Older people at a city care home enjoyed a day out at the seaside and a celebration of British summertime – without stepping outside.
To spark memories of childhood holidays and as a last hurrah to the end of summer, pensioners at Belleville Lodge in Edinburgh were treated to a garden celebration complete with seaside activities, fish and chips in paper bags, and a holiday-themed singalong.
The dining room was decorated with Union Jack flags and staff crafted placemats made from pictures of different seaside towns across the UK.
Matron Margaret Russell, Matron at Belleville Lodge in Newington, said: “We wanted to make sure our residents had the chance to go to the beach before the evenings darkened and the weather turned, and to make up for us not being able to take them out on their usual outings.
“We decided to bring the beach to us, decorating the dining room with flags and celebrated a typical British summer at the seaside, which the residents remembered well.
“To help spark some memories, we made placemats out of popular seaside towns, including Blackpool which was a great favourite and somewhere most of us had visited.
“We had a chat about what they did at the seaside, what it felt like to be in the sea. They reminisced about donkey rides on the beach, visiting Blackpool Tower and the famous ballroom – with lots of the ladies being fans of Strictly Come Dancing, they were very familiar with it.”
The staff organised sensory activities with buckets and spades, listening to sea sounds in seashells, as well as a holiday singalong.
Belleville Lodge is one of 11 bespoke care homes run by Mansfield Care which specialises in providing residents with exceptional quality of personal care geared to their needs and wishes. It is a beautiful stone villa set within award-winning private walled gardens, with space for up to 25 residents.
Activities at Mansfield Care homes are led by residents’ wishes, with each home having a wellbeing coordinator to plan social activities. Favourite activities for residents at Belleville Lodge include trips to the barge at Ratho and nearby Salisbury Arms bistro.
Margaret added: “It was great to have a holiday atmosphere, especially since trips haven’t been possible.
“We always aim to have different activities and themed days happening to keep our residents entertained and busy. Last week, we had a talk about famous artists from around the world, and this week we’re having a Royal Family themed afternoon tea.
“Our themed days are always popular with residents, it keeps them busy and ensures they have something to look forward to every week.”