St Anne’s based Lakeview Rest Homes, brought Christmas and New Year cheer to both residents and locals alike with numerous festive activities throughout December.
It began with the regular “Meal a Day” where local residents are able to join others for a meal at The Mooring, one of Lakeview’s four care homes. This proved to be a very popular initiative which will be extended throughout 2017.
The festivities continued with Christmas Carols which were performed by visiting pupils from AKEQMS Junior School. They provided lively renditions of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The choir were then treated to some well-earned cupcakes and chocolates with residents.
The singing didn’t end there. Later in the month local singer and entertainer Helen Jayne provided a Sing-A-Long which had everyone joining in at the top of their voices. And later the celebrated Heyhouse’s Community Choir took residents and visitors through some harmonious classics and a few lighter carols – and all accompanied by sherry and mince pies. Jim Richards who was visiting said, ‘The voices were so melodious and sweet, it was beautiful to hear so many voices come together as one.’
Relationship Manager Claire Henning said ‘On behalf of our residents I want to emphasise how important and popular the choirs and entertainers are for us. We really appreciate people giving up their time to come along and entertain us so well.’
One unusual event for the season, and which brought much hilarity to all concerned, was the ‘Pimp my Zimmer’ competition. Residents of all four of the group’s rest homes, namely Lakeview, The Moorings, Newfield Lodge and Rosewood Lodge, were invited to take part in the competition – to decorate their walking frames.
Director Pete Wood explained, ‘Whilst this competition is fun, there is a serious side to the activity. Research has shown that ‘personalising’ the frames enhances cognition for people suffering dementia, increases awareness of who owns what frames, increases the tendency to ‘walk’ with the frames and has helped reduce falls.”
Winner of ‘Pimp my Zimmer’, Kath Sharples decorated her frame with features such as a drink cup and a charity collection box.
Kath was delighted that the money raised would go to selected charities and laughingly added, “People were always trying to pinch my frame because they’re just grey and all look the same. But now they’re decorated you know which one is yours and they’re easier to find.”
Runner-up Margaret Seddon really enjoyed the competition and said, “Ideas like ‘Pimp My Zimmer’ are testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of our care team. We had a lot of fun doing them and the colour’s make a nice change and talking point for visitors – who think we are bonkers!’
Walking frames were not the only thing to be decorated. Residents made various Christmas decorations which were displayed throughout the homes, and some of which became table decorations for festive meals.
Of course festive foods play a role in everyone’s Christmas, so residents from each home participated in cake decoration. The winning cake decoration was a stunning effort, depicting a rotund group of carol singers!
Pete Wood had a wonderful time judging the final and said, “I really enjoyed seeing the lovely cakes and everyone had a great laugh decorating them. But even better was eating them! After all we are entitled to some indulgences over Christmas!”
The cake judging competition was followed by the always popular Pantomime. This year it was Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The laughs were plenty and brought out the Christmas spirit in three year old Alexander Wood, who said he felt sorry for Mr Scrooge.
On Christmas day Santa Claus visited all of the homes spreading fun, laughter and goodwill to all residents before they tucked into a sumptuous feast. Festivities continued on Boxing Day when residents and their teams welcomed family and friends to join us for a tea-time buffet with entertainment.
Visitor Barbara Richard said, ‘They have spoiled us, it was a lovely feast today and whilst I love turkey, there was plenty of food variety!’
New Year’s Eve was celebrated by residents, their family members and friends as they sampled the culinary delights of a traditional Scots Hogmanay and enjoyed the sound of a Scottish Piper as we welcome in the New Year!
Di Croasdale, who was visiting friends said, ‘I was amazed to see a real Scots piper in full regalia come in and play for us. To be stood so close and to feel the energy, you can understand how terrifying it must have been for any opposition in battle to see these men approaching. I can honestly say I am now a fan.’
Resident Kath Sharples really summed up the success of the month long festivities. She thanked all the team at Lakeview Rest Homes and said “‘I bought a book to read over the festive period, as I thought I might get bored. I haven’t even had the time to open the book because I have had such a good time and been treated so lovely. People are so kind and generous and the entertainment has been fantastic.’
So a lovely and festive December was enjoyed by all, and residents and their care team at Lakeview look forward to meeting and sharing experiences with others throughout 2017.