Fitness and wellbeing focus gets care home residents buzzing

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Court Lodge Companionship Team Members Cat Loubser and Julia Puia, dressed as bees, with residents, from left: Mary Wharmby, Maureen Jones, Rose Joyce and Ann Melrose.

Care home residents have extended a week’s dedicated celebration of fitness and wellbeing into a full month of reinvigoration.

Several Colten Care homes participated in the national Bee Active week which included ideas and suggestions for staying healthy and happy.

Residents and staff at Abbotts Barton in Winchester were so pleased with the benefits they have decided to continue following its recommendations through the Spring.

After a suggestion by Clinical Lead Jane Shaw, team members organised a circuit training course around the garden with diagrams positioned along the way for exercising different parts of the body.

Jane said: “The idea is to promote the residents’ health and wellbeing and get some fresh air in the garden too. The exercises are great for residents to strengthen muscles, prevent falls and help with their balance.”

Resident Peter Winchester said: “It’s a great idea to get everyone more active in the garden. We’ve been easing ourselves into it by doing a little more each day.”

As well as daily exercise, Abbotts Barton residents are singing along to playlists of favourite songs and sampling healthy snacks and smoothies.

There are also health-related quizzes to help maintain mental agility while highlighting the nutritional value of fruit and vegetables.

Companionship Team Leader Kirsty Sawyer said: “We’re encouraging healthy eating and providing increased exercise opportunities for those who want to join in.

“We have indoor seated exercise sessions providing gentle stretching and moving, often to music.

“And residents are having great fun with activities such as quoits, basketball, yoga and tai chi.

“We’ve also launched a hands-on baking club offering discussions about healthy foods and of course opportunities to taste the end product.”

Other Colten Care homes to take part in Bee Active include Court Lodge and Linden House in Lymington.

At Court Lodge, staff and residents completed 99 laps of the garden in recognition of the home’s oldest resident, 99-year-old Ann Melrose.

She started various participants off by walking the first lap of the 20km/12-mile challenge, joining again for the final lap.

Putting a further buzz into the walk were Companionship Team Members Cat Loubser and Julia Puia who dressed as busy bees. 

Julia said: “We are completely dedicated to ensuring our residents are happy and healthy all the time but Bee Active has given us another chance to highlight and promote suggestions for fitness and wellbeing. We aim to continue that focus.”

Like Abbotts Barton, Linden House’s Bee Active goings-on included a look at healthy eating.

Among the tasty treats new to some residents was a homemade carrot cake with aquafaba and pumpkin seeds topped with an avocado frosting.

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Court Lodge Companionship Team Members Cat Loubser and Julia Puia, dressed as bees, with residents, from left: Mary Wharmby, Maureen Jones, Rose Joyce and Ann Melrose.
Abbotts Barton resident Jean Merriken in a gentle stretching exercise with Michael Tibble, Companionship Team Member

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