A fantastic week celebrating the nations favourites four legged friends. Residents spent the start of the week getting preparing for our annual dog show of 2022. Where they made decorations in Arts & Crafts club and in cooking club, they turned their hands to baking dog treats. There were other celebrations throughout the week, as we celebrated International Nurses Day and hosted a baby shower. All this excitement ran in addition to our much-loved, planned activities that included floor darts, brain training games to reminiscence activities.

Monday morning, our Arts & Crafts club gathered in our garden view lounges. We used this week’s theme as inspiration to paint and make dog themed Silhouette pictures. Painting forces people to use both sides of their brain simultaneously. This helps creativity and increases cognitive function. Learning a new skill increases brain activity without struggle.

The day lounge we love our group floor games and we spent the morning playing floor darts.

The afternoon, our brain training games saw us having to answer ‘A can you name 5’ quiz, this included dog breeds and newspapers. Memory games for elderly adults can be not only interesting and entertaining, but can also improve memory, daily life skills and overall mental health. Exercising the mind to keep it active is as important as maintaining physical fitness and strength in older age.

Tuesday morning, we continued to make our book marks and embroideries in our sewing club, in the day lounge.

Dog bingo was so much fun, we played the themed bingo in both our lounges winning prizes for a full house. The conversation soon turned to dogs we have had as pets and what our favourite dig breeds are, we shared many stories with one and other.

That afternoon in preparation for our upcoming dog show, we made dog friendly pup cakes. Mixing natural ingrediencies together that included; banana, eggs and flour to make the batter before cooking.

We helped one and other out mixing and whisking before decanting into cases.

With pup cakes being made in the day lounge, our garden view lounges turned their hand at making dog biscuits. We followed a fabulous recipe set by step. It was fun working together in two small groups and we laughed a lot as the dough was stiff and needed a lot of strength to roll out, before we cut into shapes.

Our fabulous dog biscuits were baked and ready for our dog show.

Wednesday morning, we spent the morning cutting out and hanging bunting and decorating our home ready for the big event after lunch. We finished off the pup-cakes with a gooey layer of peanut butter and a toy treaty on top.

Others engaged in sensory activities embracing our cog maze puzzles, whether spinning, twisting or rebuilding there is a sensory outlet for everyone.

Following on with a group game of scrabble. Not only is playing Scrabble lots of fun but there has also been research carried out to show that it lowers the risk of mental illness by keeping the brain stimulated and engaged, makes you happy, reduced blood pressure, improves the immune system and improves memory.

Our imaginative Activities team hosted our annual spectacular dog show, where all of the fabulous pooches won our hearts. As part of the contest, staff were invited to showcase their dogs’ skills and good looks in a variety of categories from: “Best trick”, “Waggliest Tail” and “Golden Oldie”.

5 im-paw-sibly adorable dogs showcased their skills and tricks throughout the afternoon to our resident judging panel. The worthy winners won a goody bag of dog treats, snacks, toys and of course a rosette.

Here at Hill House, we are mindful just how beneficial animal therapy is for older people, particularly for those living with dementia. Being close to animals helps lift a person’s mood and stimulate social interaction. Many residents having owned dogs in their younger years, were ecstatic to have the opportunity to be part of our judging panel and to meet so many adorable pooches.

“Seeing all the dogs has been a wonderful afternoon” – SG

With the hairdresser as also very popular we spent the morning enjoying being pampered.

Our flower arranging club gathered in the day lounge to arrange this week’s stunning floral arrangements.

Thursday also marked international Day of the Nurses. Our fabulous nurses and all other members of staff were treated to thankyou pizzas and cake at lunch time.

After lunch our monthly residents meeting was held in the day lounge, we got gathered to share our thoughts on current events as well as celebrating upcoming news.

The highlight of our meetings is being able to Celebrating staff Sunflower Awards. Staff are nominated by us residents, our relatives or by their colleagues.

We have loved watching our lovely nurse B, blossom as she prepares to welcome her baby very soon and in secret, we have been planning a surprise celebration for her.

We planned live entertainment, gifts and fun baby themed card question game that we played with our afternoon tea and cakes.

Friday morning, our hobby group met in the day lounge to sand down and transform our rubber ducks into swans. We found this activity very funny as we sat chatting and painting together still not convinced, they look like swans.

The knowledge that we can innovate, think creatively and make something beautiful, can help us feel a sense of accomplishment. This way, engaging in arts and crafts can help boost morale and confidence, which are beneficial emotions when dealing with stress and challenges.

We have also made a start towards our Jubilee celebrations we sorted through and explored our royal reminiscing boxes picking our newspaper clippings and articles that show case the queen.

With so many magical memories that came flooding back looking through royal photos, we shared stories of how we have celebrated and marked all these special occasions.

Trivia pursuit was played between friends, working together to answer questions from each category.

That afternoon, World Cocktail Day was celebrated. With our dazzling inhouse mixologists; Bryony and the lovely Doreen helped with pouring and wheeling the cocktail cart around the home offering a variety of refreshing cocktails from Gin & Tonics to Fruit punches.

Our staff are very aware of the risks of dehydration and the importance of our residents staying hydrated. They know to encourage everyone to drink, even if they do not feel thirsty. Increasing awareness in a fun way, such as with tropical mocktails or cocktails and this hydration promotion also really helps.

Saturday morning, we completed jigsaw puzzles, played board games and caught up on the daily news in the paper in our garden view lounges.

Alliteratively we spent the morning in the glorious sunshine, having fun testing our recollection with fun memory pairs games, or indulging in social conversations with the group.

Hobbies we know last a life time, Martin wanted to make our activities team feature in the photos so took the camera and clicked away during the morning activities outside. His talented shots made us laugh as he captured Bryony being her normal fun and entertaining self, as well as fellow residents.

After lunch we settled down for our weekend movie. While others created stunning water colour pictures from a paint what you see step by step floral art book.

Sunday morning our brands of the past reminiscence book sparked in-depth conversations of the shops we used to see on the high street. We also spent time reflecting and singing hymns in our weekly live streamed church service.

Dog week continued as we welcomed Pebble into the home for a pet therapy session. Pebble was brought in by a relative and we were very delighted to hold and stroke her and amused by her presence.

Between showers we took afternoon walks around the garden and picked some flowers for our vase in our room.
We enjoyed afternoon tea to the sound of soothing piano music as our very talented carer Daniel played for us.