With the weather turning very autumnal we are resuming indoor activities and hobbies put on the back burner over the summer. And enjoying quieter, quality time together – a natter over a cuppa, supporting each other, helping a friend, pottering and reminiscing. We have talked about what autumn means to us and the leaves changing colour, soups and hot chocolates and pumpkin carving were top of the list.
Themed seasonal activities
We are getting our game-heads on for Dementia UK Raise Your Game this October. Some fun games of table football, What’s in the Bag? and Play Your Cards Right! The shouts of “Higher” and “Lower” could be heard across the garden!
National Chocolate Week was a good excuse to whip up homemade hot chocolates with marshmallows and grated chocolate. And, as if we needed an excuse – a chocolate tasting, guessing all the different flavours of chocolates and reminiscing about goodies from the good ole’ days!
With the launch of The Great British Bake Off we are linking our residents’ bakes to the themes each week. One of our technical challenges was making jam tarts following a Paul Hollywood recipe. Delicious for our afternoon tea! And crafting sessions have incorporated autumn leaves and football team emblems – to complement our gents’ chats about the new footie season and the Premiership.
Halloween is always spook-tacular at Astley! We have kicked off our themed activities with some brilliant bakes – thank you to Chloe and the kitchen team. Afternoon tea was a real treat. Our Halloween bingo was a laugh with prized for a full (haunted) house! There will be pumpkin carvings to create a Jack-o’-lantern display, Monster Mash dancing for our music therapy and lots of Trick or Treating!
And then there’s Bonfire Night. Remember, remember our TOP TIP for safety with sparklers, which is great for the kiddies as well as our residents, who are not so dextrous, especially when hands are wrapped up warm in mittens: If you stick the sprinkler in the end of a chunky carrot, the carrot becomes a sturdy handle and the sprinkler is further away from the body.
Bugs, Bunnies and Beasts visited with all of their animals. The gorgeous, fluffy rabbits and guinea pigs were super cute to cuddle. There were also snakes, tarantulas, giant millipedes and geckos. They put us out of our comfort zones slightly, but we all surprised ourselves with our bravery and huge smiles appeared all round. Thankfully, the tarantula stayed in his house, whilst we had a close look! It was an absolutely amazing experience for residents. Proving the saying that you are never too old to try new things.
This month we are starting a new interactive activities programme and are having a Musicals themed day. There will be with live music and dancing to hits from the West End and Broadway. Bringing theatre land to our residents and a lovely excuse to get glammed up – so it’s great we have a new hairdresser regularly visiting residents in our dedicated salon. The Astley Salon has been busy. A hand massage and a manicure is a lovely time for a catch up one to one with residents. A good natter and a bit of a pamper make for a really relaxing afternoon.