“This is fantastic, I haven’t done one of these for years”, was the joyous remark made by 96 year old Betty from Orchard House Care Home in Wisbech after finishing her entry for the pumpkin carving competition.
With so much uncertainty being experienced by everyone around the world, there is a familiar comfort and reassurance by being able to enjoy events such as this year’s Halloween.
These were the thoughts of the team at the Residential Dementia and Nursing home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, who wanted to create a magical and spellbinding week for the residents who live within the service.
The festivities started off with staff and residents creating a Halloween festival, casting a spell throughout the home which adorned each room with pumpkins, cobwebs, bats, spiders, ghosts and even a real live witch’s cat or Oxford as the home’s house cat is lovingly known!
A regular favourite on the social calendar, arts and crafts looked very different for the themed occasion as residents made gravestone props. Laughter and banter were shared by all as the residents came up with names to mark the gravestones: Aji-Tate and Dick-Tate were the firm favourites!
The craft sessions were followed with pumpkin carving in preparation for a competition to be held at the end of the week. “This takes me back to being a kid,” enthused 89-year-old Jean, one of the residents taking part in the carving. However, not all of the residents were impressed by their rivals’ efforts, “That one wouldn’t help us in the dark”, remarked 87-year-old Molly!
Activity Co-ordinator Miranda who, along with her colleagues, had planned the week’s spooktacular 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, so Halloween week was always going to be a fun packed week. The enjoyment and laughter had by all is infectious, we have had a fang-tastic time. I also love the fact that it brought back a lot of fond memories for all.”
The final events of the week are a Halloween party with cake decorating and skeleton ginger breads, games and a movie. New to this year’s celebrations is Reverse Trick or Treat, the idea being staff will go door to door, arms laden with goodies to give out to residents.
Registered Manager Maxine Bain echoed these sentiments, “It’s great seeing the delight as residents take part in the Halloween themed competitions. It’s been even more surprising to see the competitive nature amongst the residents as they all want to come first. I am exceptionally proud of the wonderful cheer and smiles created by the Halloween events this week!”