Just January

January brings order and calm, a fresh start, time to plan and look ahead to spring. Jan Millward, one of our regular activity coordinator columnists, shares her top tips for a happy, organised January…

Congratulations – you made it! All the Christmas parties, the carol singers and the mince-pie making are now a distant memory!

January can actually be a very flat month, it may be too cold and miserable to get out and about and many ACs feel totally burnt out after Christmas. That’s why this month is the perfect time to plan your year and look forward to spring.

Year Planner
If you haven’t already, start making a yearbook. All you need is a loose-leaf folder, some plastic sleeves and a plan!

  • Divide the book into months. You may want to use two books of six months each.
  • Have a discussion session with your residents and their families. What would they like to do and see in the new year?
  • Use the book to add in posters, monthly activity calendars, photographs, press cuttings and news. It is a great resource for visitors and residents to look at, as well as something that you can take around with you when you are doing one-to-one room visits. Add in any summer or spring events that you are planning.

Big events in 2020

  • 8 May – This marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. The bank holiday has been changed to coincide with the actual date and there are already lots of national celebrations planned. If you want to book in a specific 1940s style entertainer for that day or weekend, do it now – they will be in big demand! You could even start making red, white and blue pom-poms!
  • 12 June – 12 July – Euro 2020 – major football tournament.
  • 24 July – 9 August – Summer Olympics – this year held in Tokyo.

But what to do for January?

Twelfth Night (6 January) – It is the time to take down all the decorations and pack them away for another year. Make sure you involve your residents. Get them rolling up the lights and packing away the baubles.

Elvis’s Birthday (8 January) – There is nothing like a bit of Elvis to blow away the January blues.

Australian Open (20 January) – These tennis championships are a great excuse to bring a bit of Australian sunshine into your home and some armchair balloon tennis too.

RSPB Birdwatch (starts 25 January) – Visit their website to download a free pack and get information on how to help the birds during the winter months.

Burns Night (25 January) – A chance to celebrate all things Scottish. Try haggis tasting, make shortbread biscuits, play traditional music and have a go at some of Robbie Burns’ poetry!

Chinese New Year (25 January) – It’s the year of the Rat. Print off some Chinese writing and have a go yourselves. Use it to explore Chinese culture and food, and print off the list of years so that you can tell everyone what their Chinese sign is, relating to the year of their birth. Make your own Chinese fortune sticks by decorating large bamboo paddle skewers (you can cut off the pointed end if you wish). Put numbers on each stick, and then print off fortunes to correspond to the numbers, and let your residents pick a stick.

Little Tip… Because Chinese New Year falls on the same day as Burns night, don’t feel you have to do it all on the same day! No-one will worry if you have Chinese New Year a day or a week early. Gives you a good excuse to spread out the activities.

Happy New Year!