At this time of year, most people’s thoughts turn to festive fun and spending time with family. While many of us may be eagerly anticipating the festivities, however, it’s important to spare a thought for care home residents, who may not be feeling in the Christmas spirit just yet.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to brighten up your care home this Christmas and, with a bit of creativity, every resident can have a Christmas to remember. Below, we’ve listed some ideas to try out in your care home, but if you have any more suggestions we’d love to hear them! Just tweet us @CareShopBunzl.
Organising a Christmas fete will give everyone a little something to look forward to over the winter season. It may seem daunting if your time and budget are limited, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to ensure your residents enjoy themselves.
Ideas you may like to try could include playing games, organising a raffle, and selling home-made treats such as mince pies and gingerbread. Invite friends and family to come along and join in the festivities, and the money you raise from the fete can then be used to fund more activities for residents, or be donated to a charity.
A charming and traditional festivity, arranging a visit from a choir or brass band is a great way to cheer residents up during Christmas time. Contacting local schools and music groups is a great place to start, and many groups will be happy to come along and play some festive music for you free of charge.
Alternatively, you could organise an evening of carol singing for residents, staff and visitors. This has been very successful in Downs House and Stroud House care homes, where carol singing takes place around the Christmas tree every year.
Organising an evening of music is a great opportunity for residents to meet new people and spend time with their loved ones, which could help to curb any feelings of loneliness they may be experiencing.
Organising a Christmas arts and crafts session can be a great way to get residents into the festive spirit, as well as encouraging their creativity and dexterity. Examples of projects to try could include making Christmas cards for visitors and fellow residents, or making decorations such as paper chains. You can then use the festive crafts to decorate your care home, which will help to make residents feel included in the celebrations.
Selecting some small, personalised gifts is a great way to make residents feel cared for and appreciated as individuals. For example, at Westmead Residential Care Home in Droitwich, residents receive a stocking on Christmas morning, with gifts chosen especially for them. Care Home Manager Sue Stokes said, “It makes it special and personal to them and is a tradition in our home.”
To make this task more manageable, why not assign each member of staff to a few residents?
Enjoying festive food is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit, so why not serve up treats for your residents, like mulled wine or Christmas cake? When it comes to residents who suffer from dementia, the smells and tastes of traditional Christmas food can even help stir some memories, although do make sure you’re on hand to assist those who may begin to feel confused or distressed.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas for care home activities this Christmas. What do you have planned for the festivities ahead? Get in touch with us on Twitter @CareShopBunzl and let us know what you’ll be getting up to!