Christmas is now a distant memory and the January blues have been and gone. Jan Millward shares her top ideas for a fun February…
The days are getting longer and the first signs of spring are showing themselves in the form of snowdrops. It can, however, be a chilly month, and you will do well if you manage to tempt your residents outside. Instead, get your paints and scissors out and get crafting!
EVENTS FOR THE DIARY
Valentine’s Day (14th Feb) and Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day, 25th Feb) are the two big events in February. Homes will be filled with hearts and flower crafts – but for those who may get upset by the displays of affection (they may have recently lost a loved one), focus on the friendship aspect or organise a session discussing famous couples that they will recognise. Last year, Robyn Taylor wrote a lovely blog about being sensitive to everyone on Valentine’s Day, and it’s well worth a read. Find it here.
Pancake Day is an ideal time to experiment with different fillings for your pancakes, focus on different fresh fruits such as mango or strawberries and cream.
The Oscars (9th Feb)
There are so many fun ways to make this a bit of an event, from cake decorating for a special tea party to hosting a red carpet celebration yourselves!
Are there any local celebrities you could invite in? Focus on dressing up in glamorous gowns and smart jackets, and get plenty of costume jewellery for the residents to have fun with. Provide nibbles and a glass of fizz and show an abridged version of the awards or perhaps a few of the residents’ favourite films spread out over the week.
You could even nominate people for your own version of the Oscars – recommend people for Most Helpful, Happiest, Best Singer, Best Gardener, Best Joke Teller etc. A great excuse for a bit of glitz and glamour. You can even make your own Oscar statuettes with a shampoo bottle, some tin foil and a bit of imagination!
Robert Baden Powell’s Birthday (22nd Feb – Founder of the Scout Movement)
Build links with your local Scout, Brownie and Guide packs – encourage them to use your home when they are working towards community service badges. Invite them in for a sing-song of campfire songs. Run a reminiscence session with your residents, talking about their memories of being in the Scouts, Brownies or Guides.
Some tips for involving all residents, even those who don’t enjoy group activities…
Every care home will have some residents who, for whatever reason, can’t join in group activities. It is important that you include everyone – and one-to-one time is really valuable for your residents’ well-being. Take around crafts that you have made on a trolley and leave some in their room, or pop by with a small posy of flowers arranged by other residents – little things like this can be a vital link to the bigger world. You could even ask – where appropriate – for some visiting entertainers to use a little of their time to do room visits. Take pictures and add them to individual scrapbooks so that other staff and visitors have something to talk about.
Planning ahead for bigger events….
Don’t forget that the VE Day celebrations in May and the Olympics over the summer will both provide really important opportunities for activities and it’s a good idea to be planning in the coming months for both of these events – painting of flags, simple bunting and pom-pom making are a great way to get ahead and keep busy!