Father Christmas is already beginning to spread some wish-granting magic at a care home in Norwich this week. Just as the nation starts to open Advent calendars and find their own seasonal surprises, Olive House, based in Newton Flotman has kick-started its special ‘Make a Wish for Christmas’ initiative for its residents.
Staff were so determined to ensure the festive countdown would be extra special for those living with them that they have established a project that will allow all residents to name a special experience or treat which they would love to enjoy during the advent period.
The hope at the Healthcare Homes residence, which provides care and support to elderly people, including those living with dementia, is that all residents will be able to be matched with a Christmas Wish Activity, during Advent.
“We’re always looking at how we can go that extra step to make the experience of living with us more personal, and full of opportunities beyond the everyday routine,” said Kerry Gooda, Manager of Olive House.
“This festive programme of wishes is an idea which has been achieved with the help of staff, family, and residents, and we’re all very excited to see what we’ll be able to create for guests. Ideas already discussed so far include meals out, shopping trips, pamper treats, or a visit to the home of someone particularly special.”
To begin the roll-out of the scheme, one couple has already had an early wish met – thanks to an accompanied dinner at Dunston Hall hotel in Norwich.
Jeanne and Tony Priest, who have lived at the home since June 2014, enjoyed a special lunch at Dunston Hall hotel, together with their carer, Jenny Peachy. Their visit allowed them the chance to see the grounds of the hall, as well as enjoying a meal in the majestic setting of the hotel.
“It was a truly wonderful day for Jeanne and Tony, and it’s so rewarding to see residents like these getting to experience something ‘a little different’,” said Jenny. “Small changes and experiences make a big difference to care home residents, and in particular where they may be living with conditions like dementia. This scheme is a great idea.”
Kerry and the team at Olive House would also be keen to hear from any individuals, companies, venues or speakers, who might wish to offer their support for the seasonal activity.
“If anyone thinks they could offer some kind of special ‘wish’ scenario, which would be popular with our residents, we would love to hear from them,” she said. “The more people who help us deliver on this wish-making programme at Christmas, the better.”