We have tried very hard at Abberton Manor to avoid a post-Christmas slump, enjoying lots of activities, including Poetry and Motion.
Poetry and Motion
No sooner had the Christmas decs come down, we welcomed Louise from Boogie Beatz to put us through our paces with chair-based dance. There was stretching and ball throwing, waving scarves and flexing. All lots of fun so residents hardly realised they are exercising and burning off the Christmas calories!
Exercise is so important for all ages, but with elderly people it helps particularly to increase and maintain flexibility and movement, strength, balance and stamina. Exercise also increases blood circulation and releases endorphins, which gives a mood and energy boost. So popular are her sessions that Louise is now a regular at Abberton.
Getting out and about
We have also braved the cold and visited Abberton Reservoir and Fingringhoe Wick in the Abberton minibus. These nature reserves are part of the Wildlife Trust and lovely to be out and about, in the fresh air, observing the local wildlife and doing some bird watching. Cake and coffee at the cafe was also delicious! We also like to get our residents out and about in our beautiful grounds.
For many, a recent highlight was a visit from the children from Langenhoe Primary School. They came to see the residents with examples of their favourite poetry, some of which they had written themselves. They read their poems out loud and then they listened to one of our care staff, Wayne, who is a performance poet. Wayne recited some examples of his work, including the first poem which he ever wrote, from when he was about 10 years old.
Then Barry took to the floor. Barry is a resident, who is new to Abberton Manor, and happens to be a big fan of poetry. He recited poetry and spoke about his life, whilst encouraging the children to work hard and follow their dreams. The children were spell-bound and they listened intently and asked insightful questions. The conversation drew a crowd as residents and staff listened in as the children questioned him on subjects such as snakes, his school days, his teaching career, and crossing the desert!
We are particularly proud of our relationship with Langenhoe School, and the bonds forged between the young and the old. We very much look forward to welcoming them back to mark Valentine’s Day together.
We also had lots of poetry at our Burns Night celebrations, with the traditional neeps tatties and haggis and music from David Padwick.
Jim has put in several appearances with his crazy mix of music, entertainment and quizzes.
Our residents enjoyed more music when Les Swaffer came in to play his keyboard and sing old favourites for us. We had a lovely visit from Snowy, a blind rescue dog from Battersea Dogs Home.
We received our monthly visit from Father Alan Cross who provides company, conversation and spiritual guidance.
We also marked Dignity in Action Day which is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a memorable day for people who use care services. We do this every day, but this year was even more special as we reunited a family.