Creative Sanford House Collaborates To Mark Dementia Action Week

30th May 2024

Earlier this month, Caring Homes celebrated Dementia Action Week, and Sanford House was keen to be fully involved, so the team and residents got together to create some very special events and activities.

Although they support those living with dementia every day, the team at Sanford House felt it was important to highlight what this looks like, and how they ensure that every resident has the opportunity to continue to live life to the full. So, the Wellbeing Team put together a fun week to mark Dementia Action Week and involved residents every step of the way.

Imaginative Designs for a Sensory Wall

To start the week off, everyone came together to create sensory boards for ‘Shannon’, the area where residents living with dementia live. Emily and Vicky from the Wellbeing Team and Manager, Maebh, are also the home’s Dementia Champions and are always looking for ways to develop and enhance the area, including a recent focus on making the hallways in Shannon more stimulating and interactive. They decided a fun way to do this would be cover the walls of a side corridor with a variety of interactive sensory boards, so they enlisted the help of residents from both Shannon and the nursing area, Carrick. Residents chose the objects, textures and colours they liked, then Emily and Vicky helped them put the boards together. Everyone was thrilled with the results, which used a wide range of materials and included a textured fabric spinning wheel, paintbrushes on a local artist’s oil painting (John Constable – not an original!), fiddle toys, household items, and shells on sandpaper.

Creative Crafting for the Big Day

The main event for Dementia Week was Sanford’s Music Day, when friends and families were invited to join and celebrate all things musical and see the importance of music for those living with dementia. Preparation began on Monday with residents working in their Arts & Crafts Club to make their own musical instruments. This is a very popular club at Sanford House - it doesn’t matter what the results look like, they always have a go and have a giggle while they’re doing it! Residents created a variety of shakers to make some noise on Music Day. Then on Tuesday, the residents helped to decorate the home for the open day. Ballons were blown, bunting was hung, and the old vinyl records residents had decorated were put up. (Don’t panic - they were scratched and saved from the skip)! All the good quality records are played regularly on the home’s new record player, kindly donated by the husband of new Wellbeing team member, Michelle. This has been a hugely popular addition to the home and inspires residents to listen and reminisce about their own record collections.

Music Day - Fun and Laughter for All Ages

Wednesday was the big day. The morning was filled with staff singing, some better than others! The Wellbeing Team tried a bit of karaoke in their music-themed fancy dress, then administrator Michael, (who recently ran the London Marathon to raise funds for Dementia UK), put on a fantastic performance with three costume changes for the different genres of music requested by residents. Staff, residents and families all sang along. After recharging with a fantastic BBQ cooked by Sanford’s Chef B, the first of many this summer, it was time for more and Tommy from ‘Musical Keys’ took to the stage. Tommy holds a popular session every other Monday at Sanford House, where he sings a selection of songs and brings a big box of instruments for residents to try. Children from East Dereham Day Nursery, who visit Sanford House bi-weekly, were invited too. These intergenerational sessions are a firm favourite with residents (and the children) and the youngsters are often asked to join special events. Tommy and the children always bring such joy to the home, and everyone enjoyed having them there at the same time.

Music Day was a huge success, with nobody sure how ‘musical’ they actually were - but they had an absolutely brilliant time trying!

Pet Therapy Brings Cuddles and Calm

The week wound down with some calming pet therapy, starting with a special visit from the Mini Donks, two wonderfully friendly mini donkeys called Pixie and Milly, who come for cuddles. They spent two hours sharing their time between the communal lounges and visiting residents in their rooms. Sanford House also welcomed the fantastic Brenda and her therapy dog Larry for their regular biweekly visit. Residents always look forward to seeing the duo and are building some lovely bonds.

As well as activities, the Wellbeing Team put together a table full of information all about dementia for visitors to look at, including a set of goggles to demonstrate difficulties with eyesight – just one of the impairments that can be experienced by those living with dementia. The team also created two sets of imitation food to show the importance of the way meal trays are set out and why the home uses coloured plates to help residents distinguish their food more clearly.

The Sanford House team, residents and relatives thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Dementia Action week with such a variety of events, activities and workshops – and the success of the week highlights the commitment of the team and the wonderful collaborative spirit that brings everyone together.

Discover Sanford House Nursing Home in Norfolk

Sanford House Nursing Home provides residential, nursing and specialist dementia care in a bright and comfortable environment, surrounded by lovely gardens. The home offers care that is tailored to individual needs, interests and preferences, and a team who are committed to delivering the very best. If you would like to learn more about the types of care and services available from Caring Homes, please visit our website page. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to learn more.

Music Sessions
Donkeys at Sanford House
Karaoke Session with Michael

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