A plum idea for keeping spirits up in care homes

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Residents of Camelot House and Lodge said they felt as if they had been transported to the Balkans for the day.

Discovering that many more plums are grown in Romania than the UK was a surprise to residents of a Wellington dementia care home – one surprise among many in store for them during a recent Romania ‘theme’ day. 

Residents of Camelot House and Lodge said they felt as if they had been transported to the Balkans for the day with many authentic touches made possible thanks to staff at the home who originate from Romania. 

Activities co-ordinator Richard Dempslake said: “A national theme day is a great way to entertain our residents, and gives them chance to engage in familiar activities with a novel twist – a real boon in the current climate, given that we can’t take them out of the home for the local visits that they enjoy in normal times.  

“One of the games they enjoyed playing was ‘higher and lower’ which is a guessing game, and we included some Romanian-themed questions. That’s how they learned that Romania is the fourth largest producer of plums in the world! I think some of them would have liked to sampled some țuică – Romanian plum brandy – which my colleagues tell us is delicious. 

“They really enjoyed looking at lovely photos featuring Romanian countryside, cities, culture and native animals, and these sparked a lot of chat, with them making comparisons with customs and wildlife they came across personally in their younger days. 

“And some of them were keen to hear the myths and legends about Transylvania and Romania’s medieval cities.   

“We ended the day listening to Romanian traditional folk music and did the traditional circle dance called Hora Romaneasca – all with appropriate social distancing, of course. 

Richard said: “It takes some imagination to keep coming up with new and engaging activities that can be carried out in a Covid-safe way, but it means such a lot to our residents, and thankfully we’re not short of imagination.” 

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