Italian week at Hill House was ‘Stupefacente’ as residents spent the week exploring the Italian culture, from hand make pasta making to exploring Italy using their senses and exploring Italian arts and crafts.

Monday morning, we continued to reminiscing about the jubilee weekend looking through booklets and newspaper cuttings. We shared in our social group about the fun of last week and our favourite moments.

Inspired by the Italian (Chalk) Madonnari festival, we came together to engage in a chalk art session using chalks as a medium to create drawing and shapes in a therapeutic art session.

The first official Madonnari festival was in Curtatone, Italy in 1973 and featured not only pre-war Madonnari, but also new artists. Throughout the history of chalk art festivals, there have been subcategories of artists, including copyists (those who re-create famous works), free artists (those who create their own two-dimensional works), and 3-D artists (those who create works meant to look like they are coming out into our world).

This sparked happy memories of drawing on the footpaths in our youth.

In our garden view lounge, we played a game of Qwirkle. It enhances many skills including colour recognition, shape recognition, math strategy and problem solving!

That afternoon we celebrated D-Day with a 1940’s quiz and documentary followed by a game of Royal family faces Bingo in the day lounge.

A 1940’s inspired Tea Dance took place in our garden view lounge to mark D-Day.
We helped lay the table in lace edged table clothes and arranged our best China ready for the afternoon.

With tea, coffee and plenty of cake we sat together chatting about our memories of the 1940’s 50’s and 60’s.

The afternoon finished with a historic Tea Dance with a waltz and foxtrot.
Dancing helps maintain strength bones, improve posture and muscle strength, increase balance and co-ordination and will help relieve stress.

Tuesday morning, our day lounge took on a group game of trivial pursuit. By answering questions and learning, you’re improving your cognitive skills. Retaining information about topics you’re interested in, is like exercise for your mind, allowing you to expand your intelligence and improve mental capabilities. This leads to greater creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills.

We love having our friends and families four legged friends visiting the home and are always up for giving them fuss and attention.

This week also marks National Carers Week, we have a few fun surprises in store for our fantastic carers and this afternoon all staff were treated to scrumptious Pizzas for lunch.

“They work so hard and are truly amazing we appreciate them so much” – Anne S

The afternoon was filled with white board games as we took on a couple of Brain teaser challenges, as a group.

Our book club met in the garden view lounge, we explored our small library and picked books based on our interests and hobbies.

We were delighted to attend our pet therapy session in the afternoon we spent time cuddling and stroking Tiny.
With all the attention and treats Tiny was soaking up the attention and sat happy on laps and next to everyone who wished to take part in the session.

Wednesday morning, we gathered in the day lounge for a monthly residents meeting.  The meeting was well attended and focused on discussing our new summer menu, activities and wellbeing. It was lovely to see family members at the meeting too – thank you to all those who came and gave their input.

Fabulous birthday celebrations with loved ones in the morning.

Our garden view lounge played a variety of fun games for those who didn’t wish to attend the meeting including shut the box and ludo. We also read our daily newspapers and enjoyed tea and biscuits while listening to classical Italian music.

That afternoon our Italian cooking club gathered in the lounge, making homemade pasta. In Italy this is an ancient art form. From fresh pasta dough you get tagliarini or tagliatelle, ravioli or tortellini. We were ready to give it a go.

Kneading the dough to create a nice smooth and elastic dough, before passing it through our pasta machine. We had to take in in turns as it’s a really intense strength workout.

 After our pasta was ready and while it boiled away in the pan, we cut up fresh tomatoes to make an Italian tomato and basil sauce. We then watched on our live cooking demonstration. The home was filled with fresh scent of cooking, enticing everyone around.

“the perfect afternoon of cooking and eating my favourite Italian food” – Mary

Tea Time Birthday Celebrations

An afternoon of scrapbooking in our garden view lounge with our photographs, memories and art work all collected together.

Very early on Thursday morning while most of us where still sound alseep, Hill House continued to celebrate National Carers Week with a beautiful breakfast buffet put on and hosted by Bryony from our actvities team.

Bryony served the night staff a buffet of breakfast from freshly made cousiants and pastrys to live cooking pancakes hot off the skillet. Fresh orrange juice and hot drinks ready for everyone to enjoy. The staff change over saw, the day staff arrive to a warm and sweet smelling welcome when they too enjoyed a varity of breakfast delights.

In the morning we visited the hairdresser for a morning of pampering and relaxation.

Our flower arranging class gathered in the day lounge. Flower arranging is a great activity for seniors with dementia. It engages the senses, provides cognitive and sensory stimulation. Improves motor skills and instills a sense of independence and accomplishment. It is an excellent way to preserve quality of life.

The Reminiscing Rummage Box was out for everyone to enjoy in our garden view lounges today. Our war time and toy pack of replica leaflets and accessories are filled with interesting facts and advice pertinent to the wartime effort. We chatted about toys cars we collected over the years and ones our families have had for many years.

Others opted for a morning of therapeutic colouring, while listening to music.

That afternoon Louis played piano in the day lounge for everyone to hear. We love his visits as we listen first to hear him play, followed by an enchanted singalong.

Older adults benefit from music as it improves their moods, brings back older, happy memories, encourages socialization and promotes overall mental and physical health.

During our singalong we congratulated a very special couple who celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. We presented them a Victoria sandwich cake while everyone sung congratulations.

The celebrations moved to our garden view lounge where everyone came together for cake and a cup of tea to celebrate and share stories of their own wedding day.

Friday morning started with a game of Italian Bingo. Did you know Bingo has been popular for many years across the world, originating in Italy in the 1500’s. We love getting together to play.  It is so much fun that they match our themed weeks. This was followed by daily sparkle quizzes and fact finders.

Garden view lounges explored a sensory Italian table with cooked and uncooked pastas, Italian wines and packaging from famous Italian foods. We explored our five basic human senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us.

A special 80th Birthday celebration, cake shared with loved ones.

That afternoon, we gathered at the fish pond to take part in a musical singalong in the sunshine.

We then were delighted to meet the two tortoises from Hill Brow as they got ready for their afternoon exercise on the grass. We held them and asked lots of questions which Bev, the home manager at Woodlands was happy to answer.

Saturday, we wrote letters back to loved ones and took part in an Italian paint what you see class.

Others spent time outdoors in the glorious sunshine.

Sunday, we gathered to watch and listen to the weekly streamed religious services, others read through our religious hope magazines.

We are delighted to welcome Layla the dog in for some fuss and attention.