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Heather 4th Dec 2013

Posted on the Forum

Hi everyone, just thought I'd share what I've been doing to help bring in the Christmas spirit in our nursing home. Not only has it done this but has assisted me, as we all know Christmas is an extremely busy time for us all with organising activities, Christmas parties for residents and some of us also required to assist with staff morale at this time of year as well, so I hope by sharing some of you may get a little something out it.
1. The December program is called a Christmas program (this way families know it is a little different to other months.
2. Activities have been - Decorating the home for Christmas - residents have enjoyed putting up the tree and decorating, others who felt they know longer were able enjoyed watching, others decided where Christmas items should be placed. (lots of laughter and remenicising about old times)
3. Each year we hold our Christmas party which means a continuous raffle - Lots of wrapping, so our activity was Santa's Work Shop, I played Christmas carols and residents sang and helped wrap the items, after the activity residents were telling staff to buy tickets in the raffle as there is some great items to win. (budget looking good for next year).
3. Volunteers come to sing Christmas carols - phew Activity officer can get to sit for a little while - only need a voice.. so it was folding the serviettes for the Christmas party, by the end of the session we had 200 serviettes folded and ready to go.
4. Wrapping of Christmas Gifts - 4 rolls of different coloured Christmas paper, residents sat with me and we wrapped some of the gifts together - great stimulation residents cut the paper to size, others the ribbon and those unable to do either choose what coloured paper to use for each gift. (great conversation and lead to a resident asking when are we doing more).
5. Christmas Craft - Home always receives Christmas cards from family which is lovely but where do they put them, so residents made a Christmas card holder, very simple but effective plus they had fun being able to give something to the staff.
6. Volunteers thank you morning tea - need a gift resident making a special little gift for each of them and have been enjoying planning the morning tea. (offering self worth)
During all these activities residents have been happy and feeling useful by offering them self worth, it has been lovely remenicising about their childhood at Christmas, being parents at Christmas time and what they will be doing now... I might add most say the best thing is they no longer have to spend all day in the kitchen cooking and washing up. Many are asking what is the next job they will be doing and looking forward to helping.
For me as the activities officer for 40 high care dementia residents it has been wonderful, they are a great help and it has allowed me to get things organised for their Christmas party while spending time with each of them.
Merry Christmas to you all and don't forget to relax over the holiday period and recharge those warn out batteries...

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