What does a sausage, pumpkin, nail varnish and a famous teddy bear have in common?
Well, they have all played an important role in the recent entertaining and, sometimes, let’s just say out-of-the-ordinary events and activities at Orchard House Care Home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
With so much uncertainty being experienced by everyone around the world, the team at Orchard House are determined to ensure they continue to bring joy, happiness, laughter and excitement to residents’ lives.
~ “I feel like a new woman” ~ Barbara, Orchard House Resident
Thinking outside of the box was definitely the case for one of their recent activities when residents and staff took part in a sausage making competition with other homes in the RCH Care Homes group in order to make a new ‘banger’.
As part of the ‘Best Banger’ competition, residents took part in banger tasting, designing of the banger recipe, making their bangers and finally enjoying the finished product.
In the end, they created two bangers with distinctly different flavours – one with marmalade and another with honey. Residents Molly and Phyllis helped judge, “Marmalade was the winner; it had a good flavour and it reminded us of Paddington Bear!”
For Halloween and Bonfire Night, residents enjoyed traditional activities such as pumpkin carving, making a Guy Fawkes and sparklers; provoking reminiscence amongst the residents, they all proved to be very popular, “This is fantastic, I haven’t done one of these for years”, was the joyous remark made by 96-year-old Betty after finishing her entry for the pumpkin carving competition.
Although these light-hearted and fun events have thoroughly entertained the residents, it was also equally important to continue our tradition of remembering and honouring all who have died and fought in services during Remembrance Week. This year, residents and staff wrote poetry and came together to honour those who served in the Forces, including those living at Orchard House.
Our memories will never fade
Remembering those who gave
Crosses that lay row by row
Heroes who took up quarrel with the foe
Age did not weary them
Respect, honour and sacrifice they gave
Dads, husbands and brothers were lost
Hoping war won’t start again
Our hero’s will never be forgotten
Under the poppies in Flanders Fields
Soldiers are laid to rest
Engulfed in a sea of red
After the weeks of fun and action-packed activities, residents took time to relax as part of National Spa and Wellness week, enjoying spa treatments such as manicures, foot spas and facials. They also participated in wellness activities such as Tai Chi, poetry narrations and meditation. The desired effect was achieved, “My feet feel so relaxed, I don’t want to put my slippers back on yet.”
Fundraising has always been a massive part of Orchard House and so, for this year’s Children In Need, there was never a better way to fundraise and celebrate than with a themed day! As the trees lose their leaves and the weather cools, a pyjama and duvet themed day was the perfect antidote, where residents enjoyed games and activities in connection with raising money for Children In Need. Fun and laughter was had by all in aid of such a worthy cause as everyone joined in dressing up in onesies and pyjamas for the day, feasting on hot chocolate and party food, and watching the staff take part in sack races.
Activity Co-ordinator Miranda who, along with her colleagues, had planned the events commented on the inspiration behind them, “It has been really important for us to carry on celebrating events that we would normally at Orchard House. We’re a very active and engaging home and there is always something going on. The enjoyment and laughter had by all is infectious, I also love the fact that it brought back a lot of fond memories for all.”
As you can imagine from these examples, the team are busy preparing for the forthcoming Christmas events which will be full of festive traditions and spirit.
Registered Manager Maxine Bain shared her thoughts, “Our social and activities program is so varied because of the different interests and hobbies of our residents. We strongly believe in the importance of knowing the person, their life history, so we can create such a diverse and holistic program which creates such magical moments. It’s our greatest delight to see the joy and happiness as residents take part in the all of these events and activities. As the year draws to an end, we’d like to thank our community for showing us such care and support throughout such unprecedented times this year. We would like to wish you all a happy and safe December with new hope and dreams for the new year to come.”