Category: Awareness Weeks

Guest Blog: #NationalGardeningWeek

Guest Blog: #NationalGardeningWeek

It is National Gardening Week from 10th-16th April and our care home gardens are starting to spring into action. Parkland House gardener Nik, shares her guest blog with us.

Hello there, I am Nik from Trusty Tools and I take care of the garden at Parkland House.

As the garden awakens in April there are some sunny days perfect for sitting in the garden, hearing the birds and bees calling in the Spring.

The Daffodils, Narcissus and Crocuses planted last Autumn are already in out in all their glory, and the tulips are following closely behind. The Hyacinths planted by the residents look splendid, they were potted up for some to be taken indoors so that all the residents could experience them.

It is time to be vigilant against weeds as the longer days trigger faster growth and to keep watch for the warning silvery trails of slugs and snails that love the Hosta shoots starting to appear now.

When selecting what plants to grow, we try to pick ones that satisfy as many of the senses as possible: bright colours, strong scents and tactile plants like Amaranths.

We are now planting bulbs for Summer: vibrant Sparaxis, Lilies and Gladioli. The Sweet Peas planted last Autumn have been hardened off and moved out to the raised beds. We all look forward to the smell of the Sweet Peas. This year’s one is called “Dusty Springfield” and we chose it for its fast growth, bright pink colour and heavy scent.

The residents enjoy getting involved with the new raised beds, they were designed for easy access so no needing to bend down to plant a seed or to get at the dandelion you want to pull out! In one of the beds we have planted a few vegetables, these go into the kitchen for soups and salads, so the fruits of labour can be savoured by all.

parkland-gardening

Please let your care home manager or activities co-ordinator know if you would like to help out or join in the residents gardening activities, we would like to hear from you.

National Pie Week

National Pie Week

It’s National Pie week this week in Britain and we’ve been discussing pies in our homes.  One interesting debate was what makes a pie a pie?  For some it has to have pastry somewhere in the dish whether it be the base, the topping or all over.  For others it’s something cooked in a “pie dish” so could be cottage pie, shepherd’s pie.

There was a petition in recent years to define a pie as “a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry” anything without a pastry base should not be classed as a pie. One resident said it was only a pie if it had some booze in the sauce naming steak and ale pie as the winner.

With all the talk of savoury pies it’s important not to forget sweet pies like traditional apple pie or mince pies at Christmas.  Both are favourites with many of our residents.

According to research 75% of people enjoy a pie at least once a month.  Whatever your view we hope you enjoy National Pie Week…. The Homes menu’s include Steak & Kidney Pie, Cottage Pie and Chicken & Mushroom pie along with fruit pies for dessert.

World Nursery Rhyme Week

World Nursery Rhyme Week

This week its World Nursery Rhyme Week and having recently visited Cornerways with my one year old son, Jack, it appears nursery rhymes are similar to Christmas Carols you never seem to forget them.  Jack had a gentleman sing “Humpty Dumpty”  whilst a lady recited “Pat a cake” complete with actions.  

Do you have a favourite that you could recite?  I seem to find myself singing “twinkle twinkle little star” and it does help Jack go to sleep probably because he’s had enough of my singing.  We go to swimming lessons each week and all techniques are learnt whilst singing nursery rhymes: “12345 Once I Caught A Fish Alive”, “The Grand Old Duke of York” to name a few.

I hadn’t until recently ever considered how important nursery rhymes are in early childhood development. Some experts claim that if a child knows eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are four, they are usually amongst the best readers and spellers in their class.  Nursery rhymes are great way to learn early phonic skills, they provide practice in pitch, volume as well as language rhythm.  Experts believe that its not just language development they help with its cognitive development, physical development, aid with maths, as well as providing social/emotional development.  With all these benefits we will certainly keep reciting nursery rhymes to our little one.

In the spirit of World Nursery Rhyme Week, Parkland House residents spent an afternoon this week reciting nursery rhymes and reminiscing about their favourite childhood rhymes. All the residents remembered all the words and thoroughly enjoyed the activity.

parkland-house-resident-nursery-rhyme-afternoon

So in the Homes during World Nursery Rhyme Week  don’t be surprised if you hear staff and residents reminiscing on their favourite nursery rhymes, participating in nursery rhyme themed quizzes and perhaps making our own rhymes up.  If you have a little one or grand or even great grandchild there is some fantastic free resources available on Musicbugs website and in some local libraries.

http://www.musicbugs.co.uk/

Chocolate Week and National Curry Week

Chocolate Week and National Curry Week

It’s a busy week for foodies with Chocolate Week and National Curry Week being celebrated.

Whether it’s a Thai curry, Japanese curry or Indian curry, fiery, hot or mild, many people enjoy a curry. The most popular takeaway is apparently Indian with two thirds of meals out being Indian.

Our residents aren’t planning to beat the 2012 poppadom tower record, where 1280 poppadoms were piled high to celebrate National Curry Week. There is however curry on the menu in some of our homes and certainly a chocolate pudding option as standard.

Chocolate week has certainly captured everyone’s attention within the homes. Cornerways are starting their week and Bramble Down are ending their week with a chocolate fountain sensory tasting afternoon. A number of things will be dipped into the melted chocolate and enjoyed by many.

If you are visiting the homes, feel free to bring some chocolate treats for residents to enjoy and have fun judging their favourites, so they make pick their winners.

Happy Chocolate week and National Curry Week everyone.