Bringing festive joy into our care home
As November transitioned into December, the Birchwood House team continued to create a warm and festive home environment for residents. At a time of year when people and communities come together and connect over the holiday season, we have been especially focused on helping our residents feel engaged and connected. Caring for residents’ health and well-being is only one aspect of our role – we’re also here to help them live each day with comfort, joy and happiness.
Crafting joy this holiday season
Our beautiful old manor house has been decked in holiday décor, spreading visual joy in a celebration of the season. Activities Co-Ordinator Lizzie has crafted a fun, fresh, and festive roster of activities to keep residents engaged. This includes some homemade gingerbread baking, which helped everyone to strengthen their motor skills where possible whilst enjoying a seasonal activity. Some lighthearted fun was also had with Lizzie making an appearance in a life-sized inflatable gingerbread man costume, which inspired lots of fun and laughter. Birchwood House also welcomed Solefield School’s melodic Chamber Choir to the home for a beautiful performance. Conductor, Mrs Sage, and Director of Music, Mr Fenning, lead the group of students in a delightful rendition of our favourite holiday music.
Home away from home
While some of our residents may join their friends, family or loved ones for celebrations at this time of year, it’s not always possible or practical for everyone. That’s why we make sure that each resident can connect with their loved ones, especially if they won’t be visiting home or receiving frequent guests. Sometimes this involves facilitating a phone or video call or helping them to write and send a letter or gift. It’s also why we want to make sure that their home, Birchwood House, truly feels like a home – festive décor, warm laughter, personalised activities and a delicious menu are all part of how we create a happy and hearty home environment for our residents.
Nurturing their sense of community and helping them strengthen their relationships is always important to us, but it’s especially important at this time of year. Another thoughtful activity is as simple yet satisfying as sending Christmas cards. Our team can help residents with writing and posting festive cards to friends, family and loved ones. Making time to do this can help them feel more engaged with Christmas and connected with the world outside their Birchwood home. It is also a great way to help residents gain a sense of achievement and further practice their fine motor skills where possible.
The gift of giving
Christmas is often thought of as a season of giving, and one of the most important things we can do for our aging loved ones and people in care homes is to give them the gift of time. Meaningful connection and genuine conversation are especially valued by residents at this time of year, especially here in the Northern Hemisphere as the days grow shorter, colder, and darker. Our aging population faces a growing sense of loneliness, isolation and disconnection.
So, this year, Lizzie has also been working on a special community project. She has teamed up with Birchwood Care Services and our local community to deliver Christmas Wishes for both our residents and people who receive at-home care. The project has seen an outpour of support and generosity from every one, with many donating thoughtful gifts and spreading the joy of giving this holiday season. At this time of year especially, the kindness of both friends and strangers is a beautiful gift to be able to give.
Happy holidays from all of us at here Birchwood House. May you have a wonderful and prosperous new year.
For some more festive light reading, here are five ideas of what you can gift your loved one this Christmas that are a sure hit with care home residents.