It has been found that social environments help to sustain both the physical and mental wellbeing of older people living in care homes. With friends and families prohibited from visiting care settings over the course of the pandemic, we’ve witnessed various care homes making more of an effort to get individuals out of their rooms to socialise.
Residents of Chandler Court care home in Bromsgrove have welcomed the opening of a pub, serving discounted ales, lagers, wines and cocktails. Residents are allowed in six at a time and must abide by social distancing rules. Dawn Covill, Care Home Manager said, “We all miss going to the pub, and in these challenging times, there’s nothing like catching up with an old friend over a drink or two. This pub is associated with a lot of positive memories from their younger years, from their first ever drink, to countless meals with family or friends”.
We’re not suggesting that every care home needs to go to the extent of opening a pub to entertain their residents, but there are lots of simple ways you can bring people together during these challenging times.
The importance of snacks
As we get older, our appetite changes. Smaller appetites and lower food intake in older people is not uncommon. You’ll notice that some residents may feel overwhelmed with larger plates of food. Offering smaller portions, more often, is sometimes the best option to meet individual meal requirements and to ensure good nutrition is maintained. What’s more, when finger foods are combined with a hot drink, it makes the perfect opportunity for residents to have a natter!
Download “Making Mealtimes Memorable” to find a wealth of mid-morning and afternoon snack options.
Simulating a bar or pub environment is a great way to bring residents together and encourage social interaction. Don’t limit offerings to alcoholic beverages only; water, fruit juice, tea and soups are all brilliant options to keep older people hydrated. Teaming drinks with non-contact games such as bingo or a word puzzle is a great way to keep minds active.
For many care homes residents, mealtimes are the highlight of their day so why not elevate your offering further by creating a calendar of food-themed events? Most people nowadays have travelled overseas, so you could organise a ‘cruise’ – a culinary trip around the world, stopping off at some of their favourite destinations. From Spanish paella to Italian pizza and pasta, Greek moussaka to French beef bourguignon, you’ll be creating a fabulous starting point for nostalgic conversations.
Download “Turning over a new leaf in care catering” to find more inspiration for your themed events.
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