May in bloom

With Spring has come the time for gardening and planting, with everything in our garden being reborn. We have been very busy over the last couple of weeks to make our garden more attractive. The Home Manager and her daughter have worked very hard cleaning up walking areas and planting flowers, and they have more beautiful plans for the area.

Night staff member Amanda has also taken part in the project, bringing a range of things to plant, from sweet peas and onions to tomatoes and different flowers. Residents have been planting flowers too, inside the home during our gardening club sessions due to their physical limitations, using small pots. They are all interested in gardening-related subjects and enjoy these sessions, which stimulate discussion.

Regular activities

After the VE Day show we returned to our regular activities, designed to provide stimulation across a range intellectual and physical interests. Bingo and varied floor and board games remain very popular, the board games involving two big tables that provide an opportunity for residents to socialize and chat. For those not interested in, say, Scrabble, card games or puzzles, there’s always music to enjoy; recently, for instance, wonderful concerts by Andrea Boccelli and Andre Rieu entertained the home’s music lovers.

Funny movies

There are times when residents are simply in the mood for a really good laugh, and a good comedy film can be just what is needed. For us, Laurel and Hardy’s short movies are hard to beat. They bring joy and laughter to the lounge, everyone focused on the two men’s silly and hilarious actions, their costumes and the music. The memories come back for some residents, one having said, “Oh I can remember this from when I was young.”

Art therapy

Painting is probably one of our most popular activities. It is interesting that participants often use colours based on their imaginations rather than the colours of reality. So, for instance, a tree can be painted red, the sun blue or a pigeon green. That’s great – it’s about the freedom and opportunity to express personal thoughts through shape and colour.

Birthday celebrations

One thing that never stops, of course, is the regular celebration of birthdays as residents put yet another year under their belts. So there’s always a good excuse for a delicious cake produced by our helpful chef, enjoyed with tea and laughter.

Looking good

With the lockdown came the closure of hairdressers around the country, with some increasingly long-haired people seen on the streets! But at Axbridge Court residents have been able to keep their hair in great shape thanks to a staff colleague, Lauren who was originally a hairdresser. Once a week she has taken comb and scissors to residents’ hair, with smart results.

Our hope

We all hope that our lives can return back to normal very soon, with residents able to see their families after such long separations. And with a return to more normal times we hope we can make our activities more colourful again with live entertainers and short trips out, such as walks and stop-offs at the local café, and regaining community links with local groups.

Tunde Novak

Activities Co-ordinator