This week we celebrated Easter in style as our activities team pulled out all the stops to make Easter a magical time for the whole home. With a fabulous garden egg hunt for visiting loved one’s resident’s and staff and a surprise visit from the dancing Easter bunny. We decorated chocolate eggs and spent Good Friday eating hot cross buns.
Monday morning, started with a fun Easter game called ‘Chicken Egg Toss’ where everyone tries to toss the eggs onto the chicken tray to get a point and win chocolate eggs!
Our garden-view lounges had tremendous time playing egg parachute games as part of morning exercises. Parachute games help to develop and create trust in the group, whilst practicing movement and coordination.
Others spent time reading the morning papers with a coffee and loved the group conversations.
Our cooking club met in the day lounge for an afternoon of chocolaty heaven, as they melted and made an old easter classic ‘Chocolate Easter Nest Cakes’.
Working together they made yummy cakes that were then ready to eat with the afternoon tea trolley.
We even love to help tidy up at the end.
Others spent time out in the garden enjoying the spring sunshine or playing games inside.
Tuesday morning, our Easter themed therapeutic colouring and painting class joined in the day lounge. This activity is a multi-sensory activity, we sit listening to calming music often linked to the weekly theme, so this week while we engaged in the class we listened to Easter hymns through our Alexa.
We also spent time engaging in table top games like dominos in small groups. This helps in improving the thinking and calculative skills of players. Apart from that, dominoes games have a way of building bonds.
We had so much fun and the lounge was filled with laughter as we took on the Chicken toss challenge in our garden-view lounge. The fun faces on the chickens mixed with the eggs bouncing in opposite directions had everyone in giggles.
Surrounded by friends on Tuesday a very special couple Celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary.
They spent lunch time enjoying one another’s company with a glass or two of champagne while opening cards and gifts from friends and family.
Our talented Bryony and the activities team created a personalised newspaper cover to mark the special occasion, featuring their love story that has had everyone gripped this week (we are all egger to know the secret to 70 years of marriage), wedding photos and even a sneak peek at the happy couple as Children.
Their only wish to celebrate this milestone was to host a tea party with lots of cake for everyone. Our extremely talented chef David served a sensational cake to mark the occasion along with cupcakes, as requested the home came together for afternoon tea to celebrate.
Just before the anniversary celebrations we all came together in the lounge for our monthly meeting with our home’s director. It was lovely to have a large group of us together sharing our thoughts and idea. It is a great social opportunity and is always enjoyed with a glass of wine or G&T in hand.
Wednesday was full of boundless sensory activities best tailored to benefit us in the garden-view lounges. We completed animal picture pairs, played higher or lower card games from one of our favourite old TV shows.
Easter Bingo was the name of the game in our day lounge. All sat together around a table, we raced to be the first to get a line before trying to achieve a full house.
Researchers have found that playing bingo has multiple health benefits for the elderly. It takes concentration – which improves listening and short-term memory skills and it promotes socialization – which is essential for seniors to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Our afternoon arts & crafts club met to create stunning stain glass window crosses. Using a mix medium design of foam, tissue paper and coloured clear plastic squares they will reflect light shades onto the floor when hung in the windows this Easter.
Following on we decorated our Easter floral wreath with bright colourful eggs, foam shaped carrots and cheerful chicks.
Alongside all our crafting activities group dominoes was being played in a quiet area of the day lounge.
We got in a sticky mess in our garden-view lounge but we didn’t mind as it was chocolate. We decorated chocolate Easter eggs with brightly coloured chocolate Smarties and sprinkles. The best part was indulging in too many Easter eggs with a hot cup of tea.
Alternatively, there were games of snakes and ladders and dominoes being enjoyed in other parts of the garden-view lounges.
Our Pet Therapy session with the lovely Norma always makes everyone smile at Hill House. Multiple studies have found that being around animals can improve one’s mood and reduce the risk of developing depression. Other studies have found that dogs in particular can support in decreasing the feelings of anxiety and sadness as well as increasing physical activity.
Thursday morning, our floristry club met in the lounge to display this week’s splendid floral arrangements.
Flowers stimulate the senses of smell, sight and touch and in doing so it triggers memories, leading to us sharing stories with one and other, encourages reminiscing and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.
In preparation for our upcoming Easter bonnet parade we worked really hard all morning making striking hats.
During the morning we shared stories of making Easter bonnets in the past as well earning about how the tradition started.
According to Christian tradition, the fashion for new bonnets came thanks to Easter being known as a time for renewal. With the fasting of Lent over and people keen to mark the religious occasion, female churchgoers were eager to make and show off their new clothes, including hats. So, this started the tradition of wearing Easter bonnets.
Thursday afternoon we welcomed Andy, in for our Easter Party, we got to our feet and danced or sang along to the rock n roll 50s music.
Friday morning, our Easter Egg hunt was in full swing with 6 Egg hidden around the gardens. We have loved getting out in the sunshine to find the eggs as well as reading the fun Easter facts that are on each egg. No Egg hunt is complete without chocolates and we have loved finding the eggs and collected the chocolate egg reward at the end.
That afternoon to celebrate Good Friday, one of Easters many traditions our interactive Hot Cross Bun cart wheeled its way around the home. The big decision was to toast or not to toast… followed by butter with or without jam? This sparked many debates as the cart rolled around the home with the sweet smell of the buns.
Hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday as a way to remember Jesus’ crucifixion, with the cross in the pastry symbolising the cross that Jesus was crucified on. They have been part of Easter celebrations in the UK for centuries and are traditionally only eaten after midday on Good Friday.
In the beautiful spring sunshine, our garden-view lounge dinned alfresco that afternoon soaking up the sun, sipping on tea and loving when the hot cross bun cart rolled out.
Saturday morning activities took place in the gardens all around the home, we loved sitting out in the sunshine taking part in our arts and crafts. We designed and made our Easter bonnets ready for our Easter celebrations on Sunday.
With a bit of trim here, an egg over there and stunning florals we decorated some of the best hats in the contest!
Indoors out of the sun and in slightly cooler conditions, we played card games with carers and enjoyed winning both games.
The afternoon with the beautiful weather continuing, we took our Sewing club into the garden. We loved making mini cushions in the shape of butterflies and hearts, a mixture of line stitches and cross-stitches were used to complete the cushions.
The conversation was following and we shared stories and laughed together. Studies have shown sitting with friends in the fresh air can improve our quality of sleep, enhance our brain functioning and help us feel calm and relaxed. Fresh air and sunshine can help seniors fight common aging challenges as well. Spending time outdoors lifts our spirits.
We had a wonderful time decorating Easter biscuits in our garden-view lounge as part of the weekly cooking club.
Birthday tea party was well attended in the garden view lounge with friends singing happy birthday to the birthday boy, before coming together for tea and cake.
Easter Sunday, Tv streamed Church service gave us time for hymns and prayer as we gathered to watch the service in the day lounge.
The morning we received special Easter egg deliveries from friends and family and we loved receiving the Easter cards.
Residents had made the management team Easter cards and helped hand out the cards and eggs. Staff were also very grateful to receive an Easter egg from the Directors to celebrate this special day.
Alongside the church service, keeping Easter traditions in bloom a small group ventured into the garden to take on the Easter egg hunt, find the eggs and reading the fun facts.
Arts and crafts club used water colours to paint spring pictures.
After our Easter lunch, we gathered in the day lounge for an Easter singalong as the start our Easter bonnet parade.
Adorning our hand-crafted hat, the special celebrations started.
Following on from our Easter bonnet parade, we welcomed the Easter bunny, with music playing we got to our feet to dance along to the music! We were so delighted to receive lovely chocolate eggs and bunny cupcakes from the Easter bunny and his helpers!
Everybody loved his visit and didn’t want him to go so he stuck around to answer the phones and welcome visitor.