Residents at a Somerset dementia care home have been enjoying an innocent indulgence at a tasty ‘banana split party’ organised by the activities team to brighten up the longer autumn days.
The highlight of the party was the opportunity for each person to enjoy their own personalised banana split, but staff also pushed the banana boat out in other ways out to boost the party atmosphere.
Richard Dempslake, activities organiser for Camelot House and Lodge, said: “Before everyone tucked into the party platters, we organised a bit of ‘Sundae School.’
“Our residents love a good quiz, so we had fun with a few banana-themed questions like where bananas are grown, and why they’re good for you, and we also enjoyed a fruity games of apple bobbing, using grabbers.
“Music is really important to people with dementia, and it was lovely to see them singing along to themed playlist we put together.
“The favourite song for the day, of course, was the Banana Boat song, as well as other sweet classics such as Sugar Sugar, Sweets For My Sweet, Pure Imagination from the Willy Wonka film and la-la-ing along to the Banana In Pyjamas theme.”
For the party tea each banana split was made up according to residents’ preferences, with the options of toppings available including whipped cream, cherries, strawberry or chocolate sauce, sprinkles, raisins, syrup and vanilla ice cream.
Richard Dempslake said: “There was a lot of lip-smacking and finger-licking going on, and big smiles all round.
“Sometimes it can be a challenge to encourage people living with dementia to eat, so it can be a good idea to tempt them by making food a fun experience.
“Our chef, Chris Morris, understands the importance of presenting food in a way that will appeal to our residents, as well as catering to individual preferences and where appropriate we use eating and drinking as an opportunity for activity and social stimulation.
“That’s not for everyone, but many of our residents do enjoy it – and the banana split party certainly fitted the bill.”