Mexican week has been a fabulous opportunity to indulge in the Mexican culture and variety of traditions. With so much on offer, residents have loved all the activities from macarena exercises, Arts & crafts and Margarita cart during the weekend movie. Our armchair travel departed from all 3 lounges across the home offering everyone the opportunity to learn and immerse themselves in Mexican culture.

Monday morning, we started the day with a coffee and reading the daily newspapers. Moving on to 1 to 1 activities, like word searches or crosswords from the morning paper.

In the day lounge group brain traning actvities started with a mexican quiz, followed by hang man with spanish words. We use in the english language (chorizo, jalapeño, fiesta & cargo). A great way to get our minds fired up for the week ahead.

Gardenview lounge was a buzz of excitement as the sun was shining on our patio, although slightly cool we played board games together and looked through photo albums and reminiscing booklets.

Late morning our day lounge took part in a macarena inspired exercise class. With the upbeat Latin music, we danced and exercised in our chairs using the famous dance moves as stretched and the beat of the music meant our feet tapped along throughout.

That afternoon in the day lounge we took on a group giant crossword with the help of our fabulous carer staff.
Handling jigsaw pieces helps to improve motor skills. Physiotherapists working with seniors have noted how the small, precise movements required in puzzling are beneficial, especially when clients do not have many opportunities to use their hands in daily activities.

Our arts and crafts club gathered in the day lounge for an afternoon for pinata making. The traditional style of piñata is a seven coned star, each cone standing as one of the seven deadly sins. The breaking of the piñata symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the candy and fruit inside the piñata stands as the temptation against wealth and earthly pleasures.

We chose to create a chilli shaped Piñata, using cardboard to form the shape we then cut out long strings of tussled red tissue paper before gluing together.

We loved mixing and baking Mexican mud cake as part of our weekly cooking club in our garden view lounge. Our Mexican chocolate cake is the richest, most moist chocolate cake you’ll ever have, kicked up with cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper! We loved working together to make it but most of all enjoying a large slice as soon as it had cooled.

Tuesday morning, we were donated floral wedding centre pieces, the needed a little watering and a few flowers needed replacing so we gathered in the day lounge and reworked the flowers into new oasis to create stunning flower arrangements. The smell of the peonies and roses filled the lounge.

This was followed on by a game of Mexican train dominoes, although not a Mexican game its name gives it a Mexican twist that fitted in perfectly with the weeks theme.

Our garden view lounge spent the morning colouring and painting Mayan Masks, traditionally worn in Mexico to adorn the faces of the dead, worn at important events, to be worn during battle, and to be hung in houses. We used bright colours inspired by the upcoming Mexican festival of Cinco de Mayo

Others opted for Mexican themed brain training word searches and mini quizzes.

The afternoon our Mexican themed activities continued as a great floor game was played Sombrero Toss.

Motion-Based Exercise Games, allow us to exercise and have fun at the same time.

We enjoyed long walks in the garden and sitting at the fish pound, as the weather is warming.

A fun afternoon of Mexican train dominos in the garden view lounges. A great Mexican Train domino game encourages sportsmanship, strategy, matching, preparation, and planning that builds on resident’s cognitive health.

After an afternoon of energetic games, we slowed the afternoon down with tea party with friends. The games winners wore their Mexican hats as medals and we shared stories of trips to Mexico and other holidays we have been on over the years.

Wednesday Morning Rev Tara held our monthly church service in the day lounge, her service of worship includes bible readings, hymns and prey.

Memory games and daily newspapers where taken up in the garden view lounges while listening to M4D radio’s 1960’s channel.

We had a fabulous afternoon on board our virtual Hill House airlines flight to Mexico. With 3 separate flights departing from Hill House across the afternoon the excitement of the activity was a magical experience for everyone.

Our armchair travel provides an opportunity for our residents to share their past travel experiences (reminiscence) and to provide a deeper understanding and enjoyment of another country or region’s history, culture and geography.

As the second and third flight of the day took off from Hill house the Mexican music was playing and drinks flowed.

Before our garden view lounges flight took off to Mexico, our sewing club and needle work class started making bookmarks and creating stunning jewellery of beaded necklaces and bracelets. Jewellery making, helps keep the brains active and also develops creativity and imagination in people of all ages.

Thursday morning our cooking club gathered in the day lounge to make fresh salsa for our taco cart the next day.

Everyday activities such as cooking, washing up and cleaning can all reduce the risk of developing dementia by up to 45%, a 2012 study showed. As cooking involves weighing and measuring, mixing and stimulating smell and taste, it is an excellent way to keep both the body and the brain active well into old age.

We filled our morning in our garden view lounge creating therapeutic colouring pictures and greeting cards and arranging the weekly floral arrangements for the home.

Along with cooking club and therapeutic colouring, our in-home hair dresser was in to pamper us. Hudson the French bulldog visited for the morning for a pet therapy session. He spent his morning playing fetch, having his chin rubbed and giving us lots of love and attention, his goofy smile was transferrable.

Pets very presence can help reduce the effects of dementia—anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression and loneliness. With their friendliness and non-threatening way, pets can help a dementia patient be more interactive.

Thursday afternoon our Cinco de Mayo was in full swing, with singer Jimmy entertaining the home, we sang and danced the afternoon away.

Thursday also marked a very special day at Hill House, including across all 4 of our homes. Residents and management celebrated staff in our ‘Staff Appreciation Day’.

Friday morning Alan started an impromptu piano singalong in the day lounge. We love hearing him play and to singalong.

Sombrero Toss was such fun as we played along while listening to mariachi music playing.

That afternoon we heard Mexican music play and the smell of freshly baked tacos filled the room. Our interactive taco cart rolled through as we created our very own tacos.

The taco shells where hot and we choose the filling of our choice. Our hand made salsa was next to guacamole, grated cheese, salad and a choice of beef or chicken, loading up our tacos ready to enjoy.

Saturday morning, we celebrated a special birthday with cake, cards and gifts.

We played our very popular sombre toss game again as we loved it so much. It’s the unpredictability of the ball that gets everyone laughing and playing along.

The afternoon was a fabulous colourful affair, as we settled down for our Saturday afternoon Movie. During the interval our Margarita carts rolled round supplying us with refreshing drinks.

Mexican Latin music played as we were served refreshing margaritas even helping make them, rimming the glass before choosing to add tequila or not. Then adding the mixer before serving with a slice and an umbrella.

Sunday morning, our tremendous chef was busy baking scones ready for the afternoon’s celebrations. We also took on Mexican brain training activities with a word finder game.

Our weekly service was streamed through the Tv in the lounges, it was a special 4th Sunday after Easter service. With traditional hymns that we sang along to.

We also engaged in morning exercises one to one with a mobile pedal bike. Riding a stationary bike can help build strength in your legs and lower body, especially if you use a higher resistance. The pedalling action can help strengthen your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. Additionally, it can work the muscles in your core, back and glutes.

That afternoon we had a splendid afternoon in the garden, as we attended our VE Day tea party. We shared war stories with one and other while sipping on hot drinks and eating scones and cakes.