolls as they tucked in to the home-made goodies over a cup of Green Tea.

We love coming together to celebrate biorthdays and enjoying a slice of birthday cake with friends.

Thursday we docked in sunny california, our garden view loung played beach ball inspired games and listened to sensory beach music, to help trandport us to the californian beaches.

Spending one to one time reminiscing on holidays we have taken and looking through our personal photo albums helps us share our stories and reminisce.

Others joined in the lounge for an American themed 50 state quiz. It surprised us how many states we knew and put this down to them appearing in films over the years.

Due to the rain on Thursday our BIG American BBQ lunch was brought indoors but we didn’t let that dampen our holiday spirits as we enjoyed Burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and a selection of salads.

After an extended BBQ lunch, our forestry group met and arranged this week stunning floral arrangements.

Our weekly clubs provide a planned opportunity for residents to socialise while engaging in activities they enjoy.

Friday morning, a new day a new country and today we step ashore the tropical islands of Hawaii, reading our daily fact sheet we learn that Hawaii is made up of 8 islands. On the garden view lounge, we explore the sensory sand boxes, we explored the textures found at the beach with this sensory activity. We spent a few minutes just experiencing the cool, smooth sand on our fingers before digging around to find hidden shells and pebbles, it was a relaxing experience with the sound of waves being played through the stereo it took us back to the seaside and evoked many conversations about summer holidays and trips to the local beaches.

We played a beach volleyball inspired game as a group as part of our regular exercise programme.

Alliteratively we played board games in the lounge, a game of scrabble followed by the double dice number game.

A holiday to Hawaii would be a holiday without a luau (is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. It features food and entertainment such as traditional Hawaiian music and hula limbo).

We joined together for a spectacular Hawaiian celebration with themed Tiki drinks Bar, we danced the limbo taking our turn to go under the limbo pole. Everyone wore fancy dress outfits; the home was filled with flowers and colour all afternoon. the laughter and music could be heard around the home as we danced and sang songs together.

Saturday morning, we have taken a bus trip over night and arrived in Switzerland, we looked through pictures of swiss landscapes and famous landmarks, followed by sitting with friends playing dominoes and RummyKub.

Others engaged in sensory shape puzzles and spent time in the sunshine tending to the garden plants.

Saturday afternoon, we were treated to a interactive music tasting cart, the cart hosted a selection of swiss chocolates to try, it played yodelling music as it visited all rooms in the home. The music inspired us to get up and dance our very own swiss residents couldn’t help but dance when she heard the music, her smile was from ear to ear as she helped serve everyone Switzerland’s finest chocolates.

Sunday morning allowed us time to reflect on the week of travelling, we chatted about all the countries we visited and what activities we enjoyed the most, it was tough to pick only one. We sued our magic table to play quiz games.

Others spent the morning watching virtual church service and taking time to pray.

Our weekly film club gathered in front of the big Tv to watch a classic British comedy movie.