As the Christmas season begins, Shirley Bradley, Friends of the Elderly’s Head of Day Care Services, has been busy with her team making sure all our centres are in fine festive form and full of Christmas cheer to help get their clients into the Christmas spirit.
“At Friends of the Elderly, we have four day care centres. Two in Worcestershire, Malvern and Kidderminster and two in Surrey, Wallington and Woking. Our compassionate team are trained to support people who are living with dementia and provide a range of activities that encourage social interaction and wellbeing through high quality, personalised care.
“Many of our clients live on their own, which could mean they often find themselves alone for periods of time, so coming to one our centres is sometimes the only opportunity they have to get out, socialise, catch-up with friends, take part in our wide range of activities and enjoy a hot, home cooked meal.
“We want all our clients to have a wonderful Christmas experience so have made sure we have plans in place throughout December to spread some Christmas cheer. We have Christmas Trees in all our centres and our clients have been helping to decorate them – putting up the lights, hanging the baubles and tinsel and topping them with stars and angels. The Christmas music has been playing and there has been lots of reminiscing about past and favourite Christmases. We are, of course, extremely aware that for some, this is a sensitive time of year, so ensure everyone is happy and content with what they participate in.
“The Christmas Craft sessions are underway and everyone is getting very creative. Making Christmas pictures, garlands, individual place mats for our Christmas lunches, sock Snowmen and, importantly, designing and making their own, individual Christmas Cards. The card making is important as some of our clients are not able to go to the shops and buy their own cards for their loved ones, so by making their own cards, they are still able to show their love and thanks to those they care about.
“In the lead up to Christmas, our centres are also hosting Christmas dinners and parties – all adhering to our social distancing protocols. Alongside party games, festive quizzes and reminiscing activities, we have a range of COVID safe entertainment planned, including two live Facebook singer performances that all our centres can join in at the same time. We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone singing along and having fun together.
“And, of course, Santa leaves a Christmas gift for each client that is specifically given with their interests and likes in mind, making each one tailored and special to that individual.
“All of my team at Friends of the Elderly work hard to get everyone excited for the Christmas season and enjoy the whole Yuletide build-up. We want to give those who we care for and look after a very special Christmas, not just this year, but every year.”