Residents across Hill House have had an exciting week in the lead up to May Day, with a verity of fun activities for everyone. Residents danced at our May Day Party, made all natural floral perfumes in a master class and played spring games including croquet. The weeks highlight was the May Day interactive cart that rolled around the home with music playing and May Day Dancers handing out traditional May Day baskets.
Monday morning fun games were played in our day lounge from therapeutic painting to reading the daily newspapers.
That afternoon we were so pleased to welcome tiny in for pet therapy session across the home.
Whether it’s a big floppy dog, a bird, a cat, or even a fish aquarium, the benefits of having a pet for anyone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are numerous. Pets bring great benefits to all of us—companionship, unconditional love and fun. By their very nature, pets do not judge and they are not critical. For someone with dementia, those qualities make them a good companion. Their very presence can help reduce the effects of dementia—anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression and loneliness. By their friendliness and non-threatening way, pets can help a dementia patient be more interactive, when sometimes they are not able to do so in social settings with other adults.
Tuesday morning, a small group of us in the day lounge tested our brains with a fun memory game of pairs.
The human brain works like a muscle. To keep it continually stimulated it must be worked regularly, regardless of a person’s age. Physical obstacles at an advanced age make this muscle become weaker and weaker. The key to maintaining its function lies in training.
Memory games are simple and mighty weapons to combat this problem as they stimulate one’s ability to think, remember and store information. The following is a list of games designed to train elderly people’s memory.
Tuesday afternoon, we were invited to join a May Day party in the Day lounge as the home came together for an afternoon of singing and dancing with the very talented Natalia.
With pompom in-hand we danced in our chairs along to tremendous music being played.
It wasn’t long before the dance floor was full with us up and dancing song after song.
Dancing is great for elderly people as it will help keep them fit and healthy. Dancing regularly will help your elderly parent maintain their strength and strong bones, improve their posture and muscle strength, increase their balance and co-ordination and will help relieve any stress they might have.
Wednesday morning, in our day lounge a very special master class took place. With a full table we worked together to create handmade perfumes using all natural ingredients.
With each flower having its own unique scent, we got to work picking and choose smells of our choice. Before mixing with our wet ingredients and soaking before straining and decanting, the whole lounge was filled with sweet floral scents drawing in a crowed who just wanted to watch.
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plants or essential oils to promote wellbeing through scent and has been used for centuries – it’s also known to improve sleep and digestion. As well as reduce stress, pain levels, anxiety, and depression.
We were very pleased with how beautifully they smelt.
Our afternoon, we started with a relaxing therapeutic colouring session as we painted and coloured in paper May Day baskets ready for later celebrations.
Following on, our cooking club saw us prepare to decorate cupcakes as we mixed up butter cream by hand adding in rose essences for flavour.
We took our time and with a little bit of help we piped 24 cupcakes ready to enjoy with a cup of tea.
In our garden view lounge, we crafted stunning floral head bands inspired by those worn at May Day festivals.
Thursday morning, indoor croquet was such fun we loved playing, building our score by getting the ball through the hoops. Croquet is one of the oldest recreational sports played in England dating back to the 1830’s when the game was originally called ‘crooky’.
Like chess, croquet involves a lot of thought process to solve the puzzle but with the added element of physical movements. This makes it mentally challenging and a good form of exercise for your brain as well.
Our very own Mary Berry (Bryony) has been busy over the last couple of days hand delivering luxury invitations to all residents across our 4 homes. Including us at HILL HOUSE.
The luxury box included the official invite to ‘The Great Jubilee Bake Off Competition’ as well as scrumptious cakes and biscuits for everyone to share as they plan what cake, dessert or pudding they will make to mark the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
Residents loved receiving such an exclusive delivery and they couldn’t believe the cakes and treats inside; everyone is now busy brain storming ideas and sharing stories of things they have baked and made in the past for other special occasions.
We had an energetic morning in our garden view lunges playing giant snakes and ladders followed by ball games and group exercises.
That afternoon, our day lounge hosted this week’s flower arranging club. We came together from across the home to assemble the flowers into vases, the bright yellows and oranges brought a smile to all our faces.
We shared fun floristry tricks and methods with one and other like; spinning a rose between your hands upside down to open up the petals.
Group domines is always great fun to play with friends.
In our garden view lounge our cooking club whisked up floral raspberry and rose cupcakes. The feel of the flour, the smell of the bakes and watching the frosting go on; all help to stimulate the senses and build up a healthy appetite.
We love to sing in our garden view lounge and with such talented staff you will always here a calming tune coming from our lounge.
Friday morning during morning tea, we fashioned stunning individual wired flower crowns for our May Day celebrations. Working together we picked the flower heads, hand wired them before forming the head bands with floristry tape and wire.
This activity brought back memories of making floristry bouquet and wreath at the WI or at our local churches. As we shared stories of what we had made in the past and before we knew it everyone had crafted 3 stunning flower crowns.
After morning tea, we played floor trivial pursuit, two teams battled it out to be the first to correctly answer each category, the day lounge was filled with laughter as everyone ended up helping each other out, until the final round where the winner was to be declared, then it got very tense and serious.
With May fast approaching Friday afternoon our interactive May Day Cart rolled around the home with music playing and our dancing ladies in tow.
Our May Day ladies danced and sang their way around the home bring spring joy to everyone. Serving hot drinks cakes and handing out special May Day baskets, we couldn’t help but join in the singing and dancing. It brought everyone such delight, with all the brought colours and chocolate treats in the baskets!
May Day basket started according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, this was popular back in the 19th and 20th centuries. First, people would fill paper baskets or cones with treats and flowers. Then, they’d knock on the recipient’s door and yell “May basket!” and run away.
Saturday morning, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, with our very own amazing contestants taking turns to answer questions by Julie.
In our garden view lounge, we spent our morning reminiscing while looking through and adding photos to our scrapbooks.
Saturday afternoon as our BIG MOVIE afternoon started, we gathered in the day lounge and watched The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came down a Mountain.
The film is based on a story heard by Christopher Monger from his grandfather about the real village of Taff’s Well, in the old county of Glamorgan, and its neighbouring Garth Hill. Due to 20th century urbanisation of the area, it was filmed in the more rural Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Llansilin in Powys.
Others spent the afternoon, taking long walks around the garden, as the sun was shining. Our garden view lounge spent their afternoon in the garden at our spring time afternoon tea party. With tea, coffee and lots of yummy cakes. It wasn’t long before we were immersed in a sing along to some of our favourite songs.
Sunday morning church service was streamed through the Church of England’s YouTube channel in our day lounge. Catholic mass was shown on iPads for those who wished to take part. We love the hymns and the time the services give us for calming and reflection.
After our beautiful Sunday roast, we played flower spring bingo in the day lunge, this sparked must reminiscing about our favourite flowers, making daisy chains in the park and what gives flowers their smell.
The daily spark is still a fabulous newsletter we love to read, with what happened on this date in the past, it is a great conversation starter as we share with one another what we might have been up to on this day years ago.