The festive season is a special time to spread joy, warmth, and cheer. For care services, creating a festive atmosphere and engaging the people you support in Christmas activities is an invaluable way to foster a sense of community and happiness.
Organise crafting sessions to create handmade decorations, ornaments, and personalised Christmas cards. Engaging the people you support in creative endeavours promotes a sense of accomplishment and provides an opportunity to reminisce about past holidays.
Music is a universal language that resonates with everyone. Arrange musical sessions or invite local performers for a festive sing-along, allowing the people you support to enjoy the music of the holiday season.
Hosting baking sessions where people can participate in making cookies, gingerbread houses, or decorating cupcakes adds a delightful touch to the season. The scents of freshly baked goods evoke nostalgia and create a warm, homely ambiance.
Encourage holiday-themed storytelling or reading sessions. Engaging the people you support in classic Christmas tales or sharing personal stories of holiday memories is a wonderful way to invoke the spirit of the season.
Host movie nights showcasing classic Christmas films. Create a cosy atmosphere complete with popcorn and blankets, providing the people you support with a chance to enjoy the classic tales of the season.
Involve the people you support in decorating the care home with festive decorations. This activity not only uplifts spirits but also encourages a sense of ownership and pride in the communal space. There are creative ways to work around the varying abilities of the people you support, such as asking those who spend a lot of time in their bedroom to choose a decoration or using aids such as wheelchairs to enable the people you support to get involved. You can also create snowflakes using paper or paint decorations that can by hung on the tree.
Arrange visits from local school children, choirs, or theatre groups. These interactions bring the community closer together and encourage a connection between the community and the people you support.
Facilitate a gift exchange or Secret Santa activity, allowing the people you support to share presents and partake in the joy of giving during this special time of the year. Gifts don’t have to cost anything; they can be homemade or photographs.
Organise a festive photoshoot for the people you support. Using props, hats or just the person, create a special memory for the people you support and their loved ones.
Incorporating these Christmas activities into care services creates an environment filled with joy and togetherness. It not only celebrates the holiday season but also ensures that the people you support feel cherished, engaged, and connected with the festive spirit. This thoughtful curation of activities aims to make this Christmas a heart-warming and memorable experience for all in the care community.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a beautiful and meaningful holiday that is celebrated by Jewish communities around the world. For care homes, it’s an opportunity to create a warm and inclusive environment where the people you support can participate in Hanukkah-themed activities, learn about traditions, and enjoy the festive spirit. Here are some creative activity ideas to make Hanukkah special.
The centrepiece of Hanukkah is the lighting of the menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum. The people you support can gather to light the menorah’s candles each night, recite blessings, and sing traditional songs. This symbolic ritual fosters a sense of community and tradition.
Organise a crafting session where the people you support can make their own menorahs or dreidels (spinning tops). Provide art supplies and guidance to create personalised Hanukkah decorations. These crafts can be displayed around the care service to add to the festive atmosphere.
Arrange storytelling sessions about the history and significance of Hanukkah. Share tales of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. Engaging discussions and storytelling can help connect with the holiday’s cultural and historical roots.
Hanukkah is known for its delicious foods, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). Host a cooking class or bring in a chef to prepare these traditional treats with the people you support. Sharing a meal together can be a lovely way to celebrate.
Invite musicians or local choirs to perform Hanukkah songs and melodies. Music has the power to evoke memories and emotions, making it a wonderful addition to the festivities.
Organize Hanukkah-themed games like a dreidel-spinning competition or Hanukkah bingo. These games are not only enjoyable but also an opportunity to educate about Hanukkah traditions and symbols.
Screen Hanukkah-themed movies or documentaries about Jewish culture. This can be a relaxed and enjoyable way for everyone to learn more about the holiday or celebrate.
Hanukkah emphasizes the value of giving and helping others. Set up a donation station for the people you support to contribute to charitable causes. This act of tzedakah (charity) aligns with the spirit of Hanukkah.
Transform your care service into a festive space with Hanukkah-themed decorations. Blue and white colour schemes, menorahs, and Star of David motifs can be used to create a cheerful atmosphere.
Celebrating Hanukkah in care homes provides an opportunity for the people you support to come together, learn, and embrace the joy of this special holiday. Through a combination of traditional activities, cultural enrichment, and community building, care homes can ensure that the people you support have a memorable and heart-warming Hanukkah celebration. These activities promote a sense of togetherness and the sharing of traditions, creating a meaningful experience for everyone involved.
As winter blankets the world in snow and cold, it’s the perfect time for care homes to embrace the season and create a joyful, warm atmosphere for the people you support. Engaging activities can lift spirits and promote social interaction. Here are some creative winter activity ideas that will not only stave off the chill but also create lasting memories.
Transform common areas into a winter wonderland by decorating with snowflakes, lights, and holiday-themed ornaments. Encourage the people you support to participate in decorating sessions, fostering a sense of creativity.
There’s no better way to enjoy the winter months than by baking cookies, muffins, and other treats together. Serve hot cocoa with marshmallows for the perfect winter combination.
Cosy movie nights with classic winter films like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Frozen” are a delightful way to unwind. Don’t forget the popcorn and warm blankets for added comfort.
Crafting activities such as making snow globes, hand-painted ornaments, or knitted scarves can be both therapeutic and enjoyable. These creations can also be used to decorate the care home.
Create an indoor snowball fight using soft, fabric “snowballs”, using cotton wool. The people you support can have a good time, reminiscing a childhood activity without the need for cold weather or heavy clothing.
Arrange for musical performances, either from talented care givers, people living in your service or visiting musicians, to add a touch of winter magic. Singalongs or listening sessions can be heart-warming for everyone.
Plan outings to nearby light displays or invite local carollers to perform at your care service. The sparkling lights and festive songs can bring the magic of winter right to your doorstep.
Winter-themed quizzes, crossword puzzles, or bingo games can keep the people you support mentally engaged while embracing the season’s spirit.
Using scissors and white paper, create cutout snowflakes for decoration either in bedrooms or communal areas.
Organise a holiday card exchange with other care homes or schools. The people you support can create cards to send and receive, fostering connections with the broader community.
Winter offers a multitude of opportunities for care homes to create joyful experiences and foster a sense of community among the people you support. These winter activity ideas provide a blend of creativity, warmth, and social engagement, ensuring that the colder months are filled with memories of togetherness and cheer.
Autumn is a season filled with vibrant colours, Halloween, and the desire to be cosy. It’s the perfect time to engage the people you support in creative activities that celebrate the beauty of autumn. Crafting not only provides a wonderful outlet for self-expression but also offers numerous cognitive and therapeutic benefits.
Leaves can be arranged into autumnal scenery. Alternatively, twigs can be used to create shapes, objects or even animals. Fallen leaves can also be used to create leaf rubbings. Place leaves under paper and rub crayons or coloured pencils over them to reveal intricate leaf patterns. The created art can be pressed between wax paper or glued to the page to preserve the creation.
Painting pumpkins can be a wonderful and mess-free activity that poses less risk than carving. Painted pumpkins can be used to create centrepieces for your tables or to decorate the reception. Activities using pumpkins can provide a sensory experience as pumpkins are textured and scented.
Wreath-making is a fantastic group activity. Use fall foliage, pinecones, and ribbons to craft beautiful wreaths that can adorn the common areas of your care service or the bedroom doors of the people you support.
Using leftover mason jars, create lanterns by painting and decorating the jars with autumn or Halloween scenes. You can use LED tea lights to create a lantern effect.
Help the people you support create simple bird feeders using pinecones or toilet roll tubes, peanut butter and birdseed. Hang them outside windows so the people you support can enjoy watching the birds.
Make scarecrow figurines using sticks, old clothes, and raffia. These can be placed in the garden for a touch of autumn whimsy. Find out if your local area is doing a scarecrow hunt that your scarecrow can be entered into or if the people you support would like to participate in.
These craft ideas can be tailored to suit the people you support. They not only provide a creative outlet but also promote social interaction, cognitive stimulation, a sense of accomplishment and a cosy autumnal atmosphere in your service. As we embrace the beauty of autumn, these craft activities can help the people you support connect with the season, reminisce about their own experiences, and create new memories filled with warmth and creativity.
The Nourish platform allows you to quickly and easily plan and record the activities for those you support. Details such as what activity was carried out, for how long and the levels of engagement can be stored within Nourish, along with photos which get automatically stored to individual care plans. Find out more by booking a demonstration of the Nourish platform with our team.
Armchair Travel is an easy way to get the people you support involved in an immersive experience. By implementing Armchair Travel days into your care service’s activity programme, you can evoke memories of past holidays, learn something new and fuel the adventurous side of the people you support.
Armchair Travel can be enjoyed by everyone and, in a lot of ways, already is. Travel documentaries, vlogs and blogs are very popular and it’s always fun to see someone’s holiday snaps when they’ve returned from holiday.
To really create the holiday atmosphere, give the people you support passports and tickets with their flight time, flight terminal, seat number and holiday destination on. With the help of your care team, make an area of your care service look like an aeroplane, stamp their passports and tickets and sit them in their seat and simulate an air journey. Bring a trolley through with snacks, do flight demonstrations, you could even wear an air steward outfit.
Decorate your main Armchair Travel area in the theme of the country you have chosen. Use images of key landmarks or scenery for posters, any essential oils that match up with the destination you have chosen. Play traditional music to set the atmosphere and use any other items that will really make it feel like you’re in that country.
For the menu of today, serve traditional or famed food, drink and snacks from the country you have chosen. While you are dining on food from around the world, share facts about traditions and etiquette from the country you have travelled to.
Ensure there are alternatives for anyone who likes or requires a particular diet. With Nourish you can see quickly and easily who has an allergy or dietary requirements to assist your activity coordinators and kitchen team with planning a menu.
You can take part in various activities to enjoy the country you are visiting, from learning basic phrases if the country speaks a different language or have a themed quiz and learn some new facts. If anyone in your service has visited this country before, find out what memories they have of the holiday. You could watch a virtual tour of a landmark and play bingo with things to spot during the video tour. You could colour and decorate postcards and take holiday photos and create a scrapbook for your service and your armchair travels.
In the Nourish care plan, you can record a person’s history, likes, dislikes and more. In here you can note memorable holidays and significant travel memories, destinations and interests. To find out how the Nourish platform can assist you in evidencing your activity programme, book a personalised demonstration with our friendly team.
Ensuring the people you support are hydrated and getting enough fluids is a big talking point across the health and social care sector. Fluid intake can be affected by the weather, a person’s mood, mobility, falls and more. Dehydration in care homes for older adults particularly, can be linked to increased falls, delirium, increased urinary tract infections and excessive use of antibiotics. A study conducted by Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust (London), the University of Oxford, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that people who live in care homes are more likely to be dehydrated. Though there is no definitive reason found as to why those living in a care home tend to be more dehydrated, the reasons are likely due to health conditions, medication, mobility and varying capacity.
There are many creative ways you can increase the amount of fluid the people you support drink by incorporating them into your activity programme.
Studies show that encouraging participation with food preparation can be a powerful tool for creating a positive experience. By encouraging conversations, independence and participation with food making, the senses are stimulated, and appetites can be increased. For many older adults living in care services, food preparation will have been a large part of their life and living in a care service can often feel like a loss of independence. The inclusion in food preparation enhances a sense of purpose and usefulness, boosting confidence and self-esteem, as well as promoting an interest in food and mealtimes.
Creating different smoothies not only encourages fluid intake but also fruit and veg intake. You can either create a variety of flavours and taste test them or encourage the people you support to make their own smoothie or soup from start to finish. This activity is great for finger dexterity, promoting independence and encouraging conversation and reminiscence on favourite foods and flavours.
Just by simply dressing up a smoothie to look like a mocktail can make a drink more appealing and exciting. Try adding a shot of grenadine to an orange drink, sugar with food colouring around the outside of the cup, umbrellas and other decorative items to not only make the drink look more appealing but also add a positive experience. These small additions can take a drink from being a necessity to being reminiscent of a holiday by the pool. The drink can go hand in hand with reminiscing about holidays, summer and favourite drinks.
Ice lollies and jelly are two desserts packed with fluid that can encourage hydration with the people you support.
If the weather is hot, keeping hydrated becomes even more important. Offering ice lollies is a great way to keep cool and keep the people you support hydrated. You could offer the ice lollies out in the garden if you have outdoor space or even organise a beach day. You could either take the people you support to the seaside or if that’s not possible, bring the beach to them with sensory activities like sand, water, fish and chips and ice lollies or ice creams.
Jelly is another dessert that has hidden fluid. This could be part of an afternoon snack or lunch or dinner for dessert one day or be part of a bigger activity. Have a throwback activity where you serve the food the people you support reminiscent of their childhoods. Jelly and ice cream was a big part of children’s parties, so this is a great opportunity to reminisce about parties attended as a child or throwing parties for their own children and encourage a positive association with food.
Hosting coffee mornings or outings to local cafés or garden centres are another way to encourage fluid intake and reducing loneliness at the same time. Going for a coffee with a friend is something that can be taken for granted and encouraging these activities can have a positive impact on mood, self-esteem and fluid and nutritional intake.
Assisting the people you support to remain hydrated is essential to their care. Some care services employ Hydration Assistants whose sole focus is to assist the people they support in remaining hydrated. Digital social care record platforms are also beneficial in keeping track of and monitoring fluid efficiently.
By using Nourish, you can record and monitor the fluid intake of the people you support. You can set fluid targets and set alerts and warnings if a person’s fluid intake is below target to investigate why this may be and give you the opportunity to provide further support on this.
By accurately logging information and observations you can make vital connections with other events that may be linked to the fluid intake of the people you support. With data recorded on Nourish, you are able to spot and track trends in hydration, what may have led to lower fluid intake and the impact of this to predict future events.
By using Nourish, you can also record photos of the people you support engaging in activities, to showcase and evidence their enjoyment. Recording photos are a great memento for the people you support’s families and friends and to look back on themselves.
Find out more about how Nourish can help you ensure the people you support are properly hydrated by booking a personalised demo with our friendly team.
The start of July means the start of Wimbledon, the iconic tennis match that dominates our screens throughout the month.
Bring the feel of Wimbledon to your care service with food traditionally served at Wimbledon.
Serve up the iconic strawberries and cream with a glass of Pimms on the side. For alcohol free alternatives, try this virgin Pimms recipe or serve strawberry lemonade.
Have a picnic in the grounds of your care service with the favourite picnic food of the people you support with Eton Mess for dessert. Use the official Wimbledon picnics for ideas on what to serve.
For keen tennis fans who want to get involved in the action, hold your own version of Wimbledon with balloons and giant rackets. This is an easy way to encourage exercise and have fun at the same time. If you have enough willing participants, start a leaderboard with prizes for the winners or just have a non-competitive group game.
Rummage Box Reminiscence
Put together a Wimbledon themed rummage box, ideal for starting conversations and evoking memories in a sensory based experience. You can include items such as:
Get in the Wimbledon spirit with a tennis themed quiz for the people you support. You can either use these online pre-made quizzes or you can also use these interesting facts about Wimbledon to create your own quiz.
In Nourish, you can record in a person’s care plan the things that are the most important to them, such as tennis or Wimbledon. This ensures that their interests are taken into account in activity planning. You can use Nourish to record any activities the people you support have done, you can also record them having fun by photographing their engagement in any activities if you have the necessary permissions.
Find out more about how Nourish can help you engage the people you support and evidence their participation in activities by booking a personalised demo with our friendly team.
The Coronation of King Charles presents many opportunities for activities for the people you support from arts and crafts to enjoying tasty traditional food.
Decorate your care service with Union Jack bunting, tablecloths and offer handheld flags. Play classic British songs throughout the years or use a pre-set playlist on Spotify.
Serve a buffet with traditional food such as coronation chicken, Pimm’s or a non-alcoholic alternative and Victoria sponge cake.
Using these royal portrait frames, organise a painting session with the people you support. Can they paint a royal portrait of themselves, a friend or King Charles himself?
Can the people you support remember the Queen’s coronation or did they celebrate any Jubilees over their lifetime? Here are some facts about the Queen’s coronation, how much of it will be similar to today?
Many newspapers are likely to have a royal special segment for the coronation with photos of King Charles throughout his life. Using these and other available material online, go through King Charles’ life history. How many significant events or styles can the people you support remember?
Using card, cut and decorate a crown each with the people you support. If they were a royal, what would their crown look like? Alternatively, you can purchase already made crowns and decorate those with various crafting items.
What advice do the people you support have for the King? Or what would they do if they were a ruling monarch for the day?
Don’t forget to log all of the activities the people you support participate in on Nourish and upload photos of them having fun.
Find out more about how Nourish can support you to showcase activity participation in the care notes of the people you support by booking a personalised demo today.
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In 2017, the Public Health Outcomes Framework reported that 220,160 emergency hospital admissions were related to a fall in the over 65 age group. A fall can have enormous repercussions to someone’s life, affecting their mobility, independence and health. Utilising Nourish and making some key changes can minimise the risk of a fall for the people you support within your care service.
Some types of medication, number of prescribed medications and combination of medications can increase the risk of falls. Having the oversight via an eMAR solution alongside other care records/information gives the ability to monitor, manage and evaluate a person’s medications with a view to reducing falls risks and associated complications. Being able to monitor this medication and provide visibility of symptoms among your team can increase awareness and reduce the risk of falls. Regular medication reviews assist in ensuring side effects and symptoms are monitored. Nourish integrates with various eMARs, allowing you and your team to see what medication the people you support use.
Staying hydrated and drinking enough fluid is very important and many of the people supported have a fluid monitoring chart in place for this very reason. Drinking consistently throughout the day rather than attempting to hit the desired fluid intake in the latter half of the day will decrease the risk of other health complications such as urine infections which can cause delirium and increased confusion, increasing the likelihood of a fall. Desired fluid intake and MUST scores are incorporated in Nourish, allowing you to keep an eye on the hydration and nutrition of the people you support.
According to the NHS, exercise can decrease the risk of a fall, particularly strength and balance training. Strength and balance training can involve activities as simple as walking or dancing. Tai Chi is another exercise that can prevent falls as it emphasises on movement, balance and coordination. Activities can be logged in the Nourish app as can the level of participation and enjoyment which will allow you to see how and if exercise has made any improvements to a person’s mobility.
Appointments can be logged on the Nourish app and can be viewed as part of the daily care plan of the people you support, giving greater visibility for your care team. Seeing the podiatrist to check that nails are not overgrown or suffering any ailment that may make walking difficult. Also on footwear, you can add into the daily care plan a requirement that checks the people you support are wearing suitable and well-fitting footwear. Regular check-ups with the opticians will check the people you support are wearing the appropriate eyewear for their needs. You can also add a note into the care plan that gives your care team the ability to easily view who wears glasses.
It may be useful to identify a Falls Champion for your service. Some local NHS trusts and councils hold training for Falls Champions. Champions are advocates for prevention and management of falls. They help to ensure that all staff are following fall management protocols, identify any risks around the service that could result in a fall, analyse data to see how and why falls are happening and what can be done to prevent this. Champions also ensure risk assessments for those at greater risk of a fall are being followed, for example the use of sensor mats or alarm pendants.
Nourish integrates with various eMAR solutions, pain management apps, eRedBag and GP Connect, encouraging interoperability in healthcare. We are always looking to integrate with businesses who can improve the lives of the people we support and have some exciting integrations in the pipeline that can assist with falls management.
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Move More Month in April is an annual celebration that encourages individuals to move more and sit less in their daily lives. Encouraging moving more in care services is important because of the positive impact on health and wellbeing, particularly for older people in care who are susceptible to health conditions such as contractures.
There are many ways care services can participate in Move More Month.
Encourage staff and residents to get moving by organising a step challenge. Participants can track their steps or distance and compete against each other or work together towards a shared goal suitable for the people you support. This can be a great way to build camaraderie, competitiveness and promote physical activity.
There are many available exercise classes that specialise in hosting for care services from ballet to yoga to tai chi and will often have a free trial for the first session. Even using a singer can encourage dancing from the people you support. Exercise class participation doesn’t have to include full body movement, smaller movements such as clapping and foot tapping all bring their own benefits.
Walking groups are a simple and effective way to encourage moving more. Set up designated walking routes around the service or nearby community and invite the people you support to join in. Depending on the location of the walking route, perhaps set up a treasure hunt or nature spotting sheet to give the walk purpose. Walking groups can be a great opportunity to socialize, enjoy the outdoors and nature, and improve physical health.
In addition to formal exercise, there are other activities and hobbies that encourage movement such as balloon tennis, gardening, giant parachute, hoopla or boules to encourage movement. These activities can promote movement and socialization while providing a fun and engaging way to stay active.
Participating in Move More Month can have significant benefits for the people you support. By promoting physical activity and movement, care services can improve overall health and wellbeing, reduce the risk of injury, build a sense of community and camaraderie and have fun. By using digital care planning software such as Nourish, you are able to record a person’s likes and dislikes, mobility and log what activities they have engaged with including pictures.
To find out how Nourish can help you record and evidence activities in your care service, book a personalised demo today.
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