Hello Heatwave!

Blue skies make everything seem happier, but as much as we love some hot weather, some people do struggle with the heat. Robyn Taylor shares some activities ideas to get you through the hottest days of the year…

1. HYDRATE – It is important to keep fluids up. The care staff have an important role to do in hydrating the residents, but activity coordinators should also work this into their planned activities. Ensure that you are offering drinks throughout the session. Alternatively, adapt the session to be based on drinking liquids. For example – mock-cocktail hour, fizzy drink sampling, Pimm’s and lemonade in the garden.

2. ICE ICE BABY – Hand out lollipops and ice creams in your activities. Or hold a Sunday Sundae afternoon, where you can design and eat your own sundaes. Make sure you’re organised in advance so nothing melts before you’ve served it!

3. SPLASH DOWN – Think water fights are for children? Wrong! Adults love a water fight too. Gather together water guns, balloons, buckets and sponges and enjoy yourself. This might be a great bonding experience so invite the great-grandchildren along.

4. SEW & SEW – Make your own sundresses or hats. It is nice to wear a light dress or a hat when it’s so hot. Either make your own from scratch or buy some plain white dresses/hats and personalise them with tie-dye, applique, fabric paints or any other textile technique you wish.

5. STAY SHADY – Having shade in the garden is important as it means any activity can be done outdoors, whether that be live entertainment, arts and crafts sessions or bingo. Setting up a shaded area with umbrellas or canopies is important to prevent sunburn and is a good investment if you’re looking at more ways to get your residents outside.

6. FIND A FREEZER – A clever way to keep cool is to organise a trip to a place that has air conditioning – a shopping centre, a restaurant or even a garden centre.

7. COOLING CRAFTS – Making paper fans is a great way to keep cool and a nostalgic activity that residents may have done with their children.

8. COUNT THE CLOUDS – Perch yourself and some residents under a tree and do some cloud spotting. How many clouds are in the sky? What do they look like?

9. SUMMER EVENINGS – It’s hard to sleep when it’s hot, so adjust bedtimes and make the most of the warm evenings by sitting out late at night. With the clear skies, you’ll have a great view of the stars. Why not even organise a glamping experience in the garden?

10. PREPARE – The best way to be ready for a heatwave is to prepare. If over the year you are collecting hats, fans, suncream, ice lolly moulds, spare towels, paddling pools, water squirters, buckets and spades, etc, then when the sun makes a surprise appearance you have them at the ready.