Residents at a local dementia care home are being treated to a staycation with a difference, thanks to a beach environment that has been created especially for them at their landlocked home in Wellington, Somerset.
The activities team at Camelot House and Lodge have been busy recreating a good old-fashioned day at the seaside, complete with sand, beach accessories, ice-cream and even a specially tailored ambient soundtrack.
Activities co-ordinator Richard Dempslake said: “Many of people’s happiest memories are associated with past seaside holidays, and our residents are no exception.
“And because of the nature of dementia it means that their older memories are the most frequently recalled.
“Many of our residents’ youthful holidays were spent on UK beaches, so we’ve done our best to bring the great British seaside to Wellington, and they certainly seem to be appreciating it.
“When we get a sunny day we are careful to ensure there’s plenty of shade and liquid refreshments to keep people comfortable, and they’re enjoying burying their toes in the nice warm sand, making sandcastles and digging little trenches.
“This activity has been a great sensory experience for many of our residents, remembering the beaches of their youth through touch.
“They’ve enjoyed finding seashells and using the buckets and spades.
“To create a more authentic vibe we’ve put on a soundtrack that plays the noise of the sea lapping on the beach and the calls of seagulls – but only in moderation of course!
“And for those residents who prefer to stay indoors, a mini beach was prepared on a tray so they were still able to take part in the fun.
“Staff and friends of Camelot kindly provided windbreakers, beach balls, bats and balls, mini surf boards and a rubber ring, which generated a lot of discussions among the residents, who were also keen to share views on which UK beaches are the best.
“And yes, of course we enjoyed singing that old favourite song you’ve just got to sing when you’re on the beach: I do like to be beside the seaside.”
Camelot House and Lodge is run by award-winning dementia care provider, Camelot Care, who have other homes in Bridgwater and Plymouth.