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Residents Set Sail at Bridgwater Care Home

Lisa with Beer & Pretzels Celebrating German Week

A cruise around the world with food and music from countries as diverse as Poland and the Philippines has thrilled residents at a specialist dementia care home in Bridgwater.

The creative ‘cruise’ included music, language, heritage, dress, food and drink organised by the activities team at Avalon Nursing Home, with each week dedicated to a different country starting in Romania, Poland, Germany, Philippines, Africa and ending in India.

Lisa Priddice, activities co-ordinator for Avalon, said: “We ‘stopped off’ at countries close to our residents’ hearts, beginning in Romania with exercises and dance sessions to Romanian folk music.

“We have lots of creative residents who are happiest when being able to express themselves with art, so they loved crafting with Romanian colours and images.

“During Polish week we decorated boxes with decoupage techniques using Polish folk motifs, and we also had a go at learning the Polish language, which had us all laughing at one another’s attempts.

“Residents and staff then celebrated the beautiful Philippines, where a few of our staff and residents have lived. We sampled handmade spring rolls and noodles as well as a sweet dish – cassava cake – followed by a fascinating ‘show and tell’ session.

“German week started with a morning cooking session: residents had fun rolling and twirling pastry into the desired shapes. This little activity is good for hand coordination and dexterity. And our residents had great fun with our beer tasting game, guessing which beer was English and which was German.”

Next stop on the residents’ round-the-world cruise was Africa, where tribal art, fashion and animals were under the spotlight, with inspiring sessions led by Avalon’s art therapist, Ewa Kuwałek, featuring vibrant colours and animal printed paper to mimic the look of the African desert, and Avalon’s resident quiz master, Norman, brought the day to an entertaining close with a quiz about Africa which he prepared himself.

The home took the opportunity to include some focused fundraising for the Ukraine crisis appeal in the cruise schedule.

Lisa Priddice said: “We were keen to honour Ukraine and contribute to the crisis appeal. Residents worked hard sorting and arranging parcels for anyone who might need them.

“Our fantastic chef Rob and assisting chef CJ prepared a fine Ukrainian menu packed full of flavours, including homemade chicken Kyiv with salad, Ukrainian soup and much more traditional Ukrainian cuisine.”

The cruise then proceeded to India, with residents engaging in beautiful craftwork, including the creation of Mandala suncatchers, which have been strategically placed around the home.

Lisa said: “One of the highlights of the cruise was definitely sampling luxurious Indian sweets and cuisine: residents commented how wonderful the food looked and tasted.

“Finally, we returned home to England with a delightful English tea party, garden games day, and other activities.

“Our residents really entered into the spirit of the cruise and so enjoyed talking about various cultures and how diverse and individual they are, so we’re now working on plans for more cruising events later in the year.”

The round-the-world cruise is part of a year-long programme organised by the team at Avalon, with activities devised to engage residents physically and through the senses in a way that is integral to quality dementia care.