Summer is here, and for most of us it’s a time associated with holidays and having fun. Whilst many of us may be jetting off for our summer break, however, it’s important to spare a thought for care home residents, for whom this might just seem like any other time of year.
Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to bring summer fun to your care home, and with a bit of imagination, every resident could soon be making the most of the warmer months! We’ve listed some of our ideas below, but if you’ve got more suggestions, we’d love to hear them – tweet us at @CareShopBunzl.
Hosting a care home summer fete will give your residents (and staff!) something fun to look forward to this summer. You can make the event as big or small as you like, depending on your budget and the amount of time you have available. It could be a great opportunity to invite residents’ families, friends and the local community along to come and join the fun.
Ideas you might like to consider for your fete could include a cake stall, a tombola and classic garden games. Here at Care Shop, you can find a number of fun games for the garden, including a bean bag toss, ring toss, and giant 4 in a line. To create a party atmosphere, you could also put together a playlist of residents’ favourite music, or invite along local music groups to perform for everyone.
Nothing says summer like a barbeque, so why not cook up some barbeque food for residents and guests to enjoy? Don’t forget to stock up on essentials like napkins and paper tablecloths to make cleaning up hassle-free.
Any proceeds you make from your summer fete could perhaps be put towards organising more fun activities for residents, or donated to a favourite charity.
Not all residents will be mobile enough to enjoy events like summer fetes, so you might like to consider brightening your care home up on the inside with some colourful flowers or decorations. You could try using bunting, pot plants or vases of flowers to bring a touch of summer to both communal rooms and residents’ bedrooms – although, do take care to ensure that residents don’t suffer from hay fever, and bear in mind your facility’s policies for flowers with regards to infection control.
On hot days, your residents are sure to appreciate a cooling ice cream or refreshing lemonade, so why not set up your own pop-up refreshment stand in a communal area of the care home? You could provide a selection of ice cream or ice lolly flavours, along with cones, sauces and toppings so residents can mix and match their favourites. If you decide to serve lemonade, you could provide crushed ice and fruit for residents to add to their drinks.
Providing cool drinks and ice lollies could be a good way to help remind residents to stay hydrated, which is particularly important in the warmer weather. For more tips, take a look at our guide to preventing dehydration in the elderly.
Arts and crafts sessions can be a great way to get residents together and encourage them to explore their creativity. At Care Shop, we offer a range of specialist craft activities for the elderly, which can help individuals to practice manual dexterity skills as well as exercising their imaginations.
For a fun summer activity, why not try this basket weaving kit? Residents can use the brightly coloured paper strips to create their own personalised baskets. The finished baskets can then be used to store bits and pieces in residents’ bedrooms.
If some of your residents are able to get out and about, you could take them for a day trip to a local attraction, such as a country park or the seaside. Consult with your residents about whether they’d like to go, set a date and get some transport organised. Depending on the abilities of the residents going on the trip, you’ll also need to make sure you’ve got enough staff to support their individual needs.
When it comes to residents with dementia, the sights and smells of a trip to the seaside could even help to stir some memories, although make sure that you’re on hand to help them if they get confused or distressed at any point. After your trip, you could try using sensory stimulation aids such as our seaside aroma cubes to try and recreate the scents they’ve experienced and encourage reminiscence.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas for care home activities this summer! What do you have planned in the coming months? Get in touch with us on Twitter @CareShopBunzl and let us know what you’ll be getting up to!